'To the Mountaintop...'

On this day in 1968, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his famous mountaintop speech in Memphis:

We've got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn't really matter with me now. Because I've been to the mountaintop. I don't mind. Like anybody, I would like to livea long life; longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And 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. So I'm happy, tonight. I'm not worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.

The next day, April 4, 1968, he was assassinated.

David Gibson is the director of Fordham’s Center on Religion & Culture.

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