On August 28, 1963, hundreds of thousands of people from diverse backgrounds gathered on the National Mall in Washington, DC, in what is still considered one of the largest human rights events in American history. The March was designed to put pressure on the federal government to enact civil rights legislation, protect civil rights, and improve working conditions for African Americans.
The March on Washington immediately became associated with Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Yet there was a great deal more to the story that day. The event included a wide variety of speeches and performances, becoming a template that would be copied countless times by political activists and social protesters around the world. Many of the participants would proudly remember the March as the most important and meaningful event of their lives.