March on Washington By Giovanni Giammanco

Who was there and what were their goals

On 28 August 1963 people near and far gathered at the nations capital. Transportation such as "freedom buses" and/or "freedom trains" brought people from all over the United States to this demonstration. Over 60,000 of the over 200,000 people were white. They were all taking in this breath-taking event. Many people had signs that read such things as, "Pass the bill", or "We march for integration". No matter what race, for most it was the first time to the nation's capital.
"Fellow Americans, we are gathered here in the largest demonstration in the history of this nation. Let the nation and the world know the meaning of our numbers. We are not a pressure group, we are not an organization or a group of organizations, we are not a mob. We are the advance guard of a massive moral revolution for jobs and freedom." A. Philip Randolph started the program off, in front of the Lincoln Memorial. Along with Randolph, there was a group of U.S. senators and Representatives about 75 to 100. With their appearance came a loud prolonged applause, which became a steady chant, "Pass the bill-pass the bill".
Page_1.jpg
Click on the picture to see full size
ms058070.jpgmow07-440.jpg There wasn't just speeches and marching, but there was a lot of entertainment. Such musicians as Joan Baez, Josh White, Mahalia Jackson, Bob Dylan, and trio Peter, Odetta, Paul, and Mary had scheduled performances. Here is one of Bob Dylan's performances.
Bob Dylan, accompanied by Joan Baez, performing //When the Ship Comes in// at the March - from YouTube

280px-Harry_Belafonte_Civil_Rights_March_1963.jpg
Belafonte speaking at the 1963 Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C
The Protest's goals and overall message (according to U.S. New & World Report- September 9, 1963)

1. Passage of "meaningful" civil-rights legislation at the meeting of Congress. 2. Instant Abolition of all racial segregation in public schools throughout the nation. 3. A large program of public works in order to provide jobs for all the nation’s unemployed, including job training and a job placement program.
4. The mandate of a federal law prohibiting racial discrimination in hiring of the workforce public or private.
5. $2-an-hour minimum wage nationwide.
6. Withdraw of federal funds from programs in which any discrimination exists.
7. Immediate Enforcement of the Fourteenth Amendment, reducing congressional representation of states where citizens are not given the right to vote.
8. A nationwide Fair Labor Standards Act to include currently excluded employment areas.

9. Authority for the Attorney General to institute injunctive suits when any constitutional right is violated.

"By the force of our demands, our determination and our numbers, John Lewis said, "we shall splinter the segregated South into a thousand pieces, and put them back together in the image of God and Democracy."


Martin Luther King Jr. , the most popular of all the civil rights leaders, delivered a speech that would be heard on television stations across the land from 1963 to now. It was a speech of anticipation and willpower, gratifying the day's message of racial harmony, love, and a belief that blacks and whites could live together as one United States of America. "I have a dream" speech, it is currently considered one of the greatest and most influential speeches ever.
Martin Luther King Jr.'s speech at the March


The March on Washington was a success. It had been powerful, yet peaceful beyond anyone's expectations. It was the most demonstration and peaceful push for Civil Rights. The event was extensively covered by the media. This further driving there point across that black people and white people could work against an injustice side by side. This event and many others were the push congress needed to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964.