Gannett’s Ashley Hupfl reports:
A long-lost audio recording of a 1962 speech by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. has been unearthed by the New York State Museum, state officials announced Monday.
“This is a remarkable treasure,” state Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch said in a statement. “More than 50 years later, Dr. King’s voice has come back to life.”
The speech was recorded on Sept. 12, 1962 at the Park-Sheraton Hotel in New York City, where Gov. Nelson Rockefeller had convened his state Civil War Centennial Commission. It was delivered at a dinner celebrating the 100-year anniversary of the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. (A photo of King delivering the speech is at left, via the New York State Archives.)
The online exhibit includes a manuscript of the speech and the original event program. The audio is the only known recording of the 1962 address, which took place one year before his famous “I Have a Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington.
“We’ve exhibited the typewritten text of the speech before, but this audio recording allows us to experience the real power and courage of Dr. King’s speech as he delivered it back in 1962,” state Education Commissioner John King said in a statement. The museum is overseen by the state Education Department.
A manuscript of the speech will be displayed at the state Museum starting in February.
Documents related to the speech can be found at www.nysm.nysed.gov/mlk. You can listen to the audio below: