An intern found the recording while staff were working on digitizing the museum's collection.
The speech was recorded Sept. 12, 1962, at the Park-Sheraton Hotel in New York City.
King had another engagement that night, but was enticed by Governor Nelson Rockefeller, a dinner celebrating the 100-year anniversary of the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation.
He promised to donate money to rebuild black churches that had been destroyed by arson in Georgia.
The unresolved race question is a pathological infection in our social and political anatomy, which has sickened us throughout our history, and is still today a largely untreated disease.