The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial stands between the Jefferson and Lincoln Memorials, in Washington, D.C. According to Washington.org, “The 30-foot statue of Dr. King featuring his likeness carved into the Stone of Hope, which emerges powerfully from two large boulders, known as the Mountain of Despair. Together, they represent soul-stirring words from Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech”.
The steps to honor Dr. King began shortly after his assassination April 4, 1968, but it wasn’t until 1983 when then President of the United States, Ronald Reagan, made Dr. King’s birthday a national holiday. Most states adopted the day immediately, some did not. New Hampshire was the last to adopt the holiday in 1999. Today it is a Federal Holiday, and many offices also choose to close their doors, to remember this great man.
On this day in 1964, a 35 year old, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr was presented the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway. His acceptance speech may not be as well known as his “I Have a Dream” speech, but it is remarkable snapshot of the entire Civil Rights Movement of the era.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s speech begins with, “I accept this award today with an abiding faith in America and an audacious faith in the future of mankind. I refuse to accept despair as the final response to the ambiguities of history. I refuse to accept the idea that the “isness” of man’s present nature makes him morally incapable of reaching up for the eternal “oughtness” that forever confronts him.” Read the entire speech here.
Tragically, a little less than 4 years later, he would be assassinated on the balcony of his hotel room in Memphis, Tennessee.
To view his “I Have A Dream” speech please click here.