Friday, January 14, 2022

Original MLK Speech from 1963 March on Washington Returning to African American Museum

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture will celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday by displaying the slain civil rights leader’s original speech from the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

The speech will be on display in the “Defending Freedom, Defining Freedom” gallery from Thursday to Feb. 27.

The case with the speech inside, initially on display at the museum in fall 2021, will be reinstalled in time for visitors to see the document before the holiday.

In addition, the museum will be open to the public for normal operating hours (10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.), with advanced and same-day free timed entry passes available online. No walk-ups will be allowed.

The speech was originally possessed by basketball coach George Raveling, who got it while volunteering at the 1963 march. Recently, Villanova University gained stewardship and has entered into a long-term loan agreement with the museum to display it.

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