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The March on Washington, 1963

On August 28, 1963, more than 250,000 demonstrators descended upon the nation’s capital to participate in the “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.” Not only was it the largest demonstration for human rights in United States history, but it also occasioned a rare display of unity among the various civil rights organizations. The event began with a rally at the Washington Monument featuring several celebrities and musicians. Participants then marched the mile-long National Mall to the Memorial. The three-hour long program at the Lincoln Memorial included speeches from prominent civil rights and religious leaders. The day ended with a meeting between the march leaders and President John F. Kennedy at the White House. — National Archives and Records Administration. The day’s highlight was Martin Luther King’s "I have a Dream" speech, which has been called the greatest speech in American history.

This is an aerial image of the marchers at the 1963 March on Washington. Image from the Library of Congress.

National Park Service. “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.” Accessed July 24, 2018. https://www.nps.gov/articles/march-on-washington.htm

 

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