King's Dream
In this Aug. 28, 1963, photo Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. addresses marchers during his "I Have a Dream" speech at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. (AP)

In this Aug. 28, 1963, photo Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. addresses marchers during his "I Have a Dream" speech at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. (AP)

Great moments in history colliding in Washington this week, echoing off each other, across the years.

On the mall yesterday, a huge crowd before the Lincoln Memorial, opening the celebration of Barack Obama’s inauguration, on the same site where Martin Luther King gave his historic “I Have a Dream” speech in August, 1963.

A new telling of the origins of that speech calls it “national scripture”. But it was not the speech King had prepared. This hour, On Point: the untold story of the “I Have a Dream” speech, and its monumental echo in the nation’s capitol this week.

You can join the conversation. On this Martin Luther King Day, is this the dream, part of it, coming true?


Mike Allen, chief political correspondent for

Eric Sundquist, professor of literature, University of California, Los Angeles. He is author of “To Wake the Nations: Race in the Making of American Literature.” His new book is “King’s Dream.”

You can read the introduction to “King’s Dream.”

Rev. Dr. Howard-John Wesley, pastor of the Alfred Street Baptist Church in Alexandria, VA. He is a fourth generation Baptist preacher.

More links:

The full text of the speech is available here

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