Five Most Influential Speeches That Shaped History

Our lives would not have been the same if the history of our world was any different than what it is. And to attain the current state of civilization, several great minds have contributed plenty.

Truly inspirational speeches leave a mark beyond their place and time, stirring souls and offering wisdom that resonates with every era, even long after the tongues of their speakers get silenced. There exists no standard framework for a great speech. Some famous historic speeches are rich with story and language, while others are very brief, omitting long paragraphs, simply driving home a crucial message. Here are the five most influential speeches that shaped history.

Martin Luther King – I Have A Dream – 1963

Martin Luther King delivered this famous speech on August 28, 1963, and it continues to be one of the finest and most eloquent pieces of speech in the history of mankind. He skillfully used rich language and blended it with a masterful oratorical technique of repetition. The speech was utterly fearless, and his words were not rhetoric; they were a declaration of the value of human expression and life.

Nelson Mandela – I Am Prepared to Die – 1964

In history, Nelson Mandela has often considered one of the most loved as well as controversial figures. His famous three-hour-long speech “I Am Prepared to Die” elucidated the South African democracy. Mandela delivered this speech to address the charges he faced for fighting against apartheid in the country. Although his powerful words did not eliminate his conviction, his speech impacted the minds of the citizens and stimulated unrest in the country.

Abraham Lincoln – Gettysburg Address – 1863

The Gettysburg Address is often recognized as the best speech in the history of America. On November 19, 1863, President Lincoln, in just about 275 words, delivered the speech near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and proficiently expressed the following sentiments: America is a place and also a concept – both are worth fighting for; fighting is terrible, but losing feels worse.

Mahatma Gandhi – Quit India Speech – 1942

Just one day before the initiation of the Quit India movement, Mahatma Gandhi, on August 8, 1942, delivered an arousing speech. In the speech, he addresses Indians to resist the British government, but in an organized and peaceful manner. His primary focus was on starting a nonviolent uprising, which later became the foundation of his beliefs.

Lou Gehrig – Luckiest Man Speech – 1939

Lou Gehrig, the baseball legend, died at the age of 37 after battling Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. He delivered one of the most heart-touching speeches of the 20th century, which brought comfort to the people mourning his medical condition. In his short speech, he asked people not to agonize over the death of one man; Instead, they celebrate all the gifts life had offered him.

These compelling speeches will continue to linger in the minds of the people for a lifetime.


Satavisha hails from the city of joy, Kolkata. She took up writing as my profession amid the pandemic when the world was at a standstill. Here, she acquired a balance between her passion for writing and sharing various ideas and facts through her stories.
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