In July 1962—just days after he was released from jail in Albany, Georgia—Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. became the first African-American to deliver an address to the National Press Club in Washington, DC. An audio recording was filed away and later transferred to the Library of Congress. Last year, in 2016, that the speech was unearthed and heard again at the National Press Club— in the same room where Dr. King had delivered the address nearly 54 years before.
Hear the speech:
Audio of the 1962 event introduction and Q&A with Dr. King, plus a full transcript, are available on press.org.
Clarence Jones, who helped Dr. King write the speech, talked to Joe Madison about his “cynical attitude” in 1962 about the address.
John Franklin described the climate at the time in Washington, DC.