1968 April 3

King’s Final Speech: “I Have Been to the Mountaintop”

 

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King delivered a haunting last speech on the night before he was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee. One passage of the speech seemed to suggest that he knew he might die soon.

For his assassination, go to April 4, 1968. For the law making his birthday a national holiday, go to November 2, 1983.

Dr. King: “And I don’t mind. . . .Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land!”

Read the speech: http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/mlkivebeentothemountaintop.htm

Watch the speech: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oehry1JC9Rk

Read the Monumental Three-Volume Biography of Dr. King, America in the King Years, by Taylor Branch: Parting the Waters (1988); Pillar of Fire (1998); At Canaan’s Edge (2006)

Visit the Martin Luther King Memorial in Washington, DC: http://www.nps.gov/mlkm/index.htm

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