Across the country, cities and groups rang bells in remembrance of Dr. King's speech.
The bells at Saint John Fisher College was just one of many across the country that rang out at 3 p.m. Wednesday. It was all part of "Let Freedom Ring", a national event hosted by the King Center in Atlanta.
The steeple at the college's Kearney Hall rang its bell 50 times to commemorate the anniversary of the March on Washington.
August 28th, 1963. Some 250,000 people gathered for the March on Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr's. speech, I Have A Dream.
"I have a dream one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed."
Among those participating in that historic event 50 years ago was Rochester educator Dr. Walter Cooper.
"It was a magnificent day. We had rode the bus all night and we got up for the march. The march was only seven-tenths or eight-tenths of a mile, it was not the full mile as indicated," Cooper said.
The Mount Olivet Baptist Church Choir rejoiced in song, while Rochester area children recited excerpts from King's speech.
"I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."
"He had a dream about us being friends with white and black and never to fight with each other," said Colieonia Dawkins, Rochester.
"Let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleganies of Pennsylvania."
"What he did was an outcome of how it is today. If it wasn't for him we wouldn't have a lot of things and privileges that we have today," said Kiyanna King, Rochester.
"It's a milestone today for me, for us it's a milestone. We're there, but still a lot more work to do but we're there," said Pamela Williams, Rochester.
"Free at last, free at last. Thank God Almighty, I'm free at last."
Mayor Tom Richards proposed renaming Manhattan Square Park to the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Square Park, saying "It's a gathering place for all of our diverse residents, just as Dr. King envisioned 50 years ago."
YNN Rochester: Rochester Community Celebrates Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Professors at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School also reflected on the I Have A Dream speech, which coincided with the school's opening convocation for its 197th academic year.
Dr. King was a graduate of Crozer Theological Seminary, which became part of this seminary in 1970.
In 1969, the Martin Luther King Junior Memorial Professorship of Black Church Studies program began in Rochester. It was the first program like that in the country.
"We know that the message of King needs to be articulated in a new day, for a new generation and we seek to do that and try to train ministers who are devoted and capable of doing that," said Dr. James H. Evans Jr. , Professor of Systematic Theology.
Wednesday, staff talked about continued efforts to raise money for The Martin Luther King Junior Endowed Chair for Social Justice and Black Church Studies. Crozer Divinity started raising the one and a half million dollars needed for the position in 2007.