The March on Washington, culminating with Martin Luther King, Jr.’s immortal speech, I Have a Dream, took place on this day in history in 1963. It was one of the largest political rallies for human rights in United States history. It called for civil and economic rights for African Americans. The march took place in Washington, D.C. Thousands of Americans headed to the nation’s capital the day before. In his famous speech, King called for an end to racism.
The march was organized by a group of civil rights, labor, and religious organizations, under the theme of “jobs and freedom.” Estimates of the number of participants varied from 200,000 to 300,000. Observers estimated that 75-80 percent of the marchers were black.
The event is credited with helping to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and it preceded the Selma Voting Rights Movement which led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Do we still have a long way to go in eradicating racism in America? Sure, we do. But every once in a while, it’s good to look back and remember how far we’ve already come. Today seems like a pretty good day to do that – as we remember the March on Washington – 54 years ago today.