Scan here to watch excerpts from King’s Memphis speech:

At 8:30, the phone rang. It was Abernathy. “Martin,” he said, “you’ve got to come over. There’s not many people—less than two thousand—but they’re so warm, so enthusiastic for you…” “Well, you don’t have to talk that way tome. You know if you say come, I’ll come.” King dressed in a hurry and was driven through the rain swept streets to the temple. It was where he had spoken to a throng of 15,000 in March; this evening less than a seventh of that number awaited him. In soaked clothing, they sat up front. The relentless rain pounded on the building’s high tin roof, and the wind seized the shutters at the windows, causing them to slam noisily back and forth. When King entered, the crowd raised a mighty cheer. Great things were happening in Memphis, he said. Indeed, they were happening all around the world. If God were to give him the chance to live at any time in human history, “I would turn to the Almighty and say, ‘If you allow me to live just a few years in the second half of the twentieth century, I will be happy.’” In Africa and Asia, in New York and Atlanta, and now in Memphis, the oppressed had arisen and they cried, “We want to be free.” Nonviolence was the way for them. Today, he said, the issue was no

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