“I Have a Dream…”
Twenty four days before I was born, one of the most remarkable days in the history of the nation – and of the world – happened in Washington, D.C., the peaceful assembly of at least 200,000 thousands of people who gathered to call for racial equality. The words of that day have echoes through our history, and remind us that freedom is our legacy and our goal. I have listened to the speech for which this day is most remembered many, many times and even today I am simply in awe of the voice, the words and the meaning of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. To learn later that the most popular part of that speech, “I Have a Dream,” was improvised only cements in my mind the genius of the man who many tried so hard to destroy.
For all my history buffing, I had never seen this particular picture until late last week when I began the prep for today’s show. To say that this picture had a profound effect on me is the understatement of the last half century. Even today, it brings a lump to my throat and moisture to my eyes. Do you understand its meaning?
My Great-Grandfather, who died 50 years before I was born, fifty years before MLK, Jr.’s speech and now one century ago, believed in freedom, liberty and union so fervently that he walked, long before the march on Washington, he walked from Ashdown County, Arkansas to Rolla, Missouri, where he, a southern Southerner, joined the Union Army. He would be wounded, and he would die early because of those wounds. But he believed in a day when all men would be free. His President asked all men who believed in freedom to march, and he did.
Now that image of the Lincoln of history watching over the 1963 march moves in my mind and heart as the iconic moment of truth, when the battles was not yet won, but looked forward to the inevitability of that victory.
I continue to be amazed at how we have both progressed towards Dr. Kings’ dream, and at the same time at how many have tried to usurp his ideals into something he never intended them to be. On those days when I wish that I could return to moments in history, I wish that I could go to this day, August 28, 1963, but not at the Lincoln Monument.
I wish that I could visit two places – the White House Oval Office to watch and hear John Kennedy’s reaction to the speech. And I wish that I could visit my own soon to be home in Oklahoma City. I wish that I could tell my parents and grandparents how what they were hearing would effect my life, and how important it was to hear and take those words to heart.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke for just over sixteen minutes that afternoon. Today, fifty years later, he words still move the heart and mind and remind us why there is a United States of America. They are still a valuable listen today.
A few other stories for the day. I keep saying that interplanetary travel is virtually impossible. Did you know that today, by NASA rule, women are limited as to the amount of time the can spend in space? why? Lifetime exposure limits for radiation.
Scientists have a long last found the fossilized remains of the worlds largest fish. It was nearly 55 feet in length.
One of the teenage killers of a WWII vet expects us to believe that it was a “Crack Deal” gone bad. Seriously.
“The president does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation,” candidate Obama told The Boston Globe in late 2007. He added that the president can only act unilaterally in “instances of self-defense.”