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Dr. Martin Luther King Many events this year will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous speech. (AP Photos)

He Had a Dream

Fifty years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave a speech that helped change the world

In 1963, there were laws in the U.S. that kept African-Americans from voting or going to the same schools as white people. On August 28, 1963, 250,000 people of all races gathered in Washington, D.C., to protest these unfair laws.

They were about to witness one of the greatest moments in American history.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stood up in front of the crowd. The civil rights leader used words, not weapons, to fight for fairness. He looked out at the people and began his “I Have a Dream” speech.

Dr. King said that he dreamed his children would “one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” He dreamed that “the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together.”

The speech inspired the nation. It also convinced lawmakers to make changes. A year after the speech, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 became law.

People still remember Dr. King’s speech today. A lot has changed. Segregation in public schools is illegal. People of every race can vote. The dream is closer than ever.

This article originally appeared in the January 14, 2013 issue of Action. For more from Action, click here.

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    The Little Drummer Boy

    The Little Drummer Boy

    by Ezra Jack Keats and Ezra Jack Keats

    For many who grew up with "The Little Drummer Boy," this classic story of the encounter between a poor boy and the baby Jesus embodies the true spirit of Christmas. Now, to enchant a new generation, Kristina Rodanas has illustrated the familiar song. Her rich paintings cast an exotic, magical glow over the beloved words, and her unique vision of the scene delicately captures the boy's feelings of uncertainty, tenderness, and joy.

    On the dusty outskirts of Bethlehem, beneath a brightly shining star, a child's hands beat out a timeless message: give from the heart, and always march to the rhythm of your own drum.

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    Belle Teal

    Belle Teal

    Newbery Honor author Ann M. Martin's gripping, widely acclaimed novel of a girl confronting the perils of friendship and the conflicts of community.

    Belle Teal's life isn't easy, but she gets by. She lives with her mother and grandmother far out in the country. They don't have much money, but Belle Teal feels rich with their love. As school begins, Belle Teal faces unexpected challenges. Her best friends are up against some big problems. And there are two new students in Belle Teal's class: a shy boy caught in the town's furor over desegregation, and a snob who has problems of her own. As her world falls apart, Belle Teal discovers the importance of sticking together.

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