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March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom

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March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom was a rally held on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. on 28 August 1963. It was where Martin Luther King, Jr gave his famous I Have a Dream speech. After the march, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the National Voting Rights Act of 1965 were passed. People say 200,000 to 300,000 people were there.[1] About 80% of the people at the rally were African American, and about 20% were white or of a different race.

Organization and Planning

The march was first planned by A. Philip Randolph, who was the president of the Negro American Labor Council, and vice president of the AFL-CIO. He had planned another civil rights march in 1941, but it never happened. However, the threat of the march was a big reason why President Roosevelt wrote Executive Order 8802. This forced equal opportunity in the defense industry, which meant that all workers had to be treated the same, no matter what their race was.

Other leaders of civil rights movement helped Randolph plan the march and spread the word to their members. Some of the most important were James Farmer, (president of the Congress of Racial Equality), John Lewis (president of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee),[1] Martin Luther King, Jr. (president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference),[1] Roy Wilkins (president of the NAACP),[1] and Whitney Young (president of the National Urban League). Bayard Rustin, the first of the Freedom Riders who tried to challenge racial discrimination in travel, worked on the details of the march.

Sources cited.