This fact may be the most surprising you’ll find here. When King was originally drafting his speech, the “dream” language was considered but ultimately edited out. He was only allotted five minutes to speak, and he didn’t think he’d have enough time to fit those words. When he handed the speech into the press, the words “I have a dream” were not included.
When they arrived at the march that morning, King was disappointed at the numbers the media was reporting—only about 25,000 had showed to protest. But by the time they reached the Lincoln Memorial, the numbers had swelled. Maybe this is what inspired King to suddenly change his speech. Whatever the reason, King’s improvisation made history.