Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous "I Have a Dream" speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. on Aug. 28, 1963. His appearance and speech were part of the March on Washington.
Over 250,000 people turned out to listen to King speak about race relations in America from the Emancipation Proclamation through present day. He was interrupted in the middle of his speech by a supporter, Mahalia Jackson, who urged him to speak of the dream, a previous topic of conversation between the two. At this, King cast his prepared speech to the side and embarked on the improvised speech, which remains famous today.
King mixed into this speech both prose and poetry, and he spoke of the larger historical context of race relations rather than focusing on specific government bills and laws. The text of his speech was inspired by the writings of Shakespeare, the lyrics of Woody Guthrie, the Declaration of Independence and the Bible.