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Flashback: The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. On The U.S. Space Program

January 15, 2004
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Today on MLK’s 75th birthday, we look back to August 16, 1967 when Dr. King said "If our nation can spend $35 billion a year to fight an unjust, evil war in Vietnam and $20 billion to put a man on the moon it can spend billion of dollars to put God’s children on their two feet right here on earth."

When President Bush announced his ambitious space plans yesterday, we at Democracy Now! decided to look back through the Martin Luther King archives to find out what he said about the space program in the 1960s.

After hours of research, we tracked down a clip recorded on August 16, 1967 at the Eleventh Annual Convention of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in Atlanta, Georgia.

King said: "If our nation can spend $35 billion a year to fight an unjust, evil war in Vietnam and $20 billion to put a man on the moon it can spend billion of dollars to put God’s children on their two feet right here on earth."

Listen to an excerpt of President Bush announcement of his space plans and King’s "response."

Read the transcript for King’s full speech, "Where Do We Go From Here?", .


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