March on Washington 50th anniversary

50TH ANNIVERSARY OF MARCH ON WASHINGTON FOR CIVIL RIGHTS REFLECTS ON PROGRESS FROM THE PAST AND CHALLENGES FOR THE FUTURE

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 29, 2013 (Washington D.C.) -- Fifty years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his now-famous “I have a dream” speech to a crowd of marchers in Washington D.C.  from across the nation  in support of civil rights. That  movement in 1963 led ultimately to signing of the Civil Rights Act.

Yesterday, a massive crowd of  people filled Capitol malll for a commemoration of that historic event. President Barack Obama delivered a speech at the Lincoln Memorial, site of Dr. King’s famed  oration.

“The March on Washington teaches us that we are not trapped by the mistakes of history; that we are masters of our fate,” the President said. “But it also teaches us that the promise of this nation will only be kept when we work together.  We’ll have to reignite the embers of empathy and fellow feeling, the coalition of conscience that found expression in this place 50 years ago.” View video of the President’s speech.

Attorney General Eric Holder also spoke, alluding to the Supreme Court’s recent decision weakening the Voting Rights Act.