Martin Luther King Jr’s Original I Have a Dream Speech on Display at National Museum of African American History and Culture

25 Jan, 2022 11:06 IST|Sakshi Post

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) will celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day by displaying Martin Luther King Jr.’s original speech from the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The case containing the speech, which was initially on display in fall 2021, will be reinstalled just in time for visitors to view the historic document. It will be on view in the “Defending Freedom, Defining Freedom” gallery until Feb. 27.

In observance of the holiday, the museum will be open to the public for normal operating hours (10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.). Advanced and same-day free timed-entry passes are available online. No walk-ups will be permitted. Alongside the speech will be other objects associated with King, including the Congressional Gold Medal awarded posthumously to him and Coretta Scott King in 2014, a laundry pail used by King during the march from Selma to Montgomery and a program from his funeral at the Ebenezer Baptist Church.

King’s speech was originally in possession of Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame player and coach George Raveling, who came in receipt of the artifact while volunteering at the 1963 March on Washington. Recently, Villanova University became the speech’s steward and has entered into a long-term loan agreement with the museum to display it.

In addition to displaying King’s speech, the museum has two virtual offerings that give visitors opportunities to celebrate the holiday from the comfort of their homes, including a blog post highlighting little-known facts about King. Since opening Sept. 24, 2016, the National Museum of African American History and Culture has welcomed more than 7 million visitors. Occupying a prominent location next to the Washington Monument on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., the nearly 400,000-square-foot museum is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive cultural destination devoted exclusively to exploring, documenting, and showcasing the African American story and its impact on American and world history. 

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