March on Washington Facts

March on Washington Facts
The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, or simply the March on Washington, was a Civil Rights political rally held in front of the Lincoln Memorial at the National Mall on August 28, 1963. Martin Luther King Junior, who delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech at the rally, headlined a host of notable civil rights activists speakers. The march was attended by approximately 250,000 participants, making it one of the largest political rallies not just to take place at the National Mall, but in the history of the United States. The organizers and speakers at the rally came together to advocate for a number of different ideas, the foremost of which were the elimination of legalized segregation and Jim Crow laws, a voting rights act, federal protections against racial discrimination, and a raise in the national minimum wage.
Interesting March on Washington Facts:
The March's primary organizers were civil rights activists A. Philip Randolph and Bayard Rustin.
In June 1963, the Council for United Civil Rights Leadership was formed as an umbrella organization for the March and to handle funding and communications.
Current Georgia congressman, John Lewis, who was the chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Commission, was one of the young organizers of the March.
Between 70% and 80% of the marchers were black.
March organizers explicitly denied communist and socialist organizations official recognition at the march, fearing that it would be bad optics.
President John Kennedy and his brother, Attorney General Robert Kennedy, were initially skeptical of the March because they believed it would be infiltrated by communists and other violent radicals.
Black militants, such as Malcolm X and the Nation of Islam, condemned the March for placating the white majority.
Nearly 6,000 police officers and 5,000 National Guardsmen served as security for the event.
A. Philip Randolph was active in the labor movement, serving as president of the Negro American Labor Council and vice president of the AFL-CIO.
Rustin was an incredibly versatile political operative who was affiliated with a wide range of organizations and advocated an array of different tactics and philosophies.
A small contingent of members from the American Nazi Party protested the event, but were quickly dispersed by the police.
Several religious organizations were represented at the March, including: the United Presbyterian Church, the National Catholic Conference, the National Council of Churches, and the American Jewish Congress.
Although President Kennedy was tepid in his support for the March, many southern members of his Democrat Party viewed it as a betrayal: many political scientists point toward the March as the point whereby the south began changing politically from Democrat to Republican.
The March was generally well-received by the press and the public and his believed to have been one of the reasons for Congress passing and for President Kennedy singing the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
The March provided a template or subsequent marches, including the Million Man March in 1995 and a fiftieth anniversary of the March on Washington in 2013.


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