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The Top 10 Speeches of the 20th Century As determined by 137 public address scholars in a study performed by Texas A & M and University of Wisconsin-Madison. . 1. “I Have a Dream” Martin Luther King, Jr. August 28, 1963 Washington, DC.
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The Top 10 Speeches of the 20th CenturyAs determined by 137 public address scholars in a study performed by Texas A & M and University of Wisconsin-Madison.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today.
And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you--ask what you can do for your country.
My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.
We face the arduous days that lie before us in the warm courage of national unity; with the clear consciousness of seeking old and precious moral values; with the clean satisfaction that comes from the stern performance of duty by old and young alike. We aim at the assurance of a rounded and permanent national life.
Yesterday, December 7, 1941—a date which will live in infamy—the United States of American was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.
That we will cease to be one nation and become instead a collection of interest groups: city against suburb, region against region, individual against individual. Each seeking to satisfy private wants.
If that happens, who then will speak for America?
Who then will speak for the common good?
I have a theory, too, that the best and only answer to a smear or to an honest misunderstanding of the facts is to tell the truth. And that's why I'm here tonight. I want to tell you my side of the case.
“No, if you never see me another time in your life, if I die in the morning, I'll die saying one thing: the ballot or the bullet, the ballot or the bullet.”
And I want to say something to the school children of America who were watching the live coverage of the shuttle's takeoff. I know it is hard to understand, but sometimes painful things like this happen. It's all part of the process of exploration and discovery. It's all part of taking a chance and expanding man's horizons. The future doesn't belong to the fainthearted; it belongs to the brave. The Challenger crew was pulling us into the future, and we'll continue to follow them.
For while this year it may be a Catholic against whom the finger of suspicion is pointed, in other years it has been -- and may someday be again -- a Jew, or a Quaker, or a Unitarian, or a Baptist. It was Virginia's harassment of Baptist preachers, for example, that led to Jefferson's statute of religious freedom. Today, I may be the victim, but tomorrow it may be you -- until the whole fabric of our harmonious society is ripped apart at a time of great national peril.
I want to be the President who educated young children to the wonders of their world.
I want to be the President who helped to feed the hungry and to prepare them to be taxpayers instead of taxeaters.
I want to be the President who helped the poor to find their own way and who protected the right of every citizen to vote in every election.
I want to be the President who helped to end hatred among his fellow men and who promoted love among the people of all races and all regions and all parties.
I want to be the President who helped to end war among the brothers of this earth.