Martin Luther King Jr. Questions and Answers

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When did Martin Luther King say this? "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he...

When did Martin Luther King say "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands in times of challenge and controversy"?

This quotation was likely first made in August 1958 in a pair of sermons. The sermons were published in a short book in 1959 and then again in 1963. He is alluding to the fact that a person's true moral fiber only becomes apparent in times of deep struggle and challenge, and cannot be fully measured in times of peace.

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This is one of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's most cited quotations. In fact, it is inscribed on his memorial in Washington DC along with other famous sayings of the civil rights leader. The most well-known publication of this quotation can be found in Strength to Love, a collection of Dr. King's sermon published in 1963, the same year he was made Time Magazine's Man of the Year.

The original sermons containing "The ultimate measure of a man" were delivered in August 1958 at the first National Conference on Christian Education of the United Church of Christ at Purdue University. The line appears in two of his sermons, "What Is Man?" and "The Dimensions of a Complete Life". Due to the popularity of these and other sermons, they were published the following year in the book The Measure of a Man.

Ever since his days as a seminary student, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had been concerned with the theme of what defines a human's righteousness. The ideas of these two sermons were developed as early as...

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