This week, President Barack Obama made a speech aimed at forging ?new alliances to confront violent extremism and heal religious divides.? It’s too soon to tell whether it will become one of the great speeches in history, but here’s a look at some powerful words that still echo today.
This site offers 100 of the greatest speeches in American history, including Martin Luther King Jr.’s ?I Have a Dream,? and less well-known orations, like Margaret Higgins Sanger’s ?The Morality of Birth Control,? from 1921. You can listen to several of them in good-quality audio, too.
Here you’ll find some of the most powerful speeches ever given, from figures as diverse as Susan B. Anthony to Napoleon Bonaparte, and covering events from 1220 (St. Francis of Assisi) to an address in 2006 by Pope Benedict XVI.
It’s one thing to read the text of famous speeches?and quite another to watch them delivered by the likes of Sir Winston Churchill. This clip is of Churchill’s Great Declaration, given in 1941.
It’s almost too easy, really, but when the speeches of former president George W. Bush are set beside the words of eloquent speakers throughout history it becomes painfully clear that he either wrote the words himself, or didn’t spend enough time practising the speeches that were given to him.
It’s not a political speech, and It’s not even given by a real-life person, but this scene from the Shawshank Redemption, in which Morgan Freeman’s character faces a parole hearing, is beautifully written and acted.