March on Washington

Published: 1963
Play Audio Archive Story - UPI
WAP63082802 - 16 JANUARY 1999 - WASHINGTON, DC, USA: The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. waves to the assembled crowd during the march on Washington August 28, 1963. Speaking from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial,. King rallied the nation's civil rights movements with his impassioned "I have a Dream" speech. cc/sp/files UPI

Hank Wilson: "Public schools let out later that month, and the demonstrations picked up steam. This is the sound of the marchers and the police dogs sent out to stop them in Cambridge, Maryland, summer, 1963."

Unknown speaker: "All of this group in the street are under arrest."

Hank Wilson: "It became clear by midsummer the demonstrations were accomplishing their main purpose: to force concessions toward Negro equal rights in the staunchest segregationist areas. Spurred on by their successes, Negro leaders resisted any offers of gradual integration.

"This is the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King."

Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: "We must no longer feel that we can settle for tokenism, for token integration is little more than token democracy."

Hank Wilson: "In Congress, hearings were beginning on the strongest civil-rights bill since Reconstruction. Mississippi Governor Ross Barnett charged the demonstrations were Communist-instigated."

Governor Ross Barnett: "It is obvious to many of us throughout the country that the racial agitation, strife and conflict that has been stirred up throughout our nation is largely Communist-inspired."

Hank Wilson: "Rights leaders scheduled a massive march on Washington for August 28th. The goal? 100,000 demonstrators. The result? Upwards of 200,000 converged on the nation's capital.

"From the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial they marched, singing and chanting. At the Memorial, they heard their leaders call for 'Freedom, freedom now.' March Director A. Philip Randolph."

A. Philip Randolph: "I pledge my heart, and my mind, and my body, to the achievement of social peace through social justice."

Hank Wilson: "An address that was to become well-known in months ahead, Martin Luther King, 'I Have A Dream'"

Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: "'I still have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.

"And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true. And so let freedom ring.And when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when our own of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last, free at last; thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"