Today is, as you’re probably aware, the national holiday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King. Over the course of the day you may see clips of Dr. King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech, as it’s the iconic moment most people associate him with. But in 1961, a 31-year-old Dr. King sat down for an interview on NBC’s Meet the Press, and watching it today is fascinating in a number of ways.
It’s fascinating because it gives a glimpse into the who Martin Luther King was much more than a clip of a speech, though a powerful one, does. It’s fascinating in it’s ability to remind us how truly ass-backwards this country was a mere 50 years ago. It’s fascinating to see how Meet the Press was conducted all those years ago and how it now makes sense to have called the show, Meet the Press. I could go on and on, but if you have the time today, watch this interview. Part one is embedded above. Part two is here, part three is here, part four is here, and part five is here. Parts four and five include Roy WIlkins, the former head of the NAACP, and were held just days before the March on Washington.