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March on Washington - 50th Anniversary (1963-2013): Blogs/Podcasts

The 1963 March on Washington attracted an estimated 250,000 people for a peaceful demonstration to promote Civil Rights and economic equality for African Americans. The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech highlighted the event.

Blogs / Podcasts

Bayard Rustin: The Man Who Organized The March On Washington


The trailblazing strategist behind the 1963 March on Washington will this year be posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. That's a long way from the days when civil rights activists counted on Bayard Rustin's hard work, but tried to push him aside because he was gay.

50 Years Ago, March on Washington Had More Radical Roots Than Remembered Today


Historian William Jones joins Gwen Ifill to offer an overview of how the March on Washington came to be, why President Kennedy wanted it to be called off and what roles women of color played on that historic day. Their discussion is one a series of conversations looking back at the legacy of August 28, 1963.

While Unsung in '63, Women Weren't Just 'Background Singers'


"Without women, the civil rights movement would never have gotten off the ground. They were the ones who were the organizers — they were really the ground troops."

"They regarded themselves as the leaders. They were regarded by the press as the leaders, it was just part of the times. Men were out there; women were in the background really doing most of the work." Women ran the mimeograph machines, made sandwiches, placed phone calls and passed out flyers with information on gatherings.

Behind the March on Washington: A 40th Anniversary Look at the Struggles to Stage the Event


  • Listen to Morning Edition audio.
  • Listen to an excerpt of the Rev. Martin Luther King's 'I Have a Dream' speech.
  • Hear remarks at the event by March on Washington organizer A. Philip Randolph.
  • Listen to remarks at the demonstration by John Lewis, a march leader who later became a congressman.