CONCORD — On August 28, 1963 at 3 p.m. Dr. Martin Luther King first uttered one of the most powerful and memorable phrases in American history, "I have a dream." In the spirit of what Dr. King called "the fierce urgency of now," the King Center for Nonviolent Social Change invites people across the country to celebrate the Civil Rights leader's vision by ringing bells at 3 p.m. on August 28, the 50th anniversary of his speech.
In collaboration with the King Center, the New Hampshire Humanities Council has solicited and collected information on events around the state and is publicizing a list of planned observances in the Granite State.
Dr. King's "I Have a Dream Speech" marked a crucial turning point in the American Civil Rights movement and asserted his absolute commitment to a nonviolent approach to confronting America's entrenched system of racial bias. In it, he urged Americans to let freedom ring "....from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire." His words resound through the years, celebrating the progress America has made in the quest for racial justice, and recalling us to the challenges that still confront us as a nation.
Events in New Hampshire include showings of Dr. King's speech, discussions of the impact of Dr. King's legacy, musical performances, and the ringing of bells at 3 p.m. to mark the moment Dr. King gave his immortal speech, including a bell ringing ceremony on the summit of Mount Washington. Several communities plan live readings of the speech by a wide array of New Hampshire citizens from Gov. Maggie Hassan to author Ernest Hebert to new residents who have come to New Hampshire as refugees. For more information visit the New Hampshire Humanities Council's website.
Local events include:
LACONIA: Temple B'nai Israel will host a ceremony at 3 p.m. at 210 Court St. Many Jews attended the March on Washington and heard Dr. Martin Luther King's speech 50 years ago and walked with him to support the civil rights movement. Mark Small will blow his shofar and invites anyone else who has a shofar and wishes to take part to join in.