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"Speeches"

MLK Address to the National Press Club

Thursday, July 19, 1962

Dr. King gives an address to the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. He discusses his recent conviction for marching in Albany, the economic status of the Negro, racial issues, communism, the church, and the practice of nonviolent resistance. He states that the church is the most segregated institution in America. Dr. King also states that racial issues are a national problem and that the goal of the Negro is freedom.

Speech to SCLC Convention about Vietnam

Thursday, August 12, 1965

Dr. King makes one of his first public statements opposing the war in Vietnam during the SCLC Convention held in Birmingham. According to King, "Neither the American people nor the people of North Vietnam is the enemy. The true enemy is war itself, and people on both sides are trapped in its inexorable destruction."

MLK Statement at Pacem In Terris II Convocation

Monday, May 29, 1967

Dr. King's introductory remarks at the Pacem In Terris II Convocation critiques the United States' involvement in Vietnam.

SCLC Annual Report by MLK, 1965

Wednesday, August 11, 1965

Dr King delivered this report at the SCLC's ninth annual national convention in Birmingham, Alabama. Serving essentially as a State of the Union address for the SCLC, the report touches on the major topics of the Civil Rights Movement and the recent achievements and goals of the SCLC.

Gandhi Society for Human Rights Address by MLK

Thursday, May 17, 1962

Dr. King speaks at a luncheon launching the Gandhi Society on May 17, 1962, citing the great significance of the day: the anniversary of the US Supreme Court decision declaring school segregation unconstitutional, the 100th anniversary of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation and the centennial of the death of Henry David Thoreau, whose essay on civil disobedience influenced Gandhi. He announces that earlier that day he sent President Kennedy a document seeking an executive order proclaiming all forms of segregation to be a violation of the US Constitution.

MLK Speaks to People of Watts

Thursday, August 19, 1965

Dr. King speaks on what it will take to make Los Angeles a better city.

I've Been To The Mountaintop

Wednesday, April 3, 1968

Dr. King delivers the "I've Been to the Mountaintop" speech at the Masonic Temple in Memphis, TN.

I Have A Dream

This is an excerpt of Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech, as delivered at the March on Washington. The moderator asks Marion Anderson to sing, "He's Got the Whole World In His Hands."

Revolution and Redemption

Sunday, August 16, 1964

This document contains the address, "Revolution and Redemption," given by Dr. King in Amsterdam. Dr. King discusses the concerns of the "Gospel of Jesus Christ." He states there are two aspects of the world that must never be forgotten: "this is God's world," and that Jesus Christ gave his life for redemption.

MLK Address at Dinner Honoring Jackie Robinson

Friday, July 20, 1962

This is the transcript of Dr. King's address at the 1962 Hall of Fame Dinner honoring Jackie Robinson in New York City. Dr. King praises Robinson for standing up for civil rights as the first Negro to break Major League Baseball's color barrier.

Press Statement by MLK About President Johnson's Address on Selma

Tuesday, March 16, 1965

Dr. King lauds President Johnson's speech to a joint session of Congress, which he describes as an eloquent, unequivocal and passionate plea for human rights. This statement and the President's address occurred during the height of the Selma voting rights campaign.

MLK's Public Statement Regarding Court Hearings

Friday, December 3, 1965

Dr. King compares past discrimination to recent strides that have been made in the American justice system.

Statement of Congressman Seymour Halpern in the House Debate on the Voting Rights Bill

Mr. Halpern addresses the Chairman of the House of Representatives in favor of passing the Voting Rights Bill. He wants to ensure that the bill is enacted in a way that will not allow it to be manipulated by individual states, causing further discrimination against African Americans and non-English speakers. Mr. Halpern goes on to explain other acts that must take place and suggests other tenants to be incorporated into the bill in order to make sure all Americans have equal rights under the law.

Address by MLK to the Hungry Club

Wednesday, December 15, 1965

Dr. King addresses the members of The Hungry Club on the dilemma of "Negroes" obtaining complete equality. He refers to several passages from his "I Have a Dream" speech.

Democratic National Convention Platform Committee Statement

Saturday, August 1, 1964

In this statement delivered August 22, 1964, Dr. King outlines three urgent priorities for the Committee and the party as a whole: enforcement of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, furthering voting rights and the war on poverty. He asks that the platform include a recommendation that a panel of voting rights marshals be established and that the Convention support a Bill of Rights for the Disadvantaged.

Statement by MLK on the U.S. Stand in Vietnam

Tuesday, April 4, 1967

Dr. King discusses how to involve the public in discussions regarding the Vietnam War. He states that the public should be educated about the history and issues of the war.

MLK Press Statement After Receiving Nobel Prize

Thursday, December 17, 1964

Dr. King issued this statement to the press upon return from receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in Norway. In addition to declaring how he plans to distribute his prize winnings, Dr. King discusses the progress of the Civil Rights Movement.

Speech at Chicago Freedom Movement Rally

Sunday, July 10, 1966

Dr. King speaks of the urgent need to address issues in the city such as deplorable housing conditions, discrimination in employment, segregation and overcrowded schools. He urges his listeners to commit to fill up the jails if necessary, register every eligible Negro to vote, withhold rent from slumlords, withdraw economic support from companies that don't hire Negroes, and support Negro-owned businesses. He stresses the importance of using nonviolent methods.

MLK on the Republican Nomination of Barry Goldwater

Thursday, July 16, 1964

Dr. King issued this statement regarding the "unfortunate and disastrous" Republican Party's nomination of Senator Barry Goldwater for the Presidency of the United States. The Reverend expounds on his disapproval of the nomination by stating that he represents an unrealistic conservation that is totally out of touch with the realities of the twentieth century.

Statement Before the National Democratic Platform and Resolutions Committee

Saturday, August 11, 1956

Dr. King addresses the National Democratic Platform and Resolutions Committee. He calls for strong federal action in the South to prevent violence and to uphold the decisions of the Supreme Court pertaining to the end of segregation.

MLK Statement Regarding Housing Proposal in Chicago

Tuesday, December 20, 1966

Robert Clifton Weaver, the first United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, encloses a statement made by Dr. King for Joseph Califano, assistant to President Johnson. Dr. King announces a slum area housing redevelopment project in the Chicago areas of Lawndale, East Garfield Park and Kenwood Oakland.

Jenner School Parents

Wednesday, April 20, 1966

Presented here is a rough draft of an address delivered by Dr. King to the parents of Jenner Elementary school located in Chicago, Ill. Dr. King advises a plan to counteract deplorable school conditions as well as the misappropriation of tax dollars.

MLK's Statement on Endorsing a 1960 Presidential Candidate

Tuesday, November 1, 1960

Dr. King states that the SCLC is a non-partisan organization and that he cannot endorse a political party or candidate. He then goes on to express gratitude for Senator Kennedy and Mayor Hartsfield for their continuous support and leadership.

The Power of Nonviolence

Thursday, May 1, 1958

Dr. King delivers this address to the YMCA and YWCA in the Bay Area of California. The power of nonviolence is discussed being intertwined with the knowledge of agape, love and maladjustment. Agape can be defined as an understanding of the redemptive good will of all men. In relation to maladjustment, Dr. King explains how he never intended to adjust himself to segregation and discrimination. Dr. King expounds on how justice strengthened the Montgomery movement. He further explains how the powerful influence of love is a significant factor in the practice of nonviolence.

A Journey of Conscience

In this draft of his 1967 speech, "A Journey of Conscience," Dr. King provides the many reasons he so strongly opposes the war in Vietnam. He writes of how he first felt it was important to remain silent, but gradually felt compelled to speak out, as the US made no initiatives toward peace. He points at that the war abroad takes away our focus on our problems at home, and we must "combine the fervor of the civil rights movement with the peace movement."

MLK Address at the 53rd National Convention of the NAACP

Thursday, July 5, 1962

This document is Dr. King's address to the 53rd Annual Convention of the NAACP in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. King discusses the following myths in this address: time will solve all problems, education can only solve problems of racial conflict, the Negro vote can do little to alter present conditions, and the practice of nonviolence is ineffective. Dr. King also speaks on "disunity," and states "the law may not make a man love me, but it may keep him from lynching me."

Eulogy for Robert W. Spike

Dr. King highlights the life and work of American clergyman, theologian, and civil rights leader, Robert W. Spike. Spike was a leader known for mobilizing church participation for the Civil Rights Movement. Less than one year after accepting a professorship at the University of Chicago, he was murdered.

Remarks by MLK at the Freedom House Annual Dinner

Tuesday, November 26, 1963

Dr. King expresses his appreciation for being honored by Freedom House. He also pays tribute to the life and work of John F. Kennedy while encourging others to honor his memory through their dedication to civil rights.

Draft of Statement by MLK on his Involvement With the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers

Dr. King wishes to clarify his endorsement of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers. He states that he did not mean to imply that there was a civil rights issue in the "collective bargaining election," but rather that he admires the accomplishments of the labor movement.

MLK's Address to Syracuse University

Thursday, July 15, 1965

Dr. King, in a public speech at Howard University, talks about numerous factors that affect education in America.