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Thursday, August 29, 2013

March on Washington

     Yesterday marked the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington.  I thought it might be helpful to have a little historical perspective to understand the climate of the times in 1963.  The date of August 28th was chosen as the eighth anniversary of the murder of Emmett Till who had been murdered for talking with a white woman.  In those days in the South that was something that could get you killed and the murderers didn't have to fear prosecution.

   That Spring peaceful demonstrators had been treated to water hoses from the Birmingham Police Department.  This effort caused the general white population of the country to examine the brutal force that led to calls for new civil rights legislation.

 In June a court ruled that two black students had to be admitted to the University of Alabama in spite of Gov. George Wallace trying to stop their admission by standing in the doorway at the University.   Two months before the March Medgar Evers, the Field Secretary for the NAACP in Mississippi, was murdered and it took 30 years to bring his murderer to justice.

 A couple of weeks after the March in Mississippi four young girls were killed in a church bombing.  

     This was the backdrop to the March that occurred on August 28, 1963 and was the setting for the "I have a dream" speech of Martin Luther King.  Take some time to listen to that link.  I wanted to also post two links to his other great speeches, "I have been to the mountaintop", his last speech and his "How Long" speech.

    It wasn't hard to miss what was missing at yesterday's march.  At least they had a statue to represent them.

  I came across this Lincoln recreator giving his Gettysburg Address in the voice that was as it sounded by persons who have described it.

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