A Dream Come True for Black Americans As Martin Luther King Statue to Sit Between Lincoln and Jefferson on National Mall Is Unveiled
John McDonnell, Daily Mail (London), February 17, 2011
Not even in his wildest dreams could Martin Luther King Jr have imagined that he would one day find himself honoured alongside two of America’s best-known and best-loved presidents.
But Dr King is soon to stand shoulder to shoulder with Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson when a statue of the slain civil rights leader is unveiled in the National Mall in Washington, DC.
The memorial will be positioned in a direct line between those dedicated to legendary former leaders Jefferson and Lincoln in the open-air national park, where King delivered his famous ‘I Have a Dream’ speech in 1963.
Dedication of the memorial will take place on August 28 this year, the 48th anniversary of the historic speech.
Jefferson and Lincoln–both of who appear in the famous Mount Rushmore sculpture–are widely regarded of two of the greatest ever leaders of the U.S.
The former was a Founding Father of America and author of the Declaration of Independence, while the latter is renowned for leading America through possibly its greatest ever crisis–the Civil War–by restoring the Union and ending slavery.
Martin Luther King, Jr is seen by many as a heroic leader in the history of modern American liberalism.
His tireless and impassioned campaigning in the African American civil rights movement lead to the ending of racial segregation and racial discrimination.
In 1964 he became the youngest ever person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for his achievements using non-violent methods.
Twenty-five years in the making, King’s memorial will be the first memorial on the National Mall to honour a non-U.S. President.
It will contain excerpts of his sermons and public addresses to serve as living testaments of his vision of America.
Its centrepiece, the towering Stone of Hope, will feature a 30-foot likeness of Dr King.
A replica was yesterday unveiled at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit.
It was a donation from the General Motors Foundation, General Motors and Chevrolet–who received the replica from the Martin Luther King, Jr Memorial Foundation to thank them for being major contributors to the charity.