60 years ago today a man made a speech to 300,000 people on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. A gifted orator and an extraordinary man, Martin Luther King, Jr. departed from his prepared text to share a dream with his country, and today we celebrate
NATIONAL I HAVE A DREAM DAY!
Originally called the “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom” on August 28, 1963, but now referred to simply as The March on Washington, the Reverend Dr. King was the featured speaker.
He was the man at the spearhead of a generations-long Civil Rights Movement forged in suffering and blood.
King delivered one of the most compelling speeches in American history that day, and galvanized a nation. The long struggle was now global news, and its time had come. America now had to put up or shut up about all men being created equal.
By November of that year, just prior to his assassination, President John F. Kennedy put a Civil Rights Bill before Congress. In 1964, his successor Lyndon Johnson pushed it through Congress like a steamroller and signed it into law.
The following year, Congress passed Johnson’s Voting Rights Act, these two landmark laws ending 100 years of Jim Crow inequality for native American citizens. No more separate water fountains, no more using the back door, no more “colored need not apply,” no more votes denied.
A man dreamed this could happen, and a nation responded.
•Suggested Activities: Let freedom ring.