Nearly 50 years ago, Martin Luther King, Jr. told us he had a dream. And, to this day, the civil activist's speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1963 remains one of the most famous — if not the most famous — in history. The speech itself was very similar to King — it excited, it brought hope, it inspired.
So as we toast the late civil rights activist, who was born a little over 84 years ago, we have to no choice but to also pay recognition to one of King's biggest contributions: His words. See his entire "I Have a Dream Speech" embedded below.
And now that you have a tear-soaked Kleenex to go along with your dream, prepare for these 10 inspirational movie and TV speeches. None come close to measuring up to King — but they sure made for dream TV and movie moments.
President Thomas J. Whitmore (Bill Pullman), Independence Day: Doesn't quite have the same ring to it as "Welcome to Earth!" but it'll do.
Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen), Lord of the Rings: Return of the King: "Hold your ground!" And try to hold in your tears watching Aragorn rile up the troops for a final Middle Earth battle. For Frodo!
Mikey (Sean Astin), The Goonies: "Down here, it's our time!" The perfect end to the only inspiring speech to be punctuated with an inhaler.
Herb Brooks (Kurt Russell), Miracle: Of course Coach Brooks' Olympic ice hockey speech would slide onto this list. U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!
Jeff Winger (Joel McHale), Community: Jeff Winger speeches are about as expected as crying girls at a One Direction concert, but at the end of Season 3, Jeff delivered one of his best speeches yet: a lecture about the power of friendship. Did we feel something after watching a speech from a silly little sitcom? Yes, I believe we just did.
Tony D'Amato (Al Pacino), Any Given Sunday: In a speech as confessional as it is inspiring, a perfectly manic Pacino scores a touchdown with his itch for some extra inches on the field.
Julia Sugarbaker (Dixie Carter), Designing Women: Not quite as sweet as sugar, but Julia's speech about her sister's beauty pageant history deserved as much applause as Suzanne's baton-twirling.
William Wallace (Mel Gibson), Braveheart: They may take away your good reputation (following an Anti-Semitic arrest, rage-fueled tapes, and much more), but they can never take away your classic speech, Mel Gibson.
King Leonidas (Gerard Butler), 300: A battle speech half as impressive as the Spartans' collective abs.
Everything Ever Said By Eric Taylor (Kyle Chandler), Friday Night Lights: Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can't Stop Crying.
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Anne Heche gave birth to a baby boy over the weekend. Homer Heche Laffoon weighed 7 pounds and is the first child for Heche and husband Coleman Laffoon. The two married in September last year and met while working on a documentary about Ellen DeGeneres' return to stand-up comedy, AP reports.
After shooting two back-to-back sequels for the 1999 sci-fi thriller The Matrix, Keanu Reeves will travel back in Hollywood time to work on a remake of the 1971 cult classic Billy Jack, Variety reports. Reeves will star as Billy Jack, a Vietnam veteran who's half Native American. Tom Laughlin, who wrote, directed and starred in the original film, controls the film rights and is in talks with Danny DeVito's Jersey Films to remake the retro hit.
Elizabeth Taylor will play the role of Elton John's wife in his new video "Original Sin," the BBC reports. His daughter will be played by teen singer/actress Mandy Moore. John, who normally hates appearing in videos, recently called on Justin Timberlake to take the lead in "This Train Don't Stop There Anymore" so he wouldn't have to. John makes an exception for this next single, which is slated for release April 1.
Victoria "Posh Spice" Beckham escaped injury in a six-car pile-up on Sunday near Stafford, England, the BBC reports. Beckham and her three-year-old son, Brooklyn, were in a minivan being driven by her father, Tony Adams, when he managed to swerve the vehicle away from the full force of the crash. None of them were injured. Beckham is expecting her second child with soccer star David Beckham in September.
Nightline host Ted Koppel said he hopes to stay with ABC but criticized the network for questioning the relevance of his show, AP reports. ABC has apparently had discussions with David Letterman about taking over Koppel's 11:35 p.m. time slot. Nightline ratings have been shrinking in the past few years while Letterman has been a longtime No. 2 behind NBC's Jay Leno.
The Fox network is set to revive four sci-fi TV series, airing reruns and creating new TV and film versions of Lost in Space, The Time Tunnel, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea and Land of the Giants. The deal also covers any potential feature films, as well as merchandising and licensing.
Mary McCormack, who recently appeared in K-PAX with Kevin Spacey, will star in the CBS comedy pilot Julie Lydecker, which centers on a mother/daughter relationship. According to The Hollywood Reporter, McCormack will also be seen in the upcoming drama Full Frontal alongside Julia Roberts.
Yoko Ono, the widow of former Beatle John Lennon, has paid an estimated $213,300 to have the words "Imagine all the people living in peace" emblazoned on a billboard in Piccadilly Circus in London, Reuters reports. Ono, who already has the billboard up in Times Square and in Tokyo, thought people needed to be reminded of this message after the horrible events of Sept. 11.
After a three-year hiatus, former supermodel Cindy Crawford returned to the catwalk for designer Roberto Cavalli's autumn/winter fashion show. Although she enjoyed the return, the model-turned-mother of two told Reuters she would not do it for a whole season. "At home, I wear jeans and a T-shirt, so it doesn't matter if I get mucky...but then I put on a Cavalli top or trousers and feel like a sexy mum rather than a frumpy housewife."
Comic Kevin Meaney was arrested at San Francisco International Airport on Sunday for grabbing the butt of a gun held by a National Guardsman, Reuters reports. An airport police spokesman said Meaney got belligerent after his wife was subjected to a secondary security screening and had to lift up her blouse and show her bra to the screeners. Meaney, 45, was booked into the San Mateo County Jail on a felony charge of attempting to take a firearm from a police officer and two misdemeanor charges of battery and disturbing the peace.
Julia Child is recuperating from a bout with bronchitis that landed her in the hospital during the weekend. Child, 89, had to cancel an appearance at a rare-wine auction Saturday night at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in the Bay Area after she had trouble breathing. She checked into a San Francisco hospital Saturday afternoon and was released Sunday, AP reports.
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Songwriter Harlan Howard died Sunday at the age of 74. Responsible for more than 100 Top 10 hits, including Ray Charles' "Busted" and Patsy Cline's "I Fall to Pieces," Howard was known as the dean of Nashville songwriters. His death came after years of ill health. A memorial service for him will be held in Nashville on March 19.