Fact #7 - Answer

It’s hard to believe it, but it’s the truth – Martin Luther King Jr. Was given an average grade for his public speaking skills.

Everyone knows about the speech he delivered on 28th August 1963 from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in front of 250,000 people. Those four words – “I have a dream” – are probably the most quoted of the 21st century and have inspired countless others to dare to dream big. However, over a decade before his legendary speech, Martin attended Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania and here are his grades for his first too terms:

Public Speaking Term One – C+

Public Speaking Term Two – C

So, according to his grades, he slipped backwards a smidge. But that didn’t stop him from trying hard in his studies to achieve his best and, in the inspirational style we all expect from the legend, by the end of his time at the seminary he achieved an A in Public Speaking and graduated top of his class. Then he went on to leader the Civil Rights Movement in America and changed the course of history with his actions and his words.

 So, the next time you don’t get the grades you were hoping for, just remember that happened to Martin Luther King Jr too, and do your best to turn it around.

More Martin Luther King Jr. Facts:

  • The original draft of the speech didn’t include those famous words. He had used them before in other less prominent speeches, so his adviser thought he should say something new. But on the day a gospel singer said to him, “tell them about the dream, Martin.” So, he abandoned his prepared speech, added those words back in, and improvised the rest.
  • He was the youngest winner of the Noble Peace Prize, having received it at 35, but in 2014 another human right activist called Malala Yousafzai won the prize at 17.
  • After the speech, Martin became a national figure, and the success prompted the FBI to tap his phone lines in fear that he might have communist ties.

Want to read more about Martin Luther King Jr:

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