Editor's note: Martin Luther King Jr. made hundreds of speeches, but the one he made Aug. 28, 1963, from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to a crowd of nearly 300,000 civil rights demonstrators is his best known. The "I Have a Dream'' address -- partially reprinted here in recognition of Martin Luther King Jr. Day -- became a rallying cry for black Americans and a classic of world oratory.
So I say to you, my friends, that even though we must face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, sons of former slaves and sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day, even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today!
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