On August 28, 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his now famous “I have a Dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC. Obviously, this was a strategically-chosen site for the speech with the Great Emancipator’s marble statue in the background overseeing the event.
Unfortunately in the 60s even though it had been a hundred years since the Civil War, our country still did not have equality for all people. Things still aren’t perfect today, but we’ve definitely come a long way since then.
I remember visiting the Lincoln Memorial for the first time back in the Fall of 1991. It was a surreal experience climbing the steps of the Memorial and seeing Abraham Lincoln’s statue in the center of the grand Grecian edifice. It felt like I was walking into the back of a penny. I’ve always loved American history and it was a fantastic journey in DC visiting sites I had only ever read about in textbooks (and seen on the back of coins!).
This picture was taken in October 2006 during my short “sojourn” of living in our nation’s capital. Fun times. (They were short, but still fun.) As a caption for this photo, I included my most favorite Lincoln quote found in Fred Kaplan’s Lincoln: Biography of a Writer. Isn’t this truly the most amazing function of the written word? When we read the words from the past, it’s as if that person has crossed the bounds of time and is speaking directly to us today. The same is true for those who read our words in the future. Hopefully, the things we say will be of some value to them.
Anyway, in honor of MLK Day today and the power of the written (and spoken) word, check out a tribute to his historical speech on the National Parks Service’s website on Civil Rights.