Obama's speech marks 45th 'I Have a Dream' anniversary

Chicago area residents clear schedules to watch
August 28, 2008 3:04:39 PM PDT
Forty-five years ago Thursday, a historical moment for the United States occurred when the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial.Thursday night's speech by Sen. Barack Obama was expected be a moment many Americans thought they would never see. Obama was 2 years old when Dr. King gave his speech. Thursday, both young and old said they planned to tune in to Obama's speech and watch another historic moment.

Obama's speech comes at the height of the convention and will make Thursday night, for many, 'appointment television.'

"I have nothing else to do but sit and watch Obama," said Charlestine Hick, who said she will hang on every word of Obama's speech.

The 86-year old says Obama's speech is a historic moment she didn't think would happen in her lifetime. But people of all ages will witness Obama accept the Democratic presidential nomination, many clearing their schedules Thursday just to watch the speech.

"I'm not going out. I'm staying in with my mom and dad, and we're going to watch it tonight on television," said Isis Jones.

"I had plans for tonight, but I'm not going anywhere. I want to hear from him," Dora Fortunado said.

Others say they will have viewing parties.

"I'm really interested in hearing Barack speak because I feel the convention has not been as exciting, and his speech is going to be the main event, " said Anna Steinhelper.

"This is bringing us all together once and for all. We're all coming together now," Luci Matlock said.

Chicago area historian Timuel Black was in Washington DC 45 years ago when King gave his "I Have a Dream" speech at the height of the civil rights movement. Black said the emotion was overwhelming, and the 89-year-old said he expected to be emotional again Thursday night while witnessing King's words come true.

"Forty-five years later, Barack Obama epitomizes what Dr. King was dreaming of; that one can move from the bottom of the ladder to the top of the ladder," Black said.

When asked what they wanted to hear in Obama's speech, some people said they wanted to hear his policy on the economy and the Iraq war.

Others said they just want to hear the senator talk from the heart and emphasize his message of change.


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