49 years ago today was the March on Washington for Jobs & Freedom, in which Dr. Martin Luther King delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech. As Dr. King walked off the stage he handed the typewritten speech to a young volunteer bodyguard by the name of George Raveling.
The day before the speech, Raveling – who had been an All-American basketball player at Villanova – and his best friend Warren Wilson (also a Villanova basketball player) drove from Delaware to be at the historic event. They arrived that night, and wondering around the Lincoln Memorial they were approached by a man who explained that the crowd was going to be much bigger than the media was saying, and that extra bodyguards were needed. The police and the National Guard were on high alert for trouble. Raveling and his friend accepted immediately.
The next day they arrived and were assigned to the speaker's dais. By noon 100,000 people had assembled. Peter, Paul and Mary performed, as did Bob Dylan, Odetta and Harry Belafonte. King was the final speaker. By then the crowd has grown to an estimated 300,000. He had given copies of his speech to the press, but that morning decided to alter much of it. The "I have a dream" portion wasn't even included. As the power of the speech moved the crowd, Dr. King abandoned his notes and freelanced much of the rest. He concluded with his famous words – "Free at last, free at last. Thank God almighty, we are free at last." Then he walked off the stage, and as he passed Raveling asked Dr. King for his copy of the speech. Without hesitation, he handed it to him.
Years later Raveling attempted to donate his copy of the speech – which could be sold for many millions – to the Martin Luther King Museum. For some bizarre reason, they turned him down. The speech remains in a safety deposit box.
It's Terry Driscoll's birthday, born in Winthrop, Massachusetts in 1947. Driscoll starred at Boston College where he was both an All-American on the court as well as an Academic All-American. Following his college career became the 4th overall pick in the NBA Draft.
He is currently the Athletic Director at William and Mary.
Other birthdays include: Bob Tough 1920 (St. John's), John Long 1956 (Detroit), Matt Carroll 1980 (Notre Dame), and Jeff Green 1986 (Georgetown).