On August 28, 1963, in front of an estimated 250,000 people in the Washington D.C. mall, Martin Luther King Jr. gave what would become the most famous speech in civil rights and American history.
In the biography King, historian David Levering Lewis writes:
The speech that Martin was about to give had been more carefully prepared than any he had made before, more worried over by paragraph, line, and comma than the “Three Dimensions of a Complete Life,” speech. During the preceding two days and even late into the last night, he had written and rewritten his text, borrowing passages from the Declaration of Independence, “My Country ‘Tis of Thee,” Handel, a spiritual, and a year-old article in the SCLC Newsletter. Ed Clayton, the SCLC public relations agent in the Atlanta office and frequently a polisher of Martin’s speeches, spent hours with his employer on Monday. That night, Martin telephoned to read Ed his latest revisions. Revision continued on the plane to Washington. He kept the refrain from the Detroit speech: “I have a dream.”
In the month of August 2013 the University of Illinois Press celebrates King’s story and the “I Have a Dream” speech by selling the eBook version of David Levering Lewis’s recently published Third Edition of King: A Biography for only $2.99 at participating retailers.