March on Washington Fast Facts

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CNN  — 

Here’s some background information about the March on Washington, led by Martin Luther King Jr. and others, on August 28, 1963.


The event was officially titled the “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.”

Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial.

The march was organized by the “Big Six” leaders of the civil rights movement: A. Philip Randolph, Whitney M. Young Jr., Martin Luther King Jr., James Farmer, Roy Wilkins and John Lewis. Bayard Rustin was chief organizer of the march.

More than 200,000 people participated in the march to focus attention on civil rights and the need to create a level playing field for American workers.

The marchers were entertained by celebrities including Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Joan Baez, Bobby Darin, Odetta, Bob Dylan, Lena Horne, and Peter, Paul and Mary. Other celebrities who were present included Marlon Brando, Charlton Heston, Harry Belafonte, Burt Lancaster, Paul Newman, Diahann Carroll, Sammy Davis Jr., James Baldwin and Jackie Robinson.

Law enforcement included some 5,000 police officers and National Guardsmen.

At the end of the day, the leaders of the march met with US President John F. Kennedy at the White House.

August 28, 2013 - On the 50th anniversary of the march, one of the 1963 organizers, John Lewis, a congressman (D-GA), and US Presidents Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, address a crowd at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Other participants include Oprah Winfrey and the parents of Trayvon Martin.

Lewis: Come and walk in my shoes
03:31 - Source: CNN