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President Obama: Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream partly met, still unfulfilled

  • President Barack Obama speaks at the Let Freedom Ring ceremony at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. It was 50 years ago today when Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech from the steps of the memorial. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama is claiming his place in Martin Luther King's 50-year-old dream, holding himself up as a symbol of the change King envisioned. But he also pointed to the nation's lingering economic disparities as evidence that King's hopes remain unfulfilled.

Obama spoke at Lincoln Memorial Wednesday on the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington. With Biblical references and the cadences of a preacher, Obama used the refrain, quote, "because they marched," as he recited the achievements of the civil rights movement.

Laws changed, legislatures changed and even the White House changed, Obama said. But he says income inequality, troubled inner cities and stagnant wages amid growing corporate profits show that challenges remain.

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