Fifty Years Ago Today: The March on Washington (1963)
Fifty years ago today, a range of civil rights organizations and other groups organized the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, perhaps best known for Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, a recording of which was added to the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry in 2002. Other speakers included such leaders as A. Philip Randolph, organizer of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, the first predominantly black labor union; civil rights activist Bayard Rustin; white labor leader Walter Reuther; and SNCC chairman John Lewis, whose speech had to be changed at the last minute because it was so incendiary.
For other resources relating to the March on Washington, check out these sites:
- Civil Rights History Project
- Civil Rights Digital Library
- National Archives and Records Administration Featured Item: “I Have A Dream”
Speech by Martin Luther King, Jr.
- Historypin has created a digital “tour” for the march.
- The Official Program for the March of Washington is availabe at OurDocuments.gov
- The Williams College Archives has an online display of ephemera (pamphlets, buttons, etc.) from the March.
The Georgia State University Library also has a range of materials available about or relating to the March on Washington, including:
- History Vault: Black Freedom I and II (search for “March on Washington”) (GSU affiliates only)
- Black Thought and Culture (GSU affiliates only)
- Leonard Freed, This is the Day: The March on Washington (2013; foreword by Julian Bond; essay by Michael Eric Dyson; afterword by Paul M. Farber; includes images)
- Clarence B. Jones and Stuart Connelly, Behind the Dream: The Making of the Speech that Transformed a Nation (2011)
- Charles Euchner, Nobody Turn Me Around: A People’s History of the 1963 March on Washington (2010)
- Patrik Henry Bass, Like a Mighty Stream: The March on Washington, August 28, 1963 (2002)
- Doris E. Saunders, The Day They Marched (1963; intro. by Lerone Bennett Jr.)