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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The Bedtime Stories star was detained by police after a concerned citizen reported a man snoozing while seated on a moped on a street corner in Burbank.
Post was arrested on suspicion of being drunk in public, taken to a neary jail and released 10 hours later once he had sobered up, according to TMZ.com.
The website reports no charges will be filed.
Top Story: Foley Says Infidelity Didn't Cause Split
Scott Foley is quelling rumors that his split with wife Jennifer Garner was due to infidelity, The Associated Press reports. "Nobody else was involved," Foley says in TV Guide's Oct. 25 issue. "Jennifer became a huge celebrity. She became a huge star, and she deserved everything she got. There was no other relationship, there was no infidelity, nothing. People get divorced, you know? Through no one's fault and everyone's fault." The Alias star and Foley met in 1998 on the set of the WB show Felicity and married in October 2000.
John Ritter Remembered
About 1,000 people gathered Tuesday night at the El Capitan Theatre in Los Angeles to remember John Ritter, who died Sept. 11 at the age of 54 of an undetected heart problem, AP reports. Some of those who spoke included his wife, actress Amy Yasbeck, his 8 Simple Rules co-star Katey Sagal and Michael Eisner, the head of Walt Disney Co., which owns ABC. Ritter's close friend, director Peter Bogdanovich, described the actor as "loving, funny, warmhearted, kind, generous, mischievous as a young kid, unpretentious."
Moore Supports Calif. Recall Election
During a forum at Butler University in Indianapolis, Ind., Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Michael Moore told students the recent recall election in California proves democracy can work, AP reports. "Any time you have an angry mob of voters, that can't be a bad thing," Moore said to about 2,100 people Monday. The activist-filmmaker added he hoped voters would show the same sentiment to stop President Bush from getting a second term.
Gary Coleman's New Job
Gary Coleman, who lost to Arnold Schwarzenegger in the Calif. recall election last week, has accepted a post as a political analyst for the Hollywood-based All Comedy Radio, CNN.com reports. The 35-year-old former child star will be the network's political analyst and said his experience as a candidate will come in handy in this new assignment. Among the topics he'll tackle will be the 2004 presidential election.
The Dead Return to Sopranos
The whacked are back! According to The Hollywood Reporter, the upcoming season of The Sopranos will feature an episode in which the ghosts of Tony Soprano's past return, including Vincent Pastore (aka Salvatore "Big Pussy" Bonpensiero), David Proval (Richie Aprile), John Heard (Detective Vin Makazian), Al Sapienza (Mikey Palmice), Dan Grimaldi (Philly "Spoons" Parisi), Jason Cerbone (Jackie Aprile Jr.) and Joe Pantoliano (Ralph Cifaretto), who recently won an Emmy for his Sopranos performance.
Star Trek Captain Separates From Wife
Patrick Stewart, best known as Capt. Jean-Luc Picard of the Star Trek: The Next Generation series, has filed for a legal separation from his wife of three years. AP reports Stewart, 63, cited irreconcilable differences in the court papers filed Tuesday. He and Wendy Neuss-Stewart, who have no children, were married in August 2000.
Tickets to Cash Memorial Available by Lottery
Free tickets to the Nov. 10 Johnny Cash Memorial Tribute in Nashville, Tenn., will be available via a lottery, AP reports. Performers at the concert include John Mellencamp, Dwight Yoakam, George Jones, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Sheryl Crow and Hank Williams Jr. Fans wanting tickets are advised to send a 3-1/2 by 5-inch card or paper with name, address and daytime telephone number to: Johnny Cash Memorial Tribute, P.O. Box 20003, Nashville, TN 37202. Only one entry per person is allowed, and all entries must be received by 11:59 p.m. ET Oct. 26, AP reports.
Role Call: Pirates Back for More, Cage Gets Into the Ring
Gore Verbinski has signed up to helm the sequel to his mega-hit Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. Variety reports Johnny Depp will also reprise his starring role as Capt. Jack Sparrow, while Disney had already made sequel arrangements with key players Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley…Nicolas Cage is set to star in a yet-untitled biopic about a former boxing champion, Billy "The Kid" Roth, who ended up coaching hundreds of Louisiana prison inmates and acting as their surrogate father. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Cage's production company Saturn Films is developing the feature.