The Fifty Year March

Here’s Ken Howard, a D.C. student fifty years ago today, when Martin Luther King Jr. gave what was to become one of history’s most famous speeches: “You have to back up and think about what was happening at the time. Nationally, in 1962, you have James Meredith, the first black to attend the University of Mississippi, that was national news. In May 1963, Bull Connor with the dogs and the fire hoses, turning them on people, front-page news. And then in June, that summer, you have Medgar Evers shot down in the South, and his body actually on view on 14th Street at a church in D.C. So you had a group of individuals who had been not just oppressed, but discriminated against and killed because of their color. The March on Washington symbolized a rising up, if you will, of people who were saying enough is enough.” From Smithsonian Magazine: an Oral History of the March on Washington.

+ Here’s an annotated video of the “I Have a Dream” speech.

+ Leonard Freed’s photos of the March on Washington.

+ Asa Philip Randolph: A 1963 Profile of the Man Who Led the March on Washington.

+ Buzzfeed: Bayard Rusin: The Man Homophobia Almost Erased From History.

+ Today in 1963: Follow along with a Twitter account Tweeting the events as they happened in the summer of 1963.

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