MLK’s ‘Dream’ speech goes on display at Smithsonian for 60th anniversary

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture will commemorate the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington by displaying Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s original “I Have a Dream” speech, on view until Sept. 18.

The speech will be on display in the “Defending Freedom, Defining Freedom” gallery.

“At the National Museum of African American History and Culture, sited at the foot of the Washington Monument, the meaning and purpose of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom persist today,” said Kevin Young, the museum’s Andrew W. Mellon director. “The words of all its speakers resonate six decades later, and we serve as witnesses to the bravery and dedication of its organizers. To be able to show visitors the copy of the ‘I Have a Dream’ speech King read and improvised from while at the podium is an honor and a privilege.”

Many historians credit the April 28, 1963, march. with pressuring the Kennedy administration to act on civil rights legislation, eventually leading to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The momentous day concluded with King delivering his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial.

More information is available on the museum’s website ( museum will also mark the anniversary of the march with three exhibitions — “Defending Freedom, Defining Freedom: The Era of Segregation 1876-1968,” “Making a Way Out of No Way” and “A Changing America.”