President Obama Plans To Address Nation, Re-Create March On Washington For 50th Anniversary

President Obama Plans To Address Nation, Re-Create March On Washington For 50th Anniversary

President Barack Obama will help retain history next week by re-creating the memorable and iconic March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in Washington, DC in celebration of its 50th anniversary.

Much like civil rights icon Martin Luther King, Jr. did 50 years ago, President Obama will address the nation on August 28.

The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, which took place Aug. 28, 1963, brought hundreds of thousands to the National Mall to call for integration and economic equality. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. The march will be re-created Aug. 28 on the Mall, where President Obama will address the nation from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Colleges and universities are working to honor the anniversary as well, with community service, smaller re-enactments, lectures and academic debates. (USA Today)

Colleges around the area like Howard University plan to celebrate the anniversary.

Howard University in Washington will host a special chapel service with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and hold a service day when incoming freshman will perform community service across the city. “The day of service is really to empower people, which is a direct response to the March on Washington and the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King,” says Howard junior Alyssa McCall, 20, who helped plan the event. “It’s very important to college students, especially at Howard University, because it’s a moment of our history.” The university will premiere a documentary on the civil rights movement and host a question-and-answer session with the film’s producer, Andrew Young, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and a Howard alumnus. (USA Today)

One of the youngest marchers, Lawrence Cumberbatch, recently reflected on the memorable event.

Lawrence Cumberbatch was only 16 when he trekked, on foot, from New York City to Washington, D.C., to join the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Lawrence, now 66, was the youngest person on the march with the Brooklyn branch of the Congress of Racial Equality. His parents thought two weeks on the open road would be too dangerous for a teenager and made their best effort to dissuade him, Lawrence tells his son, Simeon, 39, at StoryCorps in New York. Between Aug. 15 and Aug. 27, 1963, Lawrence and the other members of Brooklyn CORE walked from sunup to sunset each day, he says. “Our diet was eating out of the Coke machines in the gas stations — cheese, crackers with peanut butter — for the whole 13 days, that’s all we ate.” (NPR)

The March on Washington is most recognized for Martin Luther King delivering his iconic “I Have A Dream” speech.

What would the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. march for if he were alive today? America has made progress on many fronts in the half-century since King electrified a crowd of 250,000 people, and millions of Americans watching on television, with his “I Have a Dream” address at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. (Washington Post)

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