Washington (AFP) - Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated 50 years ago -- on April 4, 1968 -- in Memphis, Tennessee.
Here are some of the most memorable quotes of the US civil rights leader known for his soaring rhetoric:
- On racism -
"I have a dream that my four little children will 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."
- August 23, 1968 at the "March on Washington"
- On the Vietnam War -
"I oppose the war in Vietnam because I love America. I speak out against this war, not in anger, but with anxiety and sorrow in my heart, and, above all, with a passionate desire to see our beloved country stand as the moral example of the world. I speak out against this war because I am disappointed with America. And there can be no great disappointment where there is not great love."
- April 30, 1967, Riverside Church, New York
- On his legacy -
"Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice. Say that I was a drum major for peace. I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of the other shallow things will not matter."
- February 4, 1968, Ebenezer Baptist Church, Atlanta, Georgia
"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of convenience and comfort, but where he stands in moments of challenge and controversy."
- King's 1963 book "Strength to Love"
- On good and evil -
"I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant."
- December 10, 1964, Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, Oslo, Norway
- His final speech -
"Well, I don't know what will happen now; we've got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn't matter with me now. Because I've been to the mountaintop. I don't mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people will get to the promised land. So I'm happy, tonight. I'm not worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord."
- April 3, 1968, Bishop Charles Mason Temple, Memphis, Tennessee