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The Boston Globe

Opinion

NICHOLAS BURNS

A modern founding father

Fifty years ago today, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. electrified the nation with his “I Have A Dream” speech — and helped establish himself as one of America’s founding fathers.

A half-century later, King stands equal to Jefferson, Adams, Madison, and Hamilton, the people who invented America, designed its government, and shaped its unique democratic experiment. Taylor Branch, the incomparable civil rights historian, has called him “a new founding father.” An insightful essay in Time Magazine by another great historian, Jon Meacham, also awards King that stellar status.

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