Anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington

Featured Content August 26, 2016 - Anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom


On August 28,1963, a quarter million people gathered in the Nation’s Capital to attend the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom with Dr.Martin Luther King Jr. delivering his memorable “I Have a Dream” speech. The march, organized by a number of civil rights and religious groups was designed to shed light on the social and political challenges African Americans and other disenfranchised groups continued to face across the country.

"1963 is not an end but a beginning."

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. - "I Have a Dream" Speech

After the march, Dr. King and other civil rights leaders met with President Kennedy and Vice President Johnson to discuss the need for support of civil rights legislation. Although they passed after President Kennedy’s death, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 reflected the demands of the march.

78 Stat. 241 – Civil Rights Act of 1964

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42 U.S.C. Chapter 21 – Civil Rights
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79 Stat. 437 –Voting Rights Act of 1965

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52 U.S.C. Chapter 103 – Enforcement of Voting Rights

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Read Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, and view other March on Washington documents such as the “Pamphlet on Final Plans for the March”, on the National Archives and Records Administration's website.

Visit the Smithsonian National Museum of American History’s website to learn more about the march including the planning, expectations and fears, and the legacy and impact on The Civil Rights Movement.