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El Reverendo Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. nació en Atlanta el 15 de enero, 1929 y murió asesinado en Memphis el 4 de abril de 1968. Fue un ministro de la iglesia bautista y un activista del Movimiento por los Derechos Civiles en Estados Unidos para los afro americanos laureado con el Premio Nobel de la Paz.


. Biografía en español
. "Tengo un sueño": Famoso discurso del Dr King

Biografía en inglés - Fuente: The King Center

Chronology of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Biographical Outline of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a vital figure of the modern era. His lectures and dialogues stirred the concern and sparked the conscience of a generation. The movements and marches he led brought significant changes in the fabric of American life through his courage and selfless devotion. This devotion gave direction to thirteen years of civil rights activities. His charismatic leadership inspired men and women, young and old, in this nation and around the world.


Dr. King’s concept of “somebodiness,” which symbolized the celebration of human worth and the conquest of subjugation, gave black and poor people hope and a sense of dignity. His philosophy of nonviolent direct action, and his strategies for rational and non-destructive social change, galvanized the conscience of this nation and reordered its priorities. His wisdom, his words, his actions, his commitment, and his dream for a new way of life are intertwined with the American experience.


Birth and Family


Martin Luther King, Jr. was born at noon on Tuesday, January 15, 1929 at the family home, 501 Auburn Avenue, N.E., Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Charles Johnson was the attending physician. Martin Luther King, Jr. was the first son and second child born to the Reverend Martin Luther King, Sr. and Alberta Williams King. Also born to the Kings were Christine, now Mrs. Isaac Farris, Sr., and the Reverend Alfred Daniel Williams King. The Reverend A.D. King is now deceased.


Martin Luther King, Jr.’s maternal grandparents were the Reverend Adam Daniel Williams, second pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church, and Jenny Parks Williams. His paternal grandparents were James Albert and Delia King, sharecroppers on a farm in Stockbridge, Georgia.


He married Coretta Scott, the younger daughter of Obadiah and Bernice McMurry Scott of Marion, Alabama, on June 18, 1953. The marriage ceremony took place on the lawn of the Scott’s home in Marion, Alabama. The Rev. King, Sr. performed the service, with Mrs. Edythe Bagley, the sister of Coretta Scott King as maid of honor, and the Rev. A.D. King, the brother of Martin Luther King, Jr., as best man.

Four children were born to Dr. and Mrs. King:

  • Yolanda Denise (November 17, 1955, Montgomery, Alabama)

  • Martin Luther III (October 23, 1957, Montgomery, Alabama)

  • Dexter Scott (January 30, 1961, Atlanta, Georgia)

  • Bernice Albertine (March 28, 1963, Atlanta, Georgia)



At the age of five, Martin Luther King, Jr. began school, before reaching the legal age of six, at the Yonge Street Elementary School in Atlanta. When his age was discovered, he was not permitted to continue in school and did not resume his education until he was six. Following Yonge School, he was enrolled in David T. Howard Elementary School. He also attended the Atlanta University Laboratory School and Booker T. Washington High School. Because of his high scores on the college entrance examinations in his junior year of high school, he advanced to Morehouse College without formal graduation from Booker T. Washington. Having skipped both the ninth and twelfth grades, Dr. King entered Morehouse at the age of fifteen.


In 1948, he graduated from Morehouse College with a B.A. degree in Sociology. That fall he enrolled in Crozer Theological Seminary in Chester, Pennsylvania. While attending Crozer, he also studied at the University of Pennsylvania. He was elected President of the Senior Class and delivered the valedictory address. He won the Peral Plafkner Award as the most outstanding student, and he received the J. Lewis Crozer Fellowship for graduate study at a university of his choice. He was awarded a Bachelor of Divinity degree from Crozer in 1951.


In September of 1951, Martin Luther King, Jr. began doctoral studies in Systematic Theology at Boston University. He also studied at Harvard University. His dissertation, “A Comparison of the Conceptions of God in the Thinking of Paul Tillich and Henry Nelson Wieman,” was completed in 1955, and the Ph.D. degree was awarded on June 5, 1955.


Honorary Degrees


Dr. King was awarded honorary degrees from various colleges and universities in the United States and several foreign countries. They include:

  • Doctor of Humane Letters, Morehouse College

  • Doctor of Laws, Howard University

  • Doctor of Divinity, Chicago Theological Seminary

  • Doctor of Laws, Morgan State University

  • Doctor of Humanities, Central State University

  • Doctor of Divinity, Boston University

  • Doctor of Laws, Lincoln University

  • Doctor of Laws, University of Bridgeport

  • Doctor of Civil Laws, Bard College

  • Doctor of Letters, Keuka College

  • Doctor of Divinity, Wesleyan College

  • Doctor of Laws, Jewish Theological Seminary

  • Doctor of Laws, Yale University

  • Doctor of Divinity, Springfield College

  • Doctor of Laws, Hofstra University

  • Doctor of Humane Letters, Oberlin College

  • Doctor of Social Science, Amsterdam Free University

  • Doctor of Divinity, St. Peter’s College

  • Doctor of Civil Law, University of New Castle, Upon Tyne

  • Doctor of Laws, Grinnell College



Martin Luther King, Jr. entered the Christian ministry and was ordained in February 1948 at the age of nineteen at Ebenezer Baptist Church, Atlanta, Georgia. Following his ordination, he became Assistant Pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church. Upon completion of his studies at Boston University, he accepted the call of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. He was the pastor of Dexter Avenue from September 1954 to November 1959, when he resigned to move to Atlanta to direct the activities of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. From 1960 until his death in 1968, he was co-pastor with his father at Ebenezer Baptist Church.


Dr. King was a pivotal figure in the Civil Rights Movement. He was elected President of the Montgomery Improvement Association, the organization that was responsible for the successful Montgomery Bus Boycott from 1955 to 1956 (381 days). He was arrested thirty times for his participation in civil rights activities. He was a founder and president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference from 1957 to 1968. He was also Vice President of the National Sunday School and Baptist Teaching Union Congress of the National Baptist Convention. He was a member of several national and local boards of directors and served on the boards of trustees of numerous institutions and agencies. Dr. King was elected to membership in several learned societies including the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences.




Dr. King received numerous awards for his leadership in the Civil Rights Movement. Among them were the following:

  • Selected as one of the ten most outstanding personalities of the year by Time Magazine, 1957.

  • Listed in Who’s Who in America, 1957.

  • The Spingarn Medal from the NAACP, 1957.

  • The Russwurm Award from the National Newspaper Publishers, 1957.

  • The Second Annual Achievement Award from The Guardian Association of the Police Department of New York, 1958.

  • Selected as one of the sixteen world leaders who had contributed most to the advancement of freedom during 1959 by Ling Magazine of New Delhi, India.

  • Named “Man of the Year, “ by Time Magazine, 1963.

  • Named “American of the Decade,” by the Laundry, Dry Cleaning, and Die Workers, International Union, 1963.

  • The John Dewey Award, from the United Federation of Teachers, 1964.

  • The John F. Kennedy Award, from the Catholic Interracial Council of Chicago, 1964.

  • The Nobel Peace Prize, at age 35, the youngest man, second American, and the third black man to be so honored, 1964.

  • The Marcus Garvey Prize for Human Rights, presented by the Jamaican Government, posthumously, 1968.

  • The Rosa L. Parks award, presented by The Southern Christian Leadership Conference, posthumously, 1968.

  • The Aims Field-Wolf Award for his book, Stride Toward Freedom.

The above awards and others, along with numerous citations, are in the Archives of The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, Inc. in Atlanta, Georgia.




Although extremely involved with his family, his church, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, activities for peace and justice, his world travels, and his many speaking engagements, Dr. King wrote six books and numerous articles. His volumes include:

  • Stride Toward Freedom, (New York: Harper & Row, 1958). The story of the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

  • The Measure of a Man, (Philadelphia: Pilgrim Press, 1959). A selection of sermons.

  • Why We Can’t Wait, (New York: Harper & Row, 1963). The story of the Birmingham Campaign.

  • Strength to Love, (New York: Harper & Row, 1963). A selection of sermons.

  • Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community? (New York: Harper & Row, 1967). Reflections on the problems of today’s world, the nuclear arms race, etc.

  • The Trumpet of Conscience, (New York: Harper & Row, 1968). The Massey Lectures. Sponsored by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. (Posthumously).



Dr. King was shot while standing on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee on April 4, 1968. Dr. King was in Memphis to help lead sanitation workers in a protest against low wages and intolerable working conditions. James Earl Ray was arrested in London, England on June 8, 1968, and returned to Memphis, Tennessee on July 19, 1969 to stand trial for the assassination of Dr. King. On March 9, 1969, before coming to trial, he entered a guilty plea and was sentenced to ninety-nine years in the Tennessee State Penitentiary.


On December 8, 1999, a jury of twelve citizens of Memphis, Shelby County, TN concluded in Coretta Scott King, Martin Luther King, III, Bernice King, Dexter Scott King and Yolanda King Vs. Loyd Jowers and Other Unknown Conspirators that Loyd Jowers and governmental agencies including the City of Memphis, the State of Tennessee, and the federal government were party to the conspiracy to assassinate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


Dr. King’s funeral services were held on April 9, 1968 at Ebenezer Baptist Church and on the campus of Morehouse College, with the President of the United State proclaiming a day of mourning and flags being flown at half-staff. The area where Dr. King is entombed is located on Freedom Plaza and is surrounded by the Freedom Hall Complex of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Historic Site. The site is a 23-acre area was listed as a National Historic Landmark on May 5, 1977 and was made a National Historic Site on October 10, 1980 by the U.S. Department of the Interior.


In recent years, events in the lives of the King family have continued to reflect the tragedy and the triumph so uniquely combined in Dr. King’s own life and is intrinsic, perhaps, in the lives of all dedicated persons the world over.


Just a little more than a year after Martin Luther King, Jr. was killed, his younger brother, Alfred Daniel, died in a tragic accident at his home in Atlanta. Funeral services were held at Ebenezer Baptist Church on July 24, 1969, where Alfred Daniel had served as co-pastor.


On Sunday, June 30, 1974, Mrs. Alberta Williams King, the mother of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was shot and killed as she sat at the organ in the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. Again, through an act of violence, there ended a life that was totally nonviolent, a life that was thoroughly Christian, a life that reflected love for all persons and unselfish service to humankind. Again, the indomitable faith of the King family was put to the test, and again love prevailed amid the greatest sadness. The Rev. Martin Luther King, Sr., bereft by the violent deaths of his two sons and now by the equally tragic death of his devoted wife, could still say – and did say – at her funeral service on July 3, “I cannot hate any man.”


In 1975, the year following his wife’s death, the Rev. Martin Luther King, Sr. resigned his forty-four year pastorate at Ebenezer, passing on the active leadership of the church to the young and inspired Dr. Joseph L. Roberts, Jr. At his retirement banquet on August 1, 1975, however, “Daddy King” made it clear – as if anyone could have thought otherwise – that his resignation did not mean his retirement from the full and active life that has described his long career. This “Giant of a Man,” as he was acclaimed on that memorable evening, continued to work and to speak and to use the gifts with which the Lord had endowed him in the loving service of others. Among the Rev. King, Sr.’s many accomplishments is the completion of his one luxury, the publication of his autobiography, Daddy King. Rev. Martin Luther King, Sr. died on November 11, 1984 of a heart attack at Crawford W. Long Memorial Hospital in Atlanta. He was 84 years of age. Funeral services were held on November 14, 1984.




Dr. King’s speech at the March on Washington in 1963, along with his acceptance speech of the Nobel Peace Prize, and his final sermon in Memphis are among his most famous utterances. The following excerpts reveal the cogency, conviction and persuasion of his powerful speaking style.


(From the speech “March on Washington”)


“I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a 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 the 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 that my four 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 today¼I have a dream that one day down in Alabama with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with the little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers. I have a dream today.”


“This hope is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the south with. And with this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.”


“...And so let freedom ring, from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania. Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado. Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California. But not only that. Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia. Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee. Let freedom ring from every hill and mole hill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring¼And when we allow freedom to ring – when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: Free at last, free at last. Thank God almighty, we are free at last.”


(From the Acceptance Speech, The Nobel Peace Prize, 1964)


“I accept this award today with an abiding faith in America and an audacious faith in the future of mankind. I refuse to accept the idea that the ‘isness’ of man’s present nature makes him morally incapable of reaching up for the eternal ‘oughtness’ that forever confronts him. I refuse to accept the idea that man is mere flotsam and jetsam in the river of life unable to influence the unfolding of events which surround him. I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality.”


“I refuse to accept the cynical notion that nation after nation must spiral down a militaristic stairway into the hell of a thermonuclear destruction. I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final world in reality. This is why right temporarily defeated is stronger that evil triumphant.”


(From the sermon “I’ve Been To the Mountaintop,” April 3, 1968)


“...That’s the question before you tonight. Not, ‘If I stop to help the sanitation workers, what will happen to my job?’ ‘Not, if I stop to help the sanitation workers, what will happen to all of the hours that I usually spend in my office everyday and every week as a pastor?’ The question is not, ‘If I stop to help this man in need, what will happen to me?’ The question is, ‘If I do not stop to help the sanitation workers, what will happen to them?’ That’s the question.”


“Let us rise up tonight with a greater readiness. Let us stand with a greater determination. And let us move on in these powerful days, these days of challenge to make America what it ought to be. We have an opportunity to make America a better nation. And I want to thank God once more for allowing me to be here with you.”


“...And they were telling me, now it doesn’t matter now. It really doesn’t matter what happens now. I left Atlanta this morning, and as we got started on the plane, there were six of us, the pilot said over the public address system. ‘We are sorry for the delay, but we have Dr. Martin Luther King on the plane. And to be sure that all of the bags were checked, and to be sure that nothing would be wrong on the plane, we had to check out everything carefully. And we’ve had the plane protected and guarded all night.”


“And then I got into Memphis. And some began to say the threats, or talk about the threats that were out. What would happen to me from some of our sick white brothers?”


“Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn’t matter with me now, because I’ve been to the mountaintop 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. And I’m happy tonight; I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.”


Speeches used by permission of Intellectual Properties Management, Atlanta, Georgia, as Manager of The King Estate.

Chronology of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.



January 15

Martin Luther King, Jr. is born to Rev. and Mrs. Martin Luther King, Sr. (former Alberta Christine Williams) in Atlanta, Georgia.


1935 – 1944


Dr. King attends David T. Howard Elementary School, Atlanta University Laboratory School, and Booker T. Washington High

School. He passes the entrance examination to Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia without graduating from high school.




Dr. King is licensed to preach.




February 25

Dr. King is ordained to the Baptist ministry and appointed associate pastor at Ebenezer.


June 8

Dr. King graduates from Morehouse College with a BA degree in Sociology.


Dr. King enters Crozer Theological Seminary in Chester, Pennsylvania. After hearing Dr. A. J. Muste and Dr. Mordecai W. Johnson preach on the life and teachings of Mahatma Gandhi, he begins to study Gandhi seriously.




May 6-8

Dr. King graduates from Crozer with a Bachelor of Divinity degree.




June 18

Dr. King marries Coretta Scott in Marion, Alabama.




May 17

The Supreme Court of the United States rules unanimously in Brown vs. Board of Education that racial segregation in public schools is unconstitutional.


October 31

Rev. Martin Luther King, Sr. appoints Dr. King as the twentieth pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama.




June 5

Dr. King receives a Ph.D. degree in Systematic Theology from Boston University.


November 17

The Kings’ first child, Yolanda Denise, is born in Montgomery, Alabama.


December 1

Mrs. Rosa Parks, a forty-two year old Montgomery seamstress, refuses to relinquish her bus seat to a white man and is arrested.


December 5

The first day of the Montgomery bus boycott and the trial date of Mrs. Parks. A meeting of movement leaders is held. Dr. King is unanimously elected president of the Montgomery Improvement Association.


December 10

The Montgomery Bus Company suspends service in black neighborhoods.




(Coretta Scott y Martin Luther King, a la derecha)

January 26

Dr. King is arrested on a charge of traveling thirty miles per hour in a twenty-five miles per hour zone in Montgomery. He is released on his own recognizance.


January 30

A bomb is thrown onto the porch of Dr. King’s Montgomery home. Mrs. King and Mrs. Roscoe Williams, wife of a church member, are in the house with baby Yolanda Denise. No one is injured.


February 2

A suit is filed in Federal District Court asking that Montgomery’s travel segregation laws be declared unconstitutional.


February 21

Dr. King is indicted with other figures in the Montgomery bus boycott on the charge of being party to a conspiracy to hinder and prevent the operation of business without “just or legal cause.”


June 4

A United States District Court rules that racial segregation on city bus lines is unconstitutional.


August 10

Dr. King is a speaker before the platform committee of the Democratic Party in Chicago, Illinois.


October 30

Mayor Gayle of Montgomery, Alabama instructs the city’s legal department “to file such proceedings as it may deem proper to stop the operation of car pools and transportation systems growing out of the boycott.”


November 13

The United States Supreme Court affirms the decision of the three-judge district court in declaring Alabama’s state and local laws requiring segregation on buses unconstitutional.


December 20

Federal injunctions prohibiting segregation on buses are served on city and bus company officials in Montgomery, Alabama. Injunctions are also served on state officials.

 ontgomery buses are integrated.




January 27

An unexploded bomb is discovered on the front porch of the King’s house.


February 14

The Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) is founded.


February 18

Dr. King is featured on the cover of Time magazine.


May 17

Dr. King delivers a speech for the Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom celebrating the third anniversary of the Supreme Court’s desegregation decision. The speech, titled, “Give Us The Ballot,” is given at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.


June 13

Dr. King meets with the Vice President of the United States, Richard M. Nixon.


President Dwight D. Eisenhower federalizes the Arkansas National Guard to escort nine Negro students to an all-white high school in Little Rock, Arkansas.


September 9

The first Civil Rights Act since Reconstruction is passed by Congress, creating the Civil Rights Commission and the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice.


October 23

A second child, Martin Luther III, is born to Dr. and Mrs. King.




June 23

Dr. King, along with Roy Wilkins of the NAACP, A. Philip Randolph, and Lester Granger meet with President Dwight D. Eisenhower.


September 3

Dr. King is arrested on a charge of loitering (later changed to “failure to obey an officer”) in the vicinity of the Montgomery Recorder’s Court. He is released on $100.00 bond.


September 4

Dr. King is convicted after pleading “Not Guilty” on the charge of failure to obey an officer. The fine is paid almost immediately, over Dr. King’s objection, by Montgomery Police Commissioner Clyde C. Sellers.


September 17

Dr. King’s book, Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story, is published by Harper & Row.


September 20

Dr. King is stabbed in the chest by Mrs. Izola Curry, who is subsequently alleged to be mentally deranged. The stabbing occurs in Harlem, New York while Dr. King is autographing his recently published book. His condition was said to be serious but not critical.




January 30

Dr. King meets with Walter Reuther, President of the United Auto Workers Union, in Detroit, Michigan.


February 2 - 10

Dr. and Mrs. King spend a month in India studying Gandhi’s March techniques of nonviolence as guests of Prime Minister Jawaharal Nehru.




January 24

The King family moves to Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. King becomes co-pastor, with his father, of the Ebenezer Baptist Church.


February 1

The first lunch counter sit-in to desegregate eating facilities is held by students in Greensboro, North Carolina.


February 17

A warrant is issued for Dr. King’s arrest on charges that he had falsified his 1956 and 1958 Alabama state income tax returns.


April 15

The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) is founded to coordinate student protests at Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina on a temporary basis. (It is to become a permanent organization in October 1960.) Dr. King and James Lawson are the keynote speakers at the Shaw University founding.


May 28

Dr. King is acquitted of the tax evasion charge by an all white jury in Montgomery, Alabama.


June 10

Dr. King and A. Philip Randolph announce plans for picketing both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions.


June 24

Dr. King meets with John F. Kennedy (candidate for President of the United States) about racial matters.


October 19

Dr. King is arrested at an Atlanta sit-in and is jailed on a charge of violating the state’s trespassing law.


October 22 - 27

The trespassing charges are dropped. All jailed demonstrators are released except Dr. King, who is held on a charge of violating a probated sentence in a traffic arrest case. He is transferred to the Dekalb County Jail in Decatur, Georgia, and is then transferred to the Reidsville State Prison. He is released from the Reidsville State Prison on a $2,000.00 bond.




January 30

A third child, Dexter Scott, is born to Dr. and Mrs. King in Atlanta, Georgia.


May 4

The first group of Freedom Riders, with the intent of integrating interstate buses, leaves Washington, D.C. by Greyhound bus. The group, organized by the Congress for Racial Equality (CORE), leaves shortly after the Supreme Court has outlawed segregation in interstate transportation terminals. The bus is burned outside of Anniston, Alabama on May 14. A mob beats the Freedom Riders upon their arrival in Birmingham, Alabama. The Freedom Riders are arrested in Jackson, Mississippi, and spend forty to sixty days in Parchman Penitentiary.


December 15

Dr. King arrives in Albany, Georgia in response to a call from Dr. W. G. Anderson, the leader of the Albany Movement to desegregate public facilities, which began in January 1961.


December 16

Dr. King is arrested at an Albany, Georgia demonstration. He is charged with obstructing the sidewalk and parading without a permit.




February 27

Dr. King is tried and convicted for leading the December march in Albany, Georgia.


May 2

Dr. King is invited to join the protests in Birmingham, Alabama.


July 27

Dr. King is arrested at an Albany, Georgia city hall prayer vigil and jailed on charges of failure to obey a police officer, obstructing the sidewalk and disorderly conduct.


September 20

James Meredith makes his first attempt to enroll at the University of Mississippi. He is actually enrolled by Supreme Court order and is escorted onto the Oxford, Mississippi campus by U.S. Marshals on October 1, 1962.


October 16

Dr. King meets with President John F. Kennedy at the White House for a one-hour conference.




March 28

The King’s fourth child, Bernice Albertine, is born.



Sit-in demonstrations are held in Birmingham, Alabama to protest segregation of eating facilities. Dr. King is arrested during a demonstration.


April 16

Dr. King writes the “Letter From A Birmingham Jail” while imprisoned for demonstrating.


May 3 - 5

Eugene “Bull” Connor, Director of Public Safety of Birmingham, Alabama, orders the use of police dogs and fire hoses against the marching protesters, including young adults and children.


May 20

The Supreme Court of the United States rules Birmingham, Alabama’s segregation ordinances unconstitutional.



Dr. King’s book, Strength To Love, is published by Harper & Row.


June 11

Governor George C. Wallace tries to stop the court ordered integration of the University of Alabama by “standing in the schoolhouse door” and personally refusing entrance to black students and Justice Department officials. President John F. Kennedy then federalizes the Alabama National Guard, and Governor Wallace removes himself from blocking the entrance of the Negro students.


June 12

Medgar Evers, NAACP leader in Jackson, Mississippi, is assassinated at his home in the early morning darkness. His memorial service is held in Jackson on June 15. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery, Washington D.C. on June 19.


August 28

The March on Washington, the first large-scale integrated protest march, is held in Washington, D.C. Dr. King delivers his “I Have A Dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Afterwards he and other Civil Rights leaders meet with President John F. Kennedy in the White House.


September 2-10

Governor Wallace orders the Alabama state troopers to stop the court ordered integration of Alabama’s elementary and high schools until he is enjoined by court injunction from doing so. By September 10 specific schools are actually integrated by court order.


September 15

Four young girls are killed in a Birmingham, Alabama church bombing.


November 22

President Kennedy is assassinated in Dallas, Texas.





COFO (Council of Federated Organizations) initiates the Mississippi Summer Project, a voter registration drive organized and run by black and white students.


May - June

Dr. King joins other SCLC workers in a demonstration for the integration of public accommodations in St. Augustine, Florida. He is jailed.



Dr. King’s book, Why We Can’t Wait, is published by Harper & Row.


June 21

Three civil rights workers, James Chaney (black), Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner (both white), are reported missing after a short trip to Philadelphia, Mississippi.


July 2

Dr. King attends the signing of the Public Accommodations Bill, (Part of the Civil Rights Act of 1964) by President Lyndon B. Johnson in the White House.


July 18-23

Riots occur in Harlem, New York. One black man is killed.



Riots occur in New Jersey, Illinois and Pennsylvania.


August 4

The bodies of civil rights workers James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner are discovered by FBI Agents buried near the town of Philadelphia, Mississippi. Neshoba County Sheriff Rainey and his deputy, Cecil Price, are allegedly implicated in the murders.



Dr. King and Rev. Ralph Abernathy visit West Berlin at the invitation of Mayor Willy Brandt.


September 18

Dr. King has an audience with Pope Paul VI at the Vatican.


December 10

Dr. King receives the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway.




February 21

Malcolm X, leader of the Organization of Afro-American Unity and former Black Muslim leader, is murdered in New York City.


March 7

A group of marching demonstrators (from SNCC and SCLC) led by SCLC’s Hosea Williams are beaten when crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge on their planned march to Montgomery, Alabama, from Selma, Alabama. Their attackers were state highway patrolmen under the direction of Al Lingo and sheriff’s deputies under the leadership of Jim Clark. An order by Governor Wallace had prohibited the march.


March 9

Unitarian minister, James Reeb, is beaten by four white segregationists in Selma. He dies two days later.


March 15

President Johnson addresses the nation and Congress. He describes the voting rights bill he will submit to Congress in two days and uses the slogan of the Civil Rights Movement, “We Shall Overcome.”


March 16

Sheriff’s deputies and police on horseback in Montgomery, Alabama beat black and white demonstrators.


March 21 – 25

Over three thousand protest marchers leave Selma for a march to Montgomery, Alabama protected by federal troops. They are joined along the way by a total of twenty-five thousand marchers. Upon reaching the capitol, they hear an address by Dr. King.


March 25

Mrs. Viola Liuzzo, wife of a Detroit Teamsters Union business agent, is shot and killed while driving a carload of marchers back to Selma.



Dr. King visits Chicago, Illinois. SCLC joins with the Coordinating Council of Community Organizations (CCCO), led by Al Raby, in the Chicago Project.


August - December

In Alabama, SCLC spearheads voter registration campaigns in Green and Wilcox counties, and in the cities of Montgomery, Birmingham, and Eutaw, Alabama.


August 6

The 1965 Voting Rights Act is signed by President Johnson.


August 11-16

In Watts, the black ghetto of Los Angeles, riots leave a total of thirty-five dead. Twenty-eight are black.





Dr. King rents an apartment in the black ghetto of Chicago, Illinois.


February 23

Dr. King meets with Elijah Muhammad, leader of the Black Muslims, in Chicago.



Dr. King takes over a Chicago slum building and is sued by its owner.


March 25

The Supreme Court of the United States rules all poll tax unconstitutional.



Dr. King tours Alabama to help elect black candidates.

The Alabama Primary is held, and for the first time since Reconstruction, blacks vote in significant numbers.


May 16

An antiwar statement by Dr. King is read at a large Washington rally to protest the war in Vietnam. Dr. King agrees to serve as a co-chairman of Clergy and Laymen Concerned About Vietnam.



Stokely Carmichael and Willie Ricks (SNCC) use the slogan “Black Power” in public for the first time before reporters in Greenwood, Mississippi.


June 6

James Meredith is shot soon after beginning his 220-mile “March Against Fear” from Memphis, Tennessee to Jackson, Mississippi.


July 10

Dr. King launches a drive to make Chicago an “open city” regarding housing.


August 5

Dr. King is stoned in Chicago as he leads a march through crowds of angry whites in the Gage Park section of Chicago’s southwest side.



SCLC launches a project with the aim of integrating schools in Grenada, Mississippi.



SCLC initiates the Alabama Citizen Education Project in Wilcox County.





Dr. King writes his book Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community? while in Jamaica.


March 12

Alabama is ordered to desegregate all public schools.


March 25

Dr. King attacks the government’s Vietnam policy in a speech at the Chicago Coliseum.


April 4

Dr. King makes a statement about the war in Vietnam, “Beyond Vietnam,” at the Riverside Church in New York City.


May 10-11

One black student is killed in a riot on the campus of all Negro Jackson State College in Jackson, Mississippi.


July 6

The Justice Department reports that more than 50 percent of all eligible black voters are registered in Mississippi, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana and South Carolina.


July 12-17

Twenty-three people die and 725 are injured in riots in Newark, New Jersey.


July 23-30

Forty-three die and 324 are injured in the Detroit riots -- the worst of the century.


July 26

Black leaders, Martin Luther King, Jr., A. Philip Randolph, Roy Wilkins and Whitney Young appeal for an end to the riots, “which have proved ineffective and damaging to the civil rights cause and the entire nation.”


October 30

The Supreme Court upholds the contempt-of-court convictions of Dr. King and seven other black leaders who led the 1963 marches in Birmingham, Alabama. Dr. King and his aides enter jail to serve four-day sentences.


November 27

Dr. King announces the formation by SCLC of a Poor People’s Campaign, with the aim of representing the problems of poor blacks and whites.




February 12

Sanitation workers strike in Memphis, Tennessee.


March 28

Dr. King leads six thousand protesters on a march through downtown Memphis in support of striking sanitation workers. Disorder breaks out during which black youths loot stores. One sixteen-year-old is killed and fifty people are injured.


April 3

Dr. King’s last speech titled “I’ve Been to the Mountain Top” is delivered at Mason Temple in Memphis, Tennessee.


April 4

Dr. King is assassinated as he stands talking on the balcony of his second-floor room at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis. He dies in St. Joseph’s Hospital from a gunshot wound in the neck.


April 9

Dr. King is buried in Atlanta, Georgia.


June 5

Presidential candidate Senator Robert Kennedy is shot in Los Angeles and dies the next day.




January 18

Following passage of Public Law 98-144, President Ronald Reagan signs a proclamation declaring the third Monday in January of each year a public holiday in honor of the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.



December 8

A jury of twelve citizens of Memphis, Shelby County, TN concluded in Coretta Scott King, Martin Luther King, III, Bernice King, Dexter Scott King and Yolanda King Vs. Loyd Jowers and Other Unknown Conspirators that Loyd Jowers and governmental agencies including the City of Memphis, the State of Tennessee, and the federal government were party to the conspiracy to assassinate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Biografía en español de Martin Luther King

Desde muy joven se manifiesta como un luchador nato por la defensa de los derechos de la población negra más aún como un hombre y libre pensador más. Como presidente del Consejo Directivo de la Asociación de Cristianos del Sur se negó a emplear la violencia para conseguir estos objetivos, abogando por una resistencia pasiva. Esta actitud le hizo merecedor del Premio Nobel de la Paz en 1964. Un año después lograba que en los estados sureños se abolieran algunas leyes discriminatorias con la población negra. Pero esto no significó que se consiguiera la igualdad a pesar de su intensa lucha. Un tiro asestado por James Earl Ray acabó con su vida en 1968 en Memphis. King se graduó en la Morehouse College de la carrera de Sociología Bachiller de Artes B.A. en 1948 y del Crozer Theological Seminary con un B.D. en 1951. Recibió su Doctorado de Filosofía Ph.D. de Boston University en 1955.

(Coretta y Martin, a la derecha)

En 1954, King fue el pastor de la Iglesia Baptist de Dexter Avenue en Montgomery, Alabama. Fue un líder en el boicot al bus de Montgomery en 1955, el cual empezó cuando Rosa Parks rehusó a acatar la ley Jim Craw, que obligaba a las personas de color a ceder su asiento a personas blancas. La situación se volvió tan tensa que la casa de King fue atacada. El Dr. King fue arrestado durante esta campaña, la cual finalizó con la decisión de la Corte Suprema de los Estados Unidos de separar los autobuses entre estados.

Continuando con la campaña, King participó en la fundación de la Conferencia Sureña del Liderazgo Cristiano SCLC, por sus siglas en inglés en 1957, un grupo creado para organizar el activismo por los Derechos Civiles.

King continuó liderando la organización hasta su muerte, una posición criticada por el más radical y democrático Comite de Coordinación Estudiantil de la No violencia SNCC. El SCLC obtuvo esta afiliación principalmente de comunidades negras asociadas con iglesias Baptista.

King fue un defensor de las filosofías de la no violencia, desobediencia civil usada satisfactoriamente en India por Mohandas Gandhi, y el aplicó esta filosofía a las protestas organizadas por el SCLC. King aplicó correctamente esa forma de organización, en la protesta No violenta contra el sistema racista de la separación Sureña conocido como Jim Crow, Cuando violentamente fue atacado por las autoridades racistas lo cual fue ampliamente cubierto por los medios de comunicación, en ese momento crearía una ola en pro de los Derechos Civiles en la opinión publica, y esa fue la clave que traería los Derechos Civiles a la vanguardia de las políticas Americanas a principios de la década de los Años 1960.

King y el SCLC aplicó los principios de la protesta no violenta con éxitos asombrosos tomando el método de protesta, y los lugares en los cuales las manifestaciones fueron llevadas a cabo, para provocar la más severa e impresionante retaliación de las autoridades racistas. King y el SCLC fueron participes en el fracasado movimiento de protesta en Albany, Georgia Albany y en 1961-1962, donde divisiones dentro de la comunidad negra y la astucia, y una discreta respuesta del gobierno local derroto el movimiento, también sucedió lo mismo en las protestas de Birmingham, Alabama en el verano de 1963, y en la protesta en St. Augustine, Florida en 1964. el maestro King y el SCLC se unieron con el SNCC en la ciudad de Selma en diciembre de 1964; El SNCC había estado ya ahí trabajando en la registración votante por algunos meses.

King y el SCLC, en colaboración parcial con el SNCC, intentarón organizar una marcha la cual tenía planeado ir desde Selma hasta la capital del Estado Montgomery, iniciando así el 25 de marzo del año 1965. El primer intento de marcha, fue el 7 de marzo, fue abortado debido al asedio y la violencia policial en contra de los manifestantes. El día es conocido desde entonces como Domingo Sangriento o domingo de estado de gracia. El Domingo Sangriento o de estado de gracia fue el mayor punto de inflexión en el esfuerzo por ganar apoyo público para el movimiento de los Derechos Civiles y humanas más que todo gente de color con el fin de la más clara demostración del potencial dramático de las técnicas de la no violencia de Martin Luther King.

King, sin embargo, no estuvo presente; más tarde en una reunion en una cita con el Presidente Lyndon Johnson, este había intentado retrasar la marcha hasta el día 8 de marzo, pero la marcha fue realizada contra sus deseos y sin su presencia por los trabajadores por los derechos civiles locales. las imágenes de la brutalidad policiaca contra los protestantes fueron transmitidas ampliamente en toda la país, lo cual despertó un sentido nacional de indignación pública y la violación en si de los derechos humanos.

El segundo intento de marcha, fue el 9 de marzo, la cual finalizó cuando el King detuvo la marcha en el puente Pettus a las afueras de Selma, una acción que parece haber negociado con los líderes de la ciudad de antemano. Este inesperado hecho despertó la sorpresa y el enfado de muchos dentro del movimiento pasivista. La marcha finalmente fue llevada a cabo totalmente el 25 de marzo, con la aprobación y el apoyo del presidente Johnson, y fue durante esta marcha que Stokely expresó la frase [Poder Negro].

King participó en la organización de la marcha en Washintown en 1963. Este papel fue otro que causó controversia, así mismo como King fue una de las figuras claves que ayudó al Presidente John F. Kennedy, cambió el objetivo de la marcha. Concebido como una parte adicional de la protesta por los Derechos Civiles, este realizó una celebración por los logros conseguidos hasta ese momento por el movimiento y el gobierno en vez de una protesta, un hecho que enfadó a los activistas quienes eran más radicales que el maestro King.

King escribió y se manifestó frecuentemente, dibujado en su larga experiencia como predicador. Su Carta desde la Cárcel Birmingham, escrita en 1963, es una apasionada declaración de su cruzada por la justicia la vida y la muerte.

El 14 de octubre, 1964, King fue el ganador más joven del Premio Nobel de la Paz, el cual le fue entregado por liderar la resistencia no violenta al fin de los prejuicios raciales en los Estados Unidos. Iniciando en 1965 King empezó a expresar dudas sobre el papel de los Estados Unidos en la Guerra de Vietnam. En Febrero y de nuevo en abril de 1967, King se expresó fuertemente contra el papel de los Estados Unidos en la guerra. En 1968, King y el SCLC organizaron la "Campaña de la Gente Pobre" dirigida a los temas relacionados con la justicia económica. La campaña culminó en una marcha en Washingtown, D.C. demandando ayuda económica a las comunidades más pobres de los Estados Unidos.

King también tuvo un impacto en el entretenimiento popular. Conoció a Nichelle Nichols quien le mencionó que iba a dejar el reparto de la serie de televisión, Star Trek, dado que sentía que estaba siendo maltratada por el estudio. King la persuadió para que permaneciera en la serie por ser un excelente modelo para los afroamericanos en televisión.

La muerte de King

King era odiado por muchos blancos del Sur de los EE.UU., los llamados sureños discriminatorios o racistas. King fue asesinado antes de la marcha del 4 de abril, 1968, en el balcón del Lorraine Motel en Memphis, la ciudad natal del rey del Rock'N Roll, Elvis Presley.

Ese día se preparaba para liderar una marcha local en ayuda de la unión de trabajadores de la sanación de la negritud de Memphis. James Earl Ray "El Pillo" se declaró autor del asesinato y fue a la cárcel, pero después de algún tiempo reconsideró su confesión. En 1999 Coretta Scott King, la viuda de Luther King y también líder por los derechos civiles, junto con el resto de los allegados a la familia ganó un juicio civil por inculpación errónea contra Loyd Jowers, quien alegó haber recibido 100,000 por ordenar el asesinato del promotor de la paz y los derechos humanos.

En 1986, un día nacional fue establecido en los Estados Unidos en honor de Martin Luther King Jr. llamado Día Martin Luther King. Éste día es celebrado el tercer lunes de enero cada año, alrededor del día en que King cumplía años. El 18 de enero, 1993, por primera vez, el día Martin Luther King fue oficialmente establecido en los 50 estados de Estados Unidos, especialmente en donde nació y creció, y siempre será recordado.

"Tengo un sueño" - Discurso leído en las gradas del Lincoln Memorial durante la histórica Marcha sobre Washington - Washington, DC - 28 de agosto de 1963

(King el día del discurso, a la derecha)

Estoy orgulloso de reunirme con ustedes hoy, en la que será ante la historia la mayor manifestación por la libertad en la historia de nuestro país.

Hace cien años, un gran estadounidense, cuya simbólica sombra nos cobija hoy, firmó la Proclama de la emancipación. Este trascendental decreto significó como un gran rayo de luz y de esperanza para millones de esclavos negros, chamuscados en las llamas de una marchita injusticia. Llegó como un precioso amanecer al final de una larga noche de cautiverio. Pero, cien años después, el negro aún no es libre; cien años después, la vida del negro es aún tristemente lacerada por las esposas de la segregación y las cadenas de la discriminación; cien años después, el negro vive en una isla solitaria en medio de un inmenso océano de prosperidad material; cien años después, el negro todavía languidece en las esquinas de la sociedad estadounidense y se encuentra desterrado en su propia tierra.

Por eso, hoy hemos venido aquí a dramatizar una condición vergonzosa. En cierto sentido, hemos venido a la capital de nuestro país, a cobrar un cheque. Cuando los arquitectos de nuestra república escribieron las magníficas palabras de la Constitución y de la Declaración de Independencia, firmaron un pagaré del que todo estadounidense habría de ser heredero. Este documento era la promesa de que a todos los hombres, les serían garantizados los inalienables derechos a la vida, la libertad y la búsqueda de la felicidad.

Es obvio hoy en día, que Estados Unidos ha incumplido ese pagaré en lo que concierne a sus ciudadanos negros. En lugar de honrar esta sagrada obligación, Estados Unidos ha dado a los negros un cheque sin fondos; un cheque que ha sido devuelto con el sello de "fondos insuficientes". Pero nos rehusamos a creer que el Banco de la Justicia haya quebrado. Rehusamos creer que no haya suficientes fondos en las grandes bóvedas de la oportunidad de este país. Por eso hemos venido a cobrar este cheque; el cheque que nos colmará de las riquezas de la libertad y de la seguridad de justicia.

También hemos venido a este lugar sagrado, para recordar a Estados Unidos de América la urgencia impetuosa del ahora. Este no es el momento de tener el lujo de enfriarse o de tomar tranquilizantes de gradualismo. Ahora es el momento de hacer realidad las promesas de democracia. Ahora es el momento de salir del oscuro y desolado valle de la segregación hacia el camino soleado de la justicia racial. Ahora es el momento de hacer de la justicia una realidad para todos los hijos de Dios. Ahora es el momento de sacar a nuestro país de las arenas movedizas de la injusticia racial hacia la roca sólida de la hermandad.

Sería fatal para la nación pasar por alto la urgencia del momento y no darle la importancia a la decisión de los negros. Este verano, ardiente por el legítimo descontento de los negros, no pasará hasta que no haya un otoño vigorizante de libertad e igualdad.

1963 no es un fin, sino el principio. Y quienes tenían la esperanza de que los negros necesitaban desahogarse y ya se sentirá contentos, tendrán un rudo despertar si el país retorna a lo mismo de siempre. No habrá ni descanso ni tranquilidad en Estados Unidos hasta que a los negros se les garanticen sus derechos de ciudadanía. Los remolinos de la rebelión continuarán sacudiendo los cimientos de nuestra nación hasta que surja el esplendoroso día de la justicia.

Pero hay algo que debo decir a mi gente que aguarda en el cálido umbral que conduce al palacio de la justicia. Debemos evitar cometer actos injustos en el proceso de obtener el lugar que por derecho nos corresponde. No busquemos satisfacer nuestra sed de libertad bebiendo de la copa de la amargura y el odio. Debemos conducir para siempre nuestra lucha por el camino elevado de la dignidad y la disciplina. No debemos permitir que nuestra protesta creativa degenere en violencia física. Una y otra vez debemos elevarnos a las majestuosas alturas donde se encuentre la fuerza física con la fuerza del alma. La maravillosa nueva militancia que ha envuelto a la comunidad negra, no debe conducirnos a la desconfianza de toda la gente blanca, porque muchos de nuestros hermanos blancos, como lo evidencia su presencia aquí hoy, han llegado a comprender que su destino está unido al nuestro y su libertad está inextricablemente ligada a la nuestra. No podemos caminar solos. Y al hablar, debemos hacer la promesa de marchar siempre hacia adelante. No podemos volver atrás.

Hay quienes preguntan a los partidarios de los derechos civiles, "¿Cuándo quedarán satisfechos?"

Nunca podremos quedar satisfechos mientras nuestros cuerpos, fatigados de tanto viajar, no puedan alojarse en los moteles de las carreteras y en los hoteles de las ciudades. No podremos quedar satisfechos, mientras los negros sólo podamos trasladarnos de un gueto pequeño a un gueto más grande. Nunca podremos quedar satisfechos, mientras un negro de Misisipí no pueda votar y un negro de Nueva York considere que no hay por qué votar. No, no; no estamos satisfechos y no quedaremos satisfechos hasta que "la justicia ruede como el agua y la rectitud como una poderosa corriente".

Sé que algunos de ustedes han venido hasta aquí debido a grandes pruebas y tribulaciones. Algunos han llegado recién salidos de angostas celdas. Algunos de ustedes han llegado de sitios donde en su búsqueda de la libertad, han sido golpeados por las tormentas de la persecución y derribados por los vientos de la brutalidad policíaca. Ustedes son los veteranos del sufrimiento creativo. Continúen trabajando con la convicción de que el sufrimiento que no es merecido, es emancipador.

Regresen a Misisipí, regresen a Alabama, regresen a Georgia, regresen a Louisiana, regresen a los barrios bajos y a los guetos de nuestras ciudades del Norte, sabiendo que de alguna manera esta situación puede y será cambiada. No nos revolquemos en el valle de la desesperanza.

Hoy les digo a ustedes, amigos míos, que a pesar de las dificultades del momento, yo aún tengo un sueño. Es un sueño profundamente arraigado en el sueño "americano".

Sueño que un día esta nación se levantará y vivirá el verdadero significado de su credo: "Afirmamos que estas verdades son evidentes: que todos los hombres son creados iguales".

Sueño que un día, en las rojas colinas de Georgia, los hijos de los antiguos esclavos y los hijos de los antiguos dueños de esclavos, se puedan sentar juntos a la mesa de la hermandad.

Sueño que un día, incluso el estado de Misisipí, un estado que se sofoca con el calor de la injusticia y de la opresión, se convertirá en un oasis de libertad y justicia.

Sueño que mis cuatro hijos vivirán un día en un país en el cual no serán juzgados por el color de su piel, sino por los rasgos de su personalidad.

¡Hoy tengo un sueño!

Sueño que un día, el estado de Alabama cuyo gobernador escupe frases de interposición entre las razas y anulación de los negros, se convierta en un sitio donde los niños y niñas negras, puedan unir sus manos con las de los niños y niñas blancas y caminar unidos, como hermanos y hermanas.

¡Hoy tengo un sueño!

Sueño que algún día los valles serán cumbres, y las colinas y montañas serán llanos, los sitios más escarpados serán nivelados y los torcidos serán enderezados, y la gloria de Dios será revelada, y se unirá todo el género humano.

Esta es nuestra esperanza. Esta es la fe con la cual regreso al Sur. Con esta fe podremos esculpir de la montaña de la desesperanza una piedra de esperanza. Con esta fe podremos trasformar el sonido discordante de nuestra nación, en una hermosa sinfonía de fraternidad. Con esta fe podremos trabajar juntos, rezar juntos, luchar juntos, ir a la cárcel juntos, defender la libertad juntos, sabiendo que algún día seremos libres.

Ese será el día cuando todos los hijos de Dios podrán cantar el himno con un nuevo significado, "Mi país es tuyo. Dulce tierra de libertad, a tí te canto. Tierra de libertad donde mis antesecores murieron, tierra orgullo de los peregrinos, de cada costado de la montaña, que repique la libertad". Y si Estados Unidos ha de ser grande, esto tendrá que hacerse realidad.

Por eso, ¡que repique la libertad desde la cúspide de los montes prodigiosos de Nueva Hampshire! ¡Que repique la libertad desde las poderosas montañas de Nueva York! ¡Que repique la libertad desde las alturas de las Alleghenies de Pensilvania! ¡Que repique la libertad desde las Rocosas cubiertas de nieve en Colorado! ¡Que repique la libertad desde las sinuosas pendientes de California! Pero no sólo eso: ! ¡Que repique la libertad desde la Montaña de Piedra de Georgia! ¡Que repique la libertad desde la Montaña Lookout de Tennesse! ¡Que repique la libertad desde cada pequeña colina y montaña de Misisipí! "De cada costado de la montaña, que repique la libertad".

Cuando repique la libertad y la dejemos repicar en cada aldea y en cada caserío, en cada estado y en cada ciudad, podremos acelerar la llegada del día cuando todos los hijos de Dios, negros y blancos, judíos y cristianos, protestantes y católicos, puedan unir sus manos y cantar las palabras del viejo espiritual negro: "¡Libres al fin! ¡Libres al fin! Gracias a Dios omnipotente, ¡somos libres al fin!"

Original en inglés:

I Have a Dream by Martin Luther King, Jr. - Delivered on the steps at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. on August 28, 1963

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of captivity.

But one hundred years later, we must face the tragic fact that the Negro is still not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize an appalling condition.

In a sense we have come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check which has come back marked "insufficient funds." But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check -- a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to open the doors of opportunity to all of God's children. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment and to underestimate the determination of the Negro. This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.

We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny and their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.

And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.

Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.

I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
(Click here to hear this part of the speech by Dr. King)

I have a 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 the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slaveowners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four 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.

I have a dream that one day the state of Alabama, whose governor's lips are presently dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, will be transformed into a situation where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

This is our hope. This is the faith with which I return to the South. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring."

And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!

Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous peaks of California!

But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!

Let freedom ring from every hill and every molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"


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