Top 10 greatest speeches in history

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5:47 pm 12 Sep, 2011

Success of any speech depends on two factors – its context and the way in which it is orated. Comprising deep thoughts and smoothest textual symmetries, speeches listed here on TopYaps are notable for changing the course of history and inspiring unfearing feats to fight against all odds.

10. Appeal of 18 June (Charles de Gaulle):

One of the most crucial speeches in French history, “Appeal of 18 June” was delivered by Charles de Gaulle, leader of the Free French Forces, in 1940. During World War II, the Nazi Germany was about to capture entire France after ratifying an armistice. As the French environment deteriorated, Charles de Gaulle, somehow, escaped to London where Winston Churchill gave him permission to broadcast a speech via BBC Radio over France. This speech germinated a new ray of hope in French people to resist the hellacious Nazis.

Read the full speech here.

9. Infamy Speech (Franklin D. Roosevelt):

This speech was delivered by 32nd American President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, just one day after the Pearl Harbor attack. FDR’s speech of six and a half minutes emotionally impacted the Americans and within an hour of the speech, United States brought itself into the World War II, declaring war against Japan.

Read the full speech here.

8. Freedom or Death (Emmeline Pankhurst):

Delivered on November 13, 1913, in Connecticut, “Freedom or Death” is so far considered as the most famous speech to advocate women’s suffrage in Britain. This significant speech was given by Emmeline Pankhurst, a notable British political activist and leader of the suffragette movement in England.

Read the full speech here.

7. Surrender Speech (Chief Joseph):

Surrender Speech was given by Chief Joseph on October 5, 1877, after he he surrendered American soldiers in Montana Territory of Canada. Chief Joseph was gaffer of Wallowa confederate of the Nez Perce, a tribe of Native Americans residing in the Pacific Northwest region. In history of United States, he is considered as an eminent peacemaker and humanitarian. He became an eyesore for General Oliver O. Howard for retaliating the forcible removal of his confederate.

Read the full speech here.

6. Quit India (Mahatma Gandhi):

This historical speech was delivered by Mahatma Gandhi on August 18, 1942 (eve of the Quit India Movement) at Gowalia Tank Maidan in Bombay which is now known as “August Kranti Maidan” (August Revolution Ground). This speech stimulated Indian people to oppose the British rule in extremely ardent way, without causing violence.

Read the full speech here.

5. Farewell to Baseball Address (Lou Gehrig):

Better known as “The Iron Horse,” Lou Gehrig was a notable Major League Baseball player who later called off his gaming activities due to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (a form of motor neuron disease). On July 4, 1939, Lou proclaimed his retirement with a poignant speech which is till the date considered as the most powerful speech delivered by any sportsman.

Read the full speech here.

4. We Shall Fight on the Beaches (Winston Churchill):

This speech was delivered by Sir Winston Churchill, contemporary Prime Minister, on June 4, 1940, to the Parliament of United Kingdom. This speech was bleached with an extreme diplomatic context, focussing the most likely invasion of Nazi Germany on UK during the World War II.

Read the full speech here.

3. I am Prepared to Die (Nelson Mandela):

A notable figure of the mainstream international politics, Nelson Mandela, delivered this speech on April 20, 1964, from his dock in Pretoria Supreme Court. During that time, Mandela was charged for opposing the White Government of South Africa as well as for his alleged involvement in anti-apartheid activities.

Read the full speech here.

2. I Have a Dream (Martin Luther King, Jr.):

Delivered on August 28, 1963, at Lincoln Memorial, during the American Civil Rights Movement, this speech of 15 minute is widely adored for being a masterwork of rhetoric. “I Have a Dream” was rendered by Martin Luther King, Jr., in front of over 200,000 civil right activists. This speech is credited for eradicating racial discrimination from the United States of America.

Read the full speech here.

1. Gettysburg Address (Abraham Lincoln):

The greatest speech in world’s history, Gettysburg Address was made by Abraham Lincoln, on November 19, 1863, in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, during the American Civil War. This speech was dedicated to the martyred soldiers of “Battle of Gettysburg” which emphasized the new birth of freedom in America.

Read the full speech here.

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