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
Celebration of MLK's 'Dream' Speech Under Way
Audience members wear ponchos in a light rain.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

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.
(Read more Martin Luther King Jr. stories.)

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