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March on Washington


Imagine the power of 250,000 Americans from all walks of life, all religions, and all races, coming together in peaceful demonstration for civil rights. Now imagine it happening during a year that included such atrocities as dogs and fire hoses attacking civil rights demonstrators, and after decades of hatred, voter suppression, educational inequality, discriminatory pay, and legalized segregation. The March on Washington called for both civil and economic rights for African Americans and had a direct impact on the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. That August of 1963, people travelled by whatever means possible from all across the country to participate in what was the nation’s largest peaceful demonstration to date. Beginning at the Washington Monument, demonstrators walked a mile down Independence Avenue to the Lincoln Memorial where they heard music and speeches from leading musicians and activists of the day. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. inspired the world with his “I Have a Dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. In arguably one of the most famous speeches in American history, King spoke eloquently about the American dream and of a country where his children would “not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

Learn More

MLK on Meet The Press – NBC’s original discussion with Martin Luther King Jr. a few days before The March on Washington Dr. King's "Dream" – The Congress of Racial Equality provides historical information about and insight into the planning and organization of the March on Washington National Action Network - Founded to promote modern civil rights based on King’s approach of non-violence March on Washington – The History Channel website provides historical information related to the March on Washington and the Civil Rights Movement

Library Materials

Martin Luther King “I Have A Dream” (DVD) – recording of Martin Luther King Jr.’s televised speech at the Lincoln Memorial We Shall Overcome! (sound recording) – documentary of the March on Washington Portrait in Black (streaming media) – documentary tracing through the evolution of the African American Labor Movement and the Civil Rights Movement.