“Kahn was right about the historic nature of the March on Washington. It is both the most familiar and most remembered protest in the U.S…. the protest helped legitimize a new kind of march on Washington in the American political culture.” - “Marching on Washington: The Forging of an American Political Tradition,” Lucy G. Barber
If you care about one of the most remarkable moments in U.S. history, mark August 28, 2013 on your calendar. If you don’t know what I’m referencing, don’t feel bad. Many of us were not even born, or were too young to remember.
On August 28, 1963, 100 years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, stood symbolically between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument and delivered his historic, “I Have a Dream” speech. A crowd, estimated at 200,000 and one quarter white, and deemed the largest public protest at that point, stood on the National Mall and listened. King and other black leaders had just met with Congress, and would meet with President Kennedy afterwards. Historians have credited the event, officially known as “The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom,” with helping to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
I forget what sparked my interest in this, but the other day I started searching the web to see what commemorative events will be taking place. At this point, there are only hints at what’s coming, but the stature of this commemoration will be huge. Dr. King’s Memorial will add a powerful new dimension.
I am excited and motivated because I was only six at the time and don’t remember anything. I hope to learn more about the march and the mood of the nation. I’ve started reading Marshall Frady’s biography of King, and “Marching on Washington: The Forging of an American Political Tradition” by Lucy G. Barber.
Come to Washington if you can, or sign on to help out. This will be a great day for Americans of all colors to look back, look around, and to look forward.