Recording of MLK's 1st 'I Have a Dream' speech discovered

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tags: Martin Luther King




Before the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech to hundreds of thousands of people gathered in Washington in 1963, he fine-tuned his civil rights message before a much smaller audience in North Carolina.

Reporters had covered King's 55-minute speech at a high school gymnasium in Rocky Mount on Nov. 27, 1962, but a recording wasn't known to exist until English professor Jason Miller found an aging reel-to-reel tape in a town library. Miller played it in public for the first time Tuesday at North Carolina State University.

"It is part civil rights address. It is part mass meeting. And it has the spirit of a sermon," Miller said. "And I never before heard Dr. King combine all those genres into one particular moment."




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