March on Washington August 28, 1963

The March on Washington was caused by the stalling of the Civil Rights Act in congress. Over 200,000 people gathered on August 28, 1963 in Washington, D.C. for the march. It was officially known as the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. They wanted to shed light on the political and social challenges African American continually faced across the country.

Protestors marching with their protest signs.

There were several groups involved with the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference set aside their differences to organize the event. Students Non-Violent coordinating committee also helped to organize the march. Martin Luther King Jr. was also involved with the march, during the march he gave his famous "I have a dream" speech.

Martin Luther King Jr. greets crowd of marchers after his famous "I have a dream" speech.

There were many obstacles that they faced during the march. People had to overcome fear, during the march there was always the threat of violence against the marchers. These people had to put their fears aside to march for what they believed in. At these protests there was always the threat of violence against the people.

Military police in Washington D.C. days prepare for the expected violence days before the march.

The march had many lasting effects for the Civil Rights Movement and the United States. The march helped sustain and strengthen the work of those who continued to commit themselves to the movement. In the following years after the march, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 were both passed by Lyndon B. Johnson. Helped to inspire future protests for equality.

Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as Martin Luther King Jr. and others look on.

Current women's rights groups have used similar methods as the groups involved in the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. On January 21, 2017 there was a worldwide Women's march where women's rights groups advocated legislation and policies regarding human rights and other issues, which included women's rights, immigration reform, healthcare reform, LGBTQ rights, racial equality, and freedom of religion. The rallies were all aimed at Donald Trump following his inauguration. It was the largest single-day protest in United States history. Both marches on Washington were incredibly large and were non-violent protests of the violation of human rights.

Large group of marchers during the Women's March on Washington.

Bibliography

August 1963: D.C. braces for March on Washington. (n.d.). Retrieved April 27, 2017, from https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/august-1963-dc-braces-for-march-on-washington/2013/08/21/f0b6b81e-09e8-11e3-b87c-476db8ac34cd_gallery.html?utm_term=.2519cbdc991a

History.com Staff. (2009). March on Washington. Retrieved April 27, 2017, from http://www.history.com/topics/black-history/march-on-washington?scrlybrkr=ee67f93d

Legacy and Impact of the March. (2015, September 15). Retrieved April 27, 2017, from http://americanhistory.si.edu/changing-america-emancipation-proclamation-1863-and-march-washington-1963/1963/legacy-and-impact

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Karenna Trauger
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