Washington Post: 'We Blew It' on MLK's Dream Speech
An editor laments scant coverage 50 years ago
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 24, 2013 11:26 AM CDT
This Aug. 28, 1963, photo shows Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. acknowledging the crowd at the Lincoln Memorial for his "I Have a Dream" speech.   (AP Photo/File)

(Newser) – Martin Luther King Jr. gave one of the most famous speeches in the nation's history 50 years ago, but you'd never have known it by picking up the Washington Post the next day. In all its coverage of the civil rights march of Aug. 28, 1963, the words "I have a dream" appeared just once, in the fifth paragraph of a story on page A15, writes associate editor Robert G. Kaiser in the Post today. Even more astonishing, the paper printed excerpts from the speeches that day, but the few paragraphs picked for the King excerpt did not include the phrase, either.

Kaiser was a summer intern for the newspaper back then, and he recounts how the city editor and main reporter covering the event simply failed to recognize the significance of King's speech. "I’ve never seen anyone call us on this bit of journalistic malpractice," writes Kaiser. "Perhaps this anniversary provides a good moment to cop a plea. We blew it." Click for his full column. (Or read about why it remains difficult to this day to hear the speech in its entirety.)

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Showing 3 of 21 comments
Ultraworld
Aug 25, 2013 12:01 PM CDT
These people are perverting what MLK stood for in a similar fashion that radical Islamists pervert the Koran.
Infidel123
Aug 25, 2013 10:04 AM CDT
I believe MLK was a good man, whose intensions were honorable. I also believe he would be disgusted with the way Jesse and his extortionistshave perpetuated racism for their own greed.
right2dave
Aug 25, 2013 6:55 AM CDT
THe King family has made fortune out of it, Along with very nice careers for Jesse and AL,