At City Hall and all across the country, bells rang to echo the final refrain of Dr. King's speech: "let freedom ring."
Nearly a hundred people left their jobs for just an hour to listen to four words that galvanized a movement and changed a nation: "I have a dream."
Many believe that the dream hasn't been fulfilled.
Dorothy Abbott is from England and just happened to be in Memphis on vacation on this historic day.
"If we're going to fulfill that dream, it cannot be one country, it has to be a global dream, doesn't it really? Otherwise, it will never happen," Abbott said
City Councilman Harold Collins realizes if it weren't for the bravery of the sanitation workers and civil rights leaders like King, he wouldn't be a city leader.
Still, the dream remains a nightmare for some.
"Many of the people in our community are still struggling for the very same things argued and struggled with," Collins said.
Ebonee Hanson brought her three girls so they would understand there's still work to do.
"It's up to us to carry on, we just can't put it on one person to carry it on, not just him but me and for their generation, they have to carry it on," she said.