published Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

Program marks 50th anniversary of King's 'I Have a Dream' speech — Aug. 28

  • photo
    Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, addresses marchers during his “I Have a Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 28, 1963.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

He invoked the Declaration of Independence, the Emancipation Proclamation and the U.S. Constitution, but it was the simple rhetoric of "I have a dream" that still resonates from Martin Luther King Jr.'s defining speech five decades later.

On Wednesday, Aug. 28, 50 years to the day that King stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington and challenged the nation to end racism, Chattanooga will join other U.S. cities in a commemoration of the milestone anniversary.

The ceremony will be presented by Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park at 2:30 p.m. at the New York Peace Monument in Point Park on East Brow Road atop Lookout Mountain. Lookout Mountain was one of eight places across the country that were specifically named in the historic speech.

Park staff will be joined by the fourth-grade class from Orchard Knob Elementary School in reading portions of the speech. Bells will ring out at 3 p.m., joining a unison of bell-ringings across the nation.

Special events also will be conducted at the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site in Atlanta and the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

Entrance to Point Park will be free for this program. For more information, visit

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