On this hot summer day in 1963, over 200,000 people, black and white, converged on the Nation’s Capitol to demand full civil rights for African Americans. The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom was the largest the city had ever seen. In spite of dire predictions and preparations by the civil authorities for a violent confrontation, events of the day were peaceful and proved to be a turning point in the civil rights movement. To commemorate the day, we’ve gathered a few significant resources from the National Archives:
The official program for the March on Washington: http://ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?flash=true&doc=96
The restored documentary, The March (1963), contains remarkable historic footage from that day: travel, preparations, scenes from the march itself, as well as footage of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech, which was for many, the highlight of the event. The film is viewable on the National Archives YouTube channel.
For many, the highlight of the day was the speech given by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 50 years later, his speech still has the capacity to inform and move us. You can read the full text online at the National Archives website.