President Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Jamie Foxx and many more renowned entertainers and politicians are expected to attend a special 50th anniversary of the March on Washington today (August 28) in the nation’s capital.
Handfuls of public figures will help commemorate civil rights icon Martin Luther King, Jr.‘s “I Have A Dream” speech today in Washington, DC.
Former presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter — as well as celebrities like Oprah Winfrey and Jamie Foxx — will be among a list of speakers who will address a nation that has made great strides in racial equality since King’s “dream” remarks helped bring about landmark civil rights legislation. Organizers told The Associated Press that 200,000 people are expected to attend Wednesday’s event. Occasional rain showers were forecast to hit Washington throughout the day, but the weather didn’t deter crowds: Thousands had already packed the National Mall as of early Wednesday morning. (NBC News)
Over 300 locations are expected to celebrate the memorable day by ringing bells this afternoon.
The final refrain of Martin Luther King Jr.’s most famous speech will echo around the world as bells from churches, schools and historical monuments “let freedom ring” in celebration of a powerful moment in civil rights history. Organizers said people at more than 300 sites in nearly every state will ring their bells at 3 p.m. their time Wednesday or at 3 p.m. EDT, the hour when King delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech in Washington. Commemorations are planned from the site of the speech in Washington to the far reaches of Alaska, where participants plan to ring cow bells along with church bells in Juneau. (Boston Herald)
Much like MLK did 50 years ago, President Obama will address the nation today with a speech.
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 have been expected 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)