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  • Writer's pictureMichael Laxer

March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom anniversary

Today marks the 60th anniversary of the historic US civil rights March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. It drew at least 250,000 people from across the United States and culminated with Martin Luther King Jr. delivering his iconic "I Have a Dream" speech in front on the Lincoln Memorial.

As scholar and historian Lerone Bennett Jr. said of the day:

It was the beginning of something, and the ending of something.
It came 100 years and 240 days after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation.
It came like a force of nature.
Like a whirlwind, like a storm, like a flood, it overwhelmed by its massiveness and finality.
A quarter-million people were in it, and of it; and millions more watched on TV and huddled around radios. There had never been anything quite like it.

Here we share some photos of the day as well as the full text of King's speech.

Josephine Baker was one of several celebrities at the march.

Baker was in her Free French military uniform and wearing her medals. During the war she had courageously worked as a spy and helped the Free French. For these actions she was made a lieutenant in the Free French Air Force and was awarded the French Croix de guerre and the Rosette de la Résistance medals as well as being made a Chevalier of the Légion d'honneur.

Preparing to board a train to the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom


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