On Aug. 28, 1963, some 250,000 people gathered in the nation’s capital for the March on Washington
The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom drew some 250,000 people to the nation’s capital in a clarion call for racial justice. The event, culminating with Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech on Aug. 28, 1963, pressured the administration of President John F. Kennedy to initiate a federal civil rights bill that his successor, Lyndon B. Johnson, signed into law the following year.
On the 57th anniversary of the march that set the standard for anti-racist demonstrations, a renewed call for justice is echoing across the country following the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Sean Reed, Yassin Mohamed, Ahmaud Arbery, Rayshard Brooks and so many others.
In honor of the historic 1963 event and the current, ongoing demonstrations for racial justice, the Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network and King’s son, Martin Luther King III, are leading a new “Get Off Our Necks” Commitment March on Washington today. The organizers are asking demonstrators – not only in Washington but also around the country – to renew their fight for fairness and equity in the policing and criminal justice systems. Learn more about today’s March on Washington here.
Lead photo by Marion S. Trikosko/Library of Congress