Bell delivers "I Have a Dream" speech - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Bell delivers "I Have a Dream" speech

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BIRMINGHAM - AL -

Richard Woodruff remembers August 28, 1963. More importantly, this 99-year-old man remembers what it stood for.

"Equality," he said.

He's referring to Dr. Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech. Friday, he and other residents at St. Martin's in the Pines heard that speech once again, as read by Birmingham Mayor William Bell.

"Blacks were as good as whites," Woodruff said. "They had the same brain, the same physical being."

"I was so moved by that speech," Frances Nelson said.

Nelson, who is 91-years-old, remembers King delivering his speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

"When [King] spoke of his dream...as he climbed up to the climax of that...chills went all up and down my arm and my neck and into my heart," she said. "And I said 'God, help it come true'."

The day, the speech and the era were particularly useful for Nelson. She was a teacher who taught history among other things. But the speech was more than that. For her, it was an end to social injustice.

"I was very sensitive to other people who were mistreated," Nelson said.

Almost 50-years-later she admits it wasn't the end she'd hoped for, but it certainly was a step in the right direction.

"[It's] been a long struggle since then and we're still struggling," she said. "But I hope it will be possible to reach the goals of that speech. And I am encouraged."

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