Today is Martin Luther King Day in the United States. Martin Luther King, Jr. was born January 15, 1929. He was a Baptist minister and a prominent civil rights advocate. King was the youngest person to receive a Nobel Peace Prize when it awarded to him in 1964. He was assassinated April 4, 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee.
One of his most famous speeches was delivered at the Lincoln Memorial August 28, 1963. Often referred to as the “I have a dream” speech, it is one of the most significant and powerful speeches of the 20th century. A portion of the speech follows. Links to the full speech and an audio file are at the end of this post.
When I was growing up, we spent many a Thanksgiving and Christmas at grandpa’s house. Thanksgiving was a much anticipated and happy time. We would often leave home on Wednesday afternoon after dad got home from work. It was a long 7 hour drive to Grandpa’s house in those pre-interstate highway days, so it would be really late by the time we arrived.
Gettsyburg Address, first draft, page 1, handwritten by Abraham Lincoln. Click to see a larger version.
There are five verified copies of the Gettysburg Address that were handwritten by Abraham Lincoln, all with somewhat different wording. Two of them were written before he gave the Gettysburg Address and three of them after the address.
Today is the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address. After watching a long list of YouTube videos, I picked this one as my favorite reading of the address.
It is “recited by some of the best voiceover talent in the country: David McCullough, Ken Burns, Sam Waterston, Matthew Broderick, Stephen Lang and Medal of Honor recipient Paul W. Bucha. Musical score provided by Oscar-winning composer John Williams. Video was created in opposition to a proposed casino 1/2 mile from the Gettysburg National Military Park.” The voice over talent and other participants volunteered their services.
During the government shutdown of our National Parks, some park service employees have come under fire in the media during circumstances which are not of their own making. While there may be a few grumpy people in the NPS (and anyone in any profession can say some some things in stressful moments they wish they could retract), in 30 plus years of taking photos in our National Parks I have had many excellent encounters with the hard working members of the NPS.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
From the Declaration of Independence, signed July 4, 1776. Written by Thomas Jefferson (1762-1826). 3rd US President (1801-09).
More images (including Thomas Jefferson’s original draft and George Washington’s personal copy) and the complete text follows the break.
It is the time of year that an email hoax gets passed around (see the whole email toward the end of this post) with a commentary attributed to Ben Stein. The last half of the commentary wasn’t written by Ben Stein. I confirmed this by writing directly to Mr. Stein back in June 2006 and he was kind enough to answer my email.