Quote on MLK Memorial Will Be Fixed

Park Service has 30 days to get it right

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 13, 2012 6:25 PM CST

(Newser) – A truncated quote etched onto the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial in DC that critics say makes King sound like an "arrogant twit" (Maya Angelou's words) will be fixed, the Washington Post reports. Interior chief Ken Salazar tells the Post's Rachel Manteuffel (who raised the issue five months ago in a column) that he has given the National Park Service 30 days to consult with all involved and find an alternative.

The quote on the memorial says: "I was a drum major for justice, peace and righteousness." What King actually said was: "Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice. Say that I was a drum major for peace. I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of the other shallow things will not matter.” Manteuffel parses the difference: "To King, being a self-aggrandizing drum major was not a good thing; if you wanted to call him that, he said, at least say it was in the service of good causes."

An inscription on the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial isn't quite right.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial on the National Mall in Washington.   (Getty Images)
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