It’s not every day that an undergraduate makes a scholarly discovery—especially about a prominent historic figure like the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. But that’s what happened two years ago when William Murphy, then a freshman at Wake Forest University, stumbled upon a little-known speech by the young civil-rights leader during John Llewellyn’s “Great American Speeches” class. Now, as the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial is dedicated in Washington, The Chronicle talked with Mr. Murphy about what he found.
The perception that we know the ‘famous’ speeches of the past is constantly being challenged and revisited.