Mass protest to raise awareness of issues and put pressure on Washington to do something significant about civil and economic rights for African Americans.
Earlier attempts to plan a similar march never materialized.
At that time it was the largest demonstration for human rights in the history of our nation.
The event was a huge success. No major disturbances. Received immense media attention.
March is credited for helping pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Protest Washington's failure to adequately deal with the "race problem"
Promote Passage of Kennedy's Civil Rights Bill
August 28, 1963
100 years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation
Main organizers: A. Philip Randolph and Bayard Rustin
Daisy Bates only woman who spoke; spoke only briefly in a tribute to women fighters for freedom.
Randolph gave the opening remarks.
"The Big 6" CORE, SNCC, SCLC, NAACP, National Urban League,
Organizers planned 10 speakers, King being the highlight and entertainment.
SNCC Rep. John Lewis was asked to soften his attack on the government. At first, refused. Later agreed after speaking with A. Philip Randolph.
King's speech focused on hope, determination, racial harmony, unity. Talked about the African American in the past, present, and future.
250,000 people gathered
Freedom buses (more than 2,000) and freedom trains (more than 30) brought in people from around the country.
Thousands of police and National Guardsmen, security present.
The March not accepted by all, for example condemned by Malcolm X who called it the "Farce on Washington"
Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C.
Take the quiz "The Year 1963"
Take the quiz "March on Washington"