This Day in History

April 4, 1967: Martin Luther King Jr. Delivers “Revolution of Values” Speech

Time Periods: 20th Century, People’s Movement: 1961 - 1974
Themes: African American, Civil Rights Movements, Economics, Wars & Related Anti-War Movements

On April 4, 1967, exactly one year before his assassination, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered a speech in New York City on the occasion of his becoming co-chairman of Clergy and Laymen Concerned About Vietnam (subsequently renamed Clergy and Laity Concerned).

King in a March 25, 1967 antiwar march in Chicago.

Titled “Beyond Vietnam,” it was his first major speech on the war in Vietnam—what the Vietnamese aptly call the American War.

King links the escalating U.S. commitment to that war with its abandonment of the commitment to social justice at home.

His call for a “shift from a ‘thing-oriented’ society to a ‘person-oriented’ society” and for us to “struggle for a new world” has acquired even greater urgency than when he issued it decades ago.

Read more from the lesson A Revolution of Values.