50 Years Since King’s “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” Speech in Memphis, Tennessee
New York City will play an audio recording of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s final speech before his death at a ceremony at Washington Square Park Tuesday evening, April 3rd, marking the 50th anniversary. The speech took place one day before King was assassinated. “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” will be played throughout the park during the event. Mayor Bill de Blasio announced it on Twitter asking New Yorkers to “remember [King’s] legacy and recommit to his vision of a better world.” Mayor De Blasio will attend with First Lady Chirlane McCray. The ceremony begins at 7:30 p.m.
Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his historic and last speech on April 3, 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee.
“The speech primarily concerns the Memphis Sanitation Strike. King calls for unity, economic actions, boycotts, and nonviolent protest, while challenging the United States to live up to its ideals. At the end of the speech, he discusses the possibility of an untimely death.” – Wikipedia
“Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now,” King said in the speech. “I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land!”
The next day, King was assassinated by James Earl Ray as he stood on the balcony of the Lorraine Hotel in Memphis.
Mayor Bill de Blasio and First Lady Chirlane McCray will light the arch in Washington Square Park on Tuesday before playing the full audio recording of the speech. The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m.
Full text of the speech via ABC News here.
Follow up story: Images of Martin Luther King Jr. Projected on Washington Square Arch for 50th Anniversary of His Death April 3, 2018