John F. Kennedy
delivered 20 January 1961
[AUTHENTICITY CERTIFIED: Text version below transcribed directly from audio.]
[Taking the oath of Office]
Vice President Johnson, Mr. Speaker, Mr. Chief Justice, President Eisenhower, Vice President Nixon, President Truman, reverend clergy, fellow citizens:
We observe today not a victory of party, but a celebration of freedom — symbolizing an end, as well as a beginning — signifying renewal, as well as change. For I have sworn before you and Almighty God the same solemn oath our forebears prescribed nearly a century and three-quarters ago. [ more ]
Martin Luther King, Jr.
“I Have a Dream”
delivered 28 August 1963, at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C.
[Text version below transcribed directly from audio.]
I am happy to join with 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. [ more ]