March On Washington of 1963 By Lucas Maddox

What It Was

Gathered in front of the Lincoln Memorial on August 28th, 1963, over 200,000 peaceful protestors took part in the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

This event is known as a political rally, whereas protestors "addressed the conditions in which African Americans were living under, and to facilitate meaningful civil rights laws, full and fair employment, voting rights, and integrated education," (). Also, protestors were there in support of the Kennedy Administrations proposed Civil Rights Act.

Important People

A. Phillip Randolph, founder of the NALC, lead The March On Washington with collaborative sponsorships mainly from the leaders of the five other major civil rights groups - Roy Wilkins (NAACP), Whitey Young (NUL), MLK (SCLC), John Lewis (SNCC). These "Big Six" organized and executed one of the most successful American rally's ever.


Although this political rally faced no reported violence, JFK's assumption that the rally would only increase the already high racial tensions led him to decide against supporting the rally. Others that adamantly disagreed with the rally included Malcolm X/The Nation of Islam, the KKK, and southern segregationists.

Lasting Legacy

Contrary to JFK's beliefs, The 1963 March On Washington was a grand success for the Civil Rights Movement, and it paved the way for the 24th Amendment alongside the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.

24th Amendment gave every American citizen the right to vote without being denied.

Modern Counterpart -

The Women's March On Washington

Steaming from a Facebook group created the night that Donald Trump won the 2017 Presidential Election, Hawaiian resident Theresa Shook and NY fashion designer Bob Bland lead a political rally on January 21st, 2017, advocating policies for Women's Rights, LBGTQ Rights, and Immigration Reform.

Other important leaders/sponsors included politicians California Senator Kamala Harris and House Rep. Maxine Waters, and also celebrities such as Scarlett Johansson and Alicia Keys.


Overall, these two events were very comparable. Both of these political rallies used the tactics of protesting in large numbers ('63 with 200K and '17 with 500K) at our nation's capital to advocate for equal human rights. Instead of protesting for African American rights, the 2017 March was protesting Women's rights.


Another similarity between these two March's was the obstacles they faced. It is safe to say that similar to the 1963 march, the 2017 march did not have the support of our US president Donald Trump, as another one of the protest's goals was to mock and go against President Trump's past remarks on women. Adding on, these march's both stayed relatively non-violent with some scrutiny from Americans.

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