On August 28, 1963 a crowd of more than 250,000 people gathered in Washington, D.C. and marched to the Capitol Building to support the passing of laws that guaranteed every American equal civil rights. We speak with Martin Luther King III who is leading a mass rally at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial to mark the 40th anniversay of the historic march.
On August 28, 1963, a crowd of more than 250,000 people gathered in Washington, D.C. and marched to the Capitol Building to support the passing of laws that guaranteed every American equal civil rights. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was at the front of the "March on Washington."
On the steps of the Lincoln Memorial that day, Dr. King delivered a speech that was later entitled "I Have a Dream." The March was one of the largest gatherings of black and white people that the nation’s capital had ever seen. No violence occurred.
August 27, 1963 on the eve of the March, civil rights leader W.E.B. duBois died in Ghana. He was the author of more than 20 books, two novels, a play and numerous articles and essays and was a leading supporter of socialism and pan-Africanism.
The 1963 march was put together to draw attention to black unemployment and discrimination and a civil-rights bill that outlawed segregation in businesses and public places, and employment discrimination. The bill was passed in 1964.
Aside from the crowd and the international attention it garnered, the march was highlighted by King’s speech. Among other things, he expressed hope that racial harmony could be accomplished and that children "will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."
On April 4, 1968 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated while he was leading a workers’ strike in Memphis, Tennessee.
To mark the 40th anniversary of the march, Dr. King’s son, Martin Luther King III will lead a coalition of over 100 labor, peace, justice and human rights groups to a mass rally at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial this Saturday.
This will kick-off of a 15 month political action movement against increased U.S. militarism, class warfare and the so-called "war on terror".
- Martin Luther King III, president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., speaking at the Lincoln Memorial Aug. 28th, 1963 at "March on Washington."