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Golf Channel Has an Epic Fail on Anniversary of 'I Have a Dream' Speech

Tweet, Closer to a Nightmare, Quickly Deleted

By Published on . 1

In the summer of 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. took the steps of the Lincoln memorial and, in front of a crowd of hundreds of thousands, delivered a speech describing his dream of a United States after racism's demise. Today, exactly 50 years later, the Golf Channel took to Twitter and told its 200,000 plus Twitter followers to "Tweet your 'golf' dream," using the hashtag "#DreamDay."

"I have a dream that no man, regardless of creed, will ever bogey," replied one of its followers.

The Golf Channel quickly deleted its tweet. "The tweet in question was not appropriate and was pulled minutes after being posted this morning," a Golf Channel spokesman said by email. "The original intent was to celebrate this important date in history, and we regret that we failed to meet that standard."

In an age of real-time marketing, where every brand's social team aspires to post the next Oreo Super Bowl tweet, some run into the news of the day without regard for context. Not every brand fits every moment, and the Golf Channel learned this the hard way today.

Others took a more tasteful approach to commemorating the speech, which took place in the midst of the massive March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

The New York Times, for example, released its August 29, 1963 edition in scrollable format online. (Back then the news was always delivered the next day, although it was at least less vulnerable to disruption by Syrian Electronic Army hackers.)

A click on the pages, which were filled with coverage of the rally and the speech, zooms in on articles. On the right hand side of the screen, you can scroll through the all the day's articles (including an advertising column, that tells magazines to specialize and stop trying to be "everything to everybody").

NPR also put its @Todayin1963 Twitter account into overdrive to commemorate the march. The account, a special NPR project, tweets moments from the summer of 1963 as they happened. "For sale at the March on Washington: Hot dogs, soft drinks and other picnic foods," read one. Another reports: "Folks who can't find space near Lincoln Memorial are retreating to sit under trees nearby."

Google used its homepage "doodle" to commemorate the day. A graphic of King speaking to the masses sits above the site's search bar, with the words of the speech in the background. A click on the doodle takes visitors to the search results for the term: "I have a dream,' speech." One of the first results is a YouTube video of the speech, which you can watch the below.

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