Revisiting the Civil Rights Movement Ahead of the March on Washington's 50th Anniversary

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Crowds surrounding the Reflecting Pool, during the 1963 March on Washington.
From and

On the morning of August 28th 1963, the idea of America was tested and in the sounds of feet stepping and buses parking, there was a sign early that day that something would happen. It would not be a normal day, in Washington, in America, in the world.

For hours the crowds gathered, for the March on Washington D.C. was being fulfilled—a promised march to speak of the unfulfilled promises in the U.S. Constitution. It was a grass roots event, a first of its kind national news event.

The 250,000 people who came to the mall 50 years ago next week brought their hopes and dreams of change, and the changes they had already made in their own communities. Whether they made it to the March or not, they were all pieces in a grand church of moral change being built brick by brick.

Today The Takeaway takes a look back on the March on Washington with support from:

Moments of the Movement: Civil Rights and Change in America comes to you from New Visions, New Voices. With support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Oral histories were conducted by the Southern Oral History Program in the Center for the Study of the American South at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, on behalf of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture and the Library of Congress.