A draft of "Normalcy, Never Again" is housed in the Morehouse College Martin Luther King Jr. Woodruff Library, Atlanta University Center and Morehouse College.
That speech was longer than the version which he would eventually deliver from the Lincoln Memorial.
And while parts of the text had been moved around, large portions were identical, including the "I have a dream" refrain.
He says that "America has given the Negro people a bad check", but that "we've come to cash this check" by marching in Washington, D. King's speech used words and ideas from his own speeches and other texts.
For years, he had spoken about dreams, quoted from Samuel Francis Smith's popular patriotic hymn "America" ("My Country, 'Tis of Thee"), and referred extensively to the Bible.
I still have a dream, a dream deeply rooted in the American dream – one day this nation will rise up and live up to its creed, "We hold these truths to be self evident: that all men are created equal." I have a dream ... King had the power, the ability, and the capacity to transform those steps on the Lincoln Memorial into a monumental area that will forever be recognized.
Among the most quoted lines of the speech are "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. By speaking the way he did, he educated, he inspired, he informed not just the people there, but people throughout America and unborn generations." The speech draws upon appeals to America's myths as a nation founded to provide freedom and justice to all people, and then reinforces and transcends those secular mythologies by placing them within a spiritual context by arguing that racial justice is also in accord with God's will.
Martin Luther King and other leaders therefore agreed to keep their speeches calm, also, to avoid provoking the civil disobedience which had become the hallmark of the Civil Rights Movement.
King originally designed his speech as a homage to Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, timed to correspond with the centennial of the Emancipation Proclamation.
King also is said to have used portions of Prathia Hall's speech at the site of a burned-down African American church in Terrell County, Georgia, in September 1962, in which she used the repeated phrase "I have a dream".).
He also alludes to the opening lines of Shakespeare's Richard III ("Now is the winter of our discontent / Made glorious summer ...") when he remarks that "this sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn ..." Voice merging is the combining of one's own voice with religious predecessors.