Summary of Obama’s 2013 50th Anniversary Speech

Here is the complete summary of Obama’s speech marking the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington in 37 sentences.


In 1963, 200 years after the Constitution was written and 100 years after emancipation declared, that promise, those truths remained unmet.

People by the thousands from every corner of our country marched.

Dr. King’s oratory gave hope to millions.

In the face of hatred, marchers fought for freedom via discipline and persistence.

As a result, Civil Rights and Voting Rights laws were passed.

But the work of this nation is not complete.

Marchers were seeking jobs as well as justice.

For what does it profit a man, Dr. King would ask, to sit at an integrated lunch counter if he can’t afford the meal?

King’s dream is every American’s dream.

But unemployment remains twice as high for blacks and Latinos.

The gap of wealth between races has grown.

There is a shadow of poverty hanging over our youth.

The measure of progress is whether all hard-working people, regardless of race, can join the ranks of the middle-class.

This remains our great unfinished business.

Technology and global competition have not helped.

Our policies have suffered due entrenched interests that failed to give a fair deal.

We were told that greed was good and compassion ineffective.

That inequality was the price of a growing economy.

Elected officials blamed the government for economic woes.

Legitimate grievances evolved to criminal behavior.

Thus progress stalled, hope was diverted and we remained divided.

We now have a choice between the status quo or making change.

We are masters of our fate.

We need to work together and regain empathy.

Courage comes from our interracial experiences.

We need to turn towards one another and find we do not walk alone.

We can stand together for good jobs, good health care and good education.

The road will be long and we will stumble. That’s how a movement happens.

The marchers back then were young and fearless.

They dared to dream different and to imagine something better.

The urgency remains.  The flame remains.

Tireless teachers, successful businessmen, mothers, fathers, and veterans are marching.

Change does not come from Washington but to Washington.

When you take on the mantle of citizenship, you are marching.

People who love their country can change it.

When millions of Americans join together in brotherhood, we live up to the true meaning of our creed as one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

A Spring In My Step

In Memory of Martin Luther King Jr

an excerpt from “The Assassination of Political Robocalls

Reverend Jessie Lewis

Washington DC April 20, 2012

I am happy to be here today because I am here to tell you I have a spring in my step. Yes there is a spring in my step. Not an ordinary spring in my step. No. This is not like the spring in a young man’s step when he hits his first home run. Nor is it like the spring in the step of a young woman when she receives her college diploma.

I am talking about the spring in my step for freedom. Yes, freedom.

When a pebble is tossed into a pond, the ripples reverberate to every corner of the pond. Just like the ripples in the pond, people everywhere in every corner of the world have heard the news of the Arab Spring. People are raising their voices for freedom. And they are being heard.

That news has put a spring in my step.

The freedom I am talking about is democracy; a democracy where government is for the people and by the people. That is what America’s founders envisioned for us. Not a government for a dictator or for the corporations. Thomas Jefferson warned “I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies.” The courts have ruled that money is the same as free speech. But many people disagree.

Ever since the Arab Spring, I and others have had a spring in our step.

The bible teaches us “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?” Lately too few people have gained a majority of the world’s wealth. These same people have been only thinking of themselves. They have lost their souls. Meanwhile the poor have gotten poorer.

But I have a spring in my step.

People have overthrown treacherous dictators in faraway lands. Occupy Wall Street protestors have raised their voices against greed and excess money for campaigns right here in our country. People are marching in their state capitols demanding a constitutional convention.

That is why I have a spring in my step.

Let there be a spring in the step of those from Seattle to Miami.

Let there be a spring in the step of those from Bismark, North Dakota to Brownsville, Texas.

And especially let there be a spring in the step of those in state capitols and Washington DC.

I have a spring in my step. I hope you do too.


Having been involved with Toastmaster International for over four years, my speaking abilities have constantly improved.  My speeches have included humorous ones as well as inspirational ones and have been presented in many contests.  I have sponsored a new club and mentored several new members.  This is an opportunity to pass along what was learned and showcase speeches by me as well as others.