50th Anniversary of The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom
All | Room | August 28,2013 | 9:00 am - 12:00 amFollowing JFK’s civil rights address in June, SCLC leaders plan a mass action of national scale designed to ensure passage of civil rights legislation. Drawing together tens of thousands of Movement allies from across the nation – workers with SNCC, CORE, NAACP, and SCLC, as well as members of labor unions, interdenominational organizations, and student groups—the August 28 march from the Washington monument to the Lincoln memorial is the largest demonstration of its kind in history. The turnout was a testament to the organizational savvy of Bayard Rustin (who steered the event from idea to reality in a scant six weeks) and to the vision of Movement senior statesman A. Philip Randolph, who had dreamt of such a march for years.
Arriving by special trains, private aircraft, automobiles, and more than 2,000 chartered busses, the marchers find the nation’s capital prepared for chaos and violence –neither of which occurs. Black celebrities (Josephine Baker, Mahalia Jackson, and others) speak to and entertain the crowd before Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. addresses them. After Mahalia Jackson stage-whispers to King to, “Tell them about the dream, Martin,” King goes off-text, concluding his prepared remarks with the “I Have a Dream” passage for which the speech is known.
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