Can You Complete These Famous Martin Luther King, Jr. Quotes?

HISTORY

By: Zoe Samuel

7 Min Quiz

Image: Wikicommons by Yoichi Okamoto / Public domain

About This Quiz

Doctor Martin Luther King Jr. was a remarkable human being with an incredible way with words. Perhaps it was his talents as a pastor that allowed him to match his cadence and moral call to the cause of civil rights so effectively. Maybe he was just the right man at the right time. When Dr. King was assassinated on April 4, 1968, he was only 39 years old. Just imagine what he would have done with the rest of his life.

It is difficult to imagine an America where Dr. King's birthday isn't a national holiday. It's hard to imagine an America where Dr. King's words did not push citizenry and government to pass the Civil Rights Act. When Dr. King and his contemporary RFK passed from this world, it was the end of an era of profound upheaval, optimism, and change.

Dr. King's words echo through history, inspiring today's civil rights workers, politicians, and NGOs to action. His turns of phrase, from his famous "I Have A Dream" speech to off the cuff comments made to fellow civil rights workers, remain some of the most powerful combinations of words in the English language. Even when Dr. King was off his game, he was great. How well do you know the words of this great American? It's time to find out!

What do you think completes the statement "I still have a dream ..."?

As Doctor King hits his cadence, reaching the climax of his "I Have A Dream" speech, he begins the famous refrain. "And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream."

Advertisement

What's the final word that completes the quote "But it really doesn't matter with me now, because I've been to the ____________"?

In Doctor King's final speech, he seems to know his assassination is coming. He said, "We've got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn't matter with me now, because I've been to the mountaintop … And I've seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land."

Advertisement

In arguing against the Vietnam War, Doctor King said the following: "Now there is little left to build on, save ___________." What's missing from this sentence?

It is often overlooked that Doctor King was a significant force against the war in Vietnam. In a speech to a group opposed to the war, he concluded his assessment of the war, saying, "Now there is little left to build on, save bitterness."

Advertisement

How did Doctor King complete the statement "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation ... "?

This is perhaps the most famous line, and the source of the title of his speech, and Dr. King came up with this and its whole section on the fly. "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," was not written in his speech at the time he read it.

Advertisement

"And the ultimate logic of racism is __________." What goes in that blank space?

A powerful statement, this quote is unequivocal. The full quote is, "Racism is based on an ontological affirmation. It is the notion that the very being of a people is inferior. And the ultimate logic of racism is genocide."

Advertisement

What's missing from the words "I still believe that __________ is the bonus you receive for telling the truth."?

Before officially announcing his opposition to the Vietnam War, Doctor King gave his iconic "Two Americas" speech about social and economic inequality. In it, he announced, "I still believe that freedom is the bonus you receive for telling the truth."

Advertisement

How did Doctor King finish the statement "We were taking the black young men who had been crippled by our society and sending them ... "?

In explaining his opposition to the war in Vietnam, Doctor King felt it necessary to explain his position by saying that the war was a civil rights issue, as it affected black men disproportionately to their numbers.

Advertisement

How did Doctor King finish the line "And in a real sense this afternoon, we can say that our feet are tired, but ... "?

Doctor King invoked a story told to him by an elderly black woman in the south, as he describes his march from Selma. Paraphrasing her, he says, "And in a real sense this afternoon, we can say that our feet are tired, but our souls are rested."

Advertisement

Which of these forms the back half of the statement “I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as ..."?

On the 28th of August 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous "I Have A Dream" speech in Washington DC. The address began with the opening words, "I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation."

Advertisement

What word is missing from Doctor King's words "If America's soul becomes totally poisoned, part of the autopsy must read: _________."?

In speaking out against the Vietnam War at Riverside Church, Doctor King used some of his most eloquent language to describe what he saw as the worst America had to offer the world. "If America's soul becomes totally poisoned, part of the autopsy must read: Vietnam."

Advertisement

In the beginning of his "Our God Is Marching On" speech, Doctor King says " Last Sunday, more than eight thousand of us started on a ____________ from Selma, Alabama." What is missing from the blank?

When Doctor King led the march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, he had a great speech in mind. After thanking the assemblage, he begins with, "Last Sunday, more than eight thousand of us started on a mighty walk from Selma, Alabama."

Advertisement

How would you complete the sentence "Let us not ... "?

Doctor King was known for using religious language in his speeches to significant effect. It was, in fact, where he was most comfortable. An example of this is the line from "I Have A Dream," in which he says, "Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends."

Advertisement

"Once more, the method of nonviolent resistance was unsheathed from its scabbard, and once again ___________ was mobilized to confront the adversary." What belongs in this blank space?

Doctor King took a page from Mahatma Gandhi, using nonviolent resistance. He describes this tactic, saying, "Once more, the method of nonviolent resistance was unsheathed from its scabbard, and once again, an entire community was mobilized to confront the adversary."

Advertisement

"On our part we must pay our profound respects to the white Americans who cherish ________ over the ugly customs and privileges of generations and come forth boldly to join hands with us." What goes in the blank here?

In reaching out to white southerners after the march to Montgomery, Doctor King calls for unity. "On our part we must pay our profound respects to the white Americans who cherish their democratic traditions over the ugly customs and privileges of generations and come forth boldly to join hands with us."

Advertisement

What is missing from the oratorical masterstroke "Here is the true meaning and value of compassion and nonviolence, when it helps us to _________, to hear his questions, to know his assessment of ourselves."?

"Here is the true meaning and value of compassion and nonviolence, when it helps us to see the enemy's point of view, to hear his questions, to know his assessment of ourselves." Said about the war in Vietnam, this King quote could be about almost any conflict.

Advertisement

How did Doctor King finish the line "I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and ... "?

Beginning what feels almost like a call and response, Doctor King quoted the founding fathers, saying "I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.'"

Advertisement

Which words belong in the statement "I'm absolutely convinced that _______ merely intensifies the fears of the white community while relieving the guilt."?

After going into detail about the horrific poverty he saw in parts of "The Other America," Doctor King reiterated his commitment to nonviolence. "I'm absolutely convinced that a riot merely intensifies the fears of the white community while relieving the guilt."

Advertisement

"Nobody, no _____________ has completely lifted itself by it own bootstraps." Can you pick the words that Doctor King put in that blank space?

Doctor King spoke forcefully on the history of racism, saying that it was not attached to our society; it was ingrained in it. "Nobody, no ethnic group has completely lifted itself by its own bootstraps."

Advertisement

"Let us march on ballot boxes until the _________ of bloodthirsty mobs will be transformed into the calculated good deeds of orderly citizens." What belongs in the blank?

Addressing his audience after the long march from Selma, Doctor King begins one of the cadences he is so well known for. "Let us march on ballot boxes until the salient misdeeds of bloodthirsty mobs will be transformed into the calculated good deeds of orderly citizens."

Advertisement

What words go after the line "I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia ... "?

One of the most inspiring lines from Doctor King's "I Have A Dream" speech, Doctor King conjures an image of a hopeful future. "I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood."

Advertisement

"Let us march on ballot boxes until __________ becomes more than a meaningless word in an opening prayer, but the order of the day on every legislative agenda."

Combining religious language with political terminology after the Selma march, Doctor King says, "Let us march on ballot boxes until brotherhood becomes more than a meaningless word in an opening prayer, but the order of the day on every legislative agenda."

Advertisement

Which of these is the end of the quote "I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi ... "?

As he continues with the famous refrain, Doctor King describes his hopes for Mississippi. "I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice."

Advertisement

Doctor King said "The battle is in our hands. And we can answer with ____________ the call to higher ground to which the new directions of our struggle summons us."

Doctor King frequently reminded his audience of the importance of nonviolent protest. In one instance, he said "The battle is in our hands. And we can answer with creative nonviolence the call to higher ground to which the new directions of our struggle summons us."

Advertisement

Can you recall what Doctor King said after the phrase "I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama ... "?

Doctor King's complete quote is as follows: "I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of 'interposition' and 'nullification' -- one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers."

Advertisement

"It is _________ all over our country, which leaves the Negro perishing on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity." What word did Doctor King use to fill that blank space?

Doctor King knew that what he was doing was upsetting the apple cart. When his protests were questioned, he roared back, pointing the finger at a status quo that allowed young children to be murdered. "It is normalcy all over our country which leaves the Negro perishing on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity."

Advertisement

What did Doctor King say after "I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight ... "

Invoking more religious symbolism in his "I Have A Dream" speech, Doctor King continues, saying, "I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; 'and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.'"

Advertisement

Speaking to a group of protesters, Doctor King said "I come to say to you this afternoon, however difficult the moment, however frustrating the hour, it will not be long, because '________ crushed to earth will rise again.'" Which of these words do you think goes in the blank?

Responding to those who would question his tactics, Doctor King urged them to hold firm to nonviolence and believe in its promise. "I come to say to you this afternoon, however difficult the moment, however frustrating the hour, it will not be long, because 'truth crushed to earth will rise again.'"

Advertisement

How did Doctor King follow the phrase "With this faith ... "?

The complete quote is as follows: "With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day."

Advertisement

During a particularly heightened moment in his post-Selma march speech, Doctor King said "How long? Not long ... " How did this sentence end?

One of Doctor King's most famous quotes comes from the climax (and end) of his speech after the Selma march. In it, he says, "How long? Not long, because the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice."

Advertisement

Where did Doctor King cite for the statement "Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of ... "?

Doctor King uses repetition to signal the cadence to his audience with the lines "And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania. Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado. Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California."

Advertisement

What comes after the line "And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring ... "?

The conclusion to Doctor King's most famous speech ends as follows: "And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

Advertisement

"And some of us who have already begun to ______ have found that the calling to speak is often a vocation of agony, but we must speak." What words did Doctor King use to fill that blank?

In his speech against the Vietnam War precisely a year before his assassination, Doctor King addressed an audience at Riverside Church in New York. He said, "And some of us who have already begun to break the silence of the night have found that the calling to speak is often a vocation of agony, but we must speak."

Advertisement

Which ending belongs with the statement "There must be a recognition on the part of everybody in this nation that ... "?

In one of his final speeches, Doctor King reiterated his belief that while the Civil Rights Act was a step forward, problems persisted. "The first thing I would like to mention is that there must be a recognition on the part of everybody in this nation that America is still a racist country."

Advertisement

"Well that appears to me to be a kind of _____________for the rich and rugged hard __________________ for the poor." What's missing in these blanks?

Doctor King decried the state of the economic imbalances of America in the 1960s. Citing the inequities of the American economy, he said, "Well that appears to me to be a kind of socialism for the rich and rugged hard individualistic capitalism for the poor."

Advertisement

Before announcing his opposition to the Vietnam War, Doctor King said, "I happen to be a pacifist but if I had had to make a decision about fighting a war against Hitler, I may have ... " What's missing here?

Doctor King was famous for his pacifism, but sometimes he felt it necessary to put the "fist" in "pacifist." He said, "I happen to be a pacifist, but if I had had to make a decision about fighting a war against Hitler, I may have temporarily given up my pacifism and taken up arms."

Advertisement

Explore More Quizzes

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!