▶ Watch Video: A rare look at one of the “I Have A Dream” speech drafts

Martin Luther King Jr. extolled the famous words “I have a dream” 60 years ago at the March on Washington. It’s considered one of the most iconic speeches of the 20th century, but before there was a dream, there was a draft.

Entitled “Normalcy Never Again,” the original version did not even include the word dream, according to Vicki Crawford, who oversees the Morehouse College Martin Luther King Jr. Collection at the Atlanta University Center Robert Woodruff Library. 

CBS News was granted rare access to the 10,000-item collection, which includes what is thought to be the only existing draft of King’s speech with his handwritten notes. 

“Dr. King very often would revise and revise and draft and draft speeches,” Crawford told CBS News, noting that he worked on what would become the “I Have a Dream” speech “all night long.”

“To 3:00 a.m., from my understanding,” she said.

When he took the podium, something changed.

“For the first, what, 10, 15 minutes, he read the text,” Crawford said. “And then, of course, you know, the audience was giving him such a great call and response that I guess he felt energized. Mahalia Jackson, the gospel singer, said, well, tell them about the dream. So he went off text, and the speech was extemporaneous after that.”

Reading King’s handwritten words 60 years later, Crawford said they still matter.

“The struggle continues, and though we’ve come a long ways, we’ve got a long way to go,” she said.