18 August 2015

First Recording Of Martin Luther King's 'I Have A Dream' in Rocky Mount In 1962

This is an image of the article page.  The actual article (includes the snippet) link is in the body of the post.

Sometimes history is closer than you think.

I’ve written before that I periodically travel by train.  What I hadn’t mentioned is that I do so from the wonderful train station in Rocky Mount (NC).

In all the times I have traveled to, from, and through Rocky Mount, I hadn’t realized that in 1962 something momentous took place there ...

“I have a dream tonight. It is a dream rooted deeply in the American dream.”

Eight months before Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech in Washington D.C., he spoke these words to a crowd of 1,800 people in a Rocky Mount gymnasium on November 27, 1962.

For the first time, you can hear a clip from that 1962 talk via the WUNC (North Carolina Public Radio) web site, Listen To The First Recording Of MLK's 'I Have A Dream' In Rocky Mount In 1962 [AUDIO]

... Miller said the full audio of the speech in Rocky Mount will be available through a website being developed called kingsfirstdream.com. The speech will be a part of a documentary on King's and Hughes's relationship called "Origins of the Dream" by Miller and documentary filmmaker Rebecca Cerese ...

The clip mesmerized me ...

Besides reminding me of the struggle for all to share in the American dream, it also reminded me that many events of historical significance took place in small cities, towns and communities.  Those who attended this 1962 talk in Rocky Mount are now a part of history.  Did your ancestors similarly participate in events where history (either big or small) took place?

Many of our ancestors were involved in their community in support of social welfare issues by listening to speakers, attending rallies, participating in or supporting strikes, attending functions (e.g. temperance league picnics), and so much more!

Make sure as you research your ancestors that you look beyond life events, jobs, and church to see if they were a voice in their community or very involved in supporting voices for change within their community.

Here are some other articles about this discovery that might interest you:

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