Public Media Honors the March on Washington

By Cait |

A young civil rights demonstrator at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom
A young civil rights demonstrator at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom

A young civil rights demonstrator at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom
                                 By an unknown photographer, Washington, DC, August 28, 1963                                                 Source: National Archives and Records Administration, Records of the U.S. Information Agency

On August 28, 1963, 250,000 activists came to Washington, D.C. to participate in the largest political rally for human rights in United States history, the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The event sought to expose the political, social and economic challenges African Americans continued to face nationwide. The March, which became a turning point in the Civil Rights Movement, concluded with Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, a spirited call for racial and economic equality. The event trailed several years of nonviolent, grassroots demonstrations for civil rights, and prompted the passage of civil rights legislation and a massive shift in public opinion.

This week marks the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, and public media stations nationwide are airing a series of programs and hosting online events and activities to honor this watershed event in civil rights history.


Public Radio Coverage

  • Morning public radio listeners are probably enjoying NPR’s National Desk and the Code Switch team’s The Summer of ’63, a wide-ranging series exploring the events and individuals of the civil rights movement that includes a “here and now” look at the longstanding legacies of the historic struggle for racial freedom and equality. Twitter users can also check out the Code Switch team’s account @TodayIn1963, which captures events from the summer of 1963 as if they were happening today.
  • Morning Edition listeners are also being transported back to the summer of 1963 with stories from individuals who took part in the March on Washington on Michele Norris’s The Race Card Project, which examines conversations and stories about race that are then condensed to one six-word sentence.
  • Leading up to its 50th anniversary, NPR will continue provide coverage of stories and remembrances of the March on Washington on Weekend Edition and All Things Considered. NPR will also report live from the 50th anniversary event in Washington, D.C.
  • Music and history buffs can relive the summer of ’63 in song with “The Mix: Songs Inspired By The Civil Rights Movement”, a 150-song stream hosted by Michele Norris, featuring songs that were part of or inspired by the Civil Rights Movement.


Public Television Coverage


Public media commemorates uniquely American events. We hope you’ll tune into your local public media station to hear inspiring stories of faith, hardship and triumph in the face of adversity, and learn about an event that has shaped and continues to shape our nation today.