This Day in History

April 30, 1967: “Why I Am Opposed to the War in Vietnam” Speech

Time Periods: 1961
Themes: African American, Civil Rights Movements, Democracy & Citizenship, Imperialism

The time has come for America to hear the truth about this tragic war. In international conflicts, the truth is hard to come by because most nations are deceived about themselves. Rationalizations and the incessant search for scapegoats are the psychological cataracts that blind us to our sins. But the day has passed for superficial patriotism. — Martin Luther King Jr.

Dr. King at Ebenezer Church

This quote is from a sermon by Dr. King on April 30, 1967 at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, drawing from his infamous April 4 sermon at Riverside Church.

He criticized the Vietnam War and praised Muhammad Ali for being a conscientious objector.

Watch a newsfilm clip below of the speech with Stokely Carmichael visible in the audience.

Clip credit: WSB-TV (Television station: Atlanta, Ga.). “Series of WSB-TV newsfilm clips of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. criticizing the Vietnam War and praising Muhammad Ali for being a conscientious objector, speaking from Ebenezer Baptist Church, Atlanta, Georgia, 1967 April 30.” Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection. 1967-04-30.