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As the nation marks what would have been the 94th birthday of Martin Luther King Jr., his alma mater, Morehouse College, has announced a series of events.

The Annual Morehouse College Martin Luther King Commemoration educates people on his historical and contemporary impact, engages the global community on equity issues, and celebrates his legacy.

A few years back, an exhibit titled “The Meaning of Hope: The Best of the Morehouse Martin Luther King Jr. Collection” showcased letters, photos, speeches, cards, and other documents from the life of the iconic civil rights leader.

King graduated from Morehouse with a bachelor’s degree in sociology at the age of 19. Activities in honor of King Month are held on the Morehouse College campus until January 31.

As per tradition, the Alabama A&M University campus and surrounding communities come together to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day. with a parade, a battle of the bands, a basketball game, and a lecture. Some historically Black colleges and universities remain closed in observance of the holiday.

Watch MLK activities on STEM City USA.

Additionally, watch the archive video and read the transcript of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s iconic “I Have a Dream” speech.

I am happy to join you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation. Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, 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 their captivity.

But 100 years later, the Negro still is not free. There are those who are asking the devotees of Civil Rights: “When will you be satisfied?” We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their selfhood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating “For whites only.” 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 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, be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that 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.

I 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 down in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls 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 that I go back to the South with. 

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. This will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with 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 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 molehill of Mississippi.

From every mountainside, let freedom ring. And when this happens, 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.

(Video Transcript for Archival Research Catalog (ARC) Identifier 2602934 National Archives and Records Administration www.archives.gov)

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