On a hot, humid summer day fifty years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., ascended into the pantheon of America's national heroes when he delivered an oration for the ages.
The March on Washington was a momentous moment in the long, hot summer of America's discontent. Racial strife was widespread, sometimes officially condoned, and often violent. The March marked the coming of age of the Civil Rights Movement as a genuine national phenomenon. While many in official Washington expected violence, 250,000 people, black and white, gathered peacefully on the National Mall, demanding "jobs and freedom."
It should be remembered that on August 28, 1963 it was not Dr. King's march, and he was not even the featured speaker, but one of many. In a few remarkable minutes, Dr. King's speech permanently changed the Civil Rights Movement and altered the course of history.