Obama: King's Words 'Belong to the Ages'

Thousands honor MLK at Lincoln Memorial

By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 28, 2013 12:14 PM CDT | Updated Aug 28, 2013 3:44 PM CDT

(Newser) – Some excerpts from today's speeches at the Lincoln Memorial honoring the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech, from CNN, the AP, and NBC News.

  • President Obama: "His words belong to the ages, possessing a power and prophecy unmatched in our time. We remember how he gave mighty voice to the quiet hopes of millions." Obama added: "Because they kept marching, America changed. Because they marched, the civil rights law was passed. Because they marched, a voting rights law was signed. Because they marched, city councils changed and state legislatures changed and Congress changed and, yes, eventually, the White House changed."
  • Bill Clinton: "It is time to stop complaining and put our shoulders against the stubborn gates holding the American people back."
  • Jimmy Carter: "I believe we all know how Dr. King would have reacted to the new ID requirements to exclude certain voters, especially African-Americans. I think we all know how Dr. King would have reacted to the Supreme Court striking down a crucial part of the Voting Rights Act just recently passed overwhelmingly by Congress."
  • Rep. John Lewis: "We have come a great distance ... but there are still invisible signs, barriers in the hearts of humankind that form a gulf between us."

  • Oprah Winfrey: "We, too, can be courageous by continuing to walk in the footsteps of the path that he forged."
  • Also today, about 300 churches and schools around the world were ringing their bells at 3pm local time to commemorate the anniversary.
  • A Gallup poll finds that 60% of African Americans think a white person is more likely to get a job over a black person even if they're equally qualified. Only 39% say blacks and whites have an equal chance in such cases.

Audience members wear ponchos in a light rain.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
President Obama speaks at the Let Freedom Ring ceremony at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington Wednesday.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga. speaks at today's King anniversary.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Oprah Winfrey speaks at today's ceremony in front of the Lincoln Memorial.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Audience members sing during today's celebration at the Lincoln Memorial of the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's famous speech.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
People mark the anniversary in London's Trafalgar Square.   (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. waves to the crowd at the Lincoln Memorial on Aug. 28, 1963.   (AP Photo/File)
Peter Yarrow, left, and Paul Stookey, right, of the folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary, perform. They're with Trayvon Martin's parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin,   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
Allie Santiago of Houston, left, Brenda Reid of the Bronx, second from left, Caril Howard of North Chesterville, Va., and Jo Ann White Thompson of Goldsboro, N.C., listen to a musical performance.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Melanie Campbell, president and CEO of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, speaks at the Lincoln Memorial.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Former President Bill Clinton speaks at today's ceremony.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton arrive.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Actor Forest Whitaker speaks at the Let Freedom Ring ceremony at the Lincoln Memorial.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
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