March On Washington: Your Stories

Credit Merry Alterman

Were you at the March, or know someone who was? Email us at

Just as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous 'dream' speech at the March on Washington on August 28, 1963, white and black children rode a Merry-Go-Round together at the formerly all-white Gwynn Oak Amusement Park in Baltimore County. Click below to hear Fraser Smith's look back to that pivotal, piercing year.

We Knew in Our Hearts, that We Were Going to Win

Aug 28, 2013

In August 1963, Richard T. Lawrence, white, was 20-years-old and in seminary. He has served as the pastor of St. Vincent de Paul Church in Baltimore for the past 40 years.

It wasn’t the beginning, and it wasn’t the end. Lord knows, we haven’t reached the end. But it was the point at which we knew in our heart that we were going to win. At which point, it became inevitable as long as we didn’t give up, as long as we didn’t stop believing, stop trying.

Jo Ann Robinson.

 On April 24, 1992, retired Baltimore Judge Robert B. Watts told the Barclay Civil Rights Scholars about his involvement in the March on Washington.  

Greater Union First Baptist church

In honor of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, WYPR News collected stories from listeners and readers. 

Original March On Washington Program

Aug 27, 2013

I didn't attend the march, since I was too young in 1963, but my parents did. In fact, they started to drive to Washington, and a few miles from the house, my mother turned to my father and said, "We should take Judy" (my older sister, who was 13 at the time). So they went back home and got [her]. It turned out to be a good call for several reasons, not the least of which was that she picked up and kept for 50 years the attached program from the event. It's fascinating to read the list of demands and reflect on both how much progress we've made and how much remains.

The national mall in DC is expected to be crowded with tens of thousands of people this weekend, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. The Executive Director of the Maryland Republican Party has resigned. Delegate Pat McDonough says he’ll propose “Stand Your Ground” legislation in next year’s General Assembly session. A Baltimore court has freed five more prisoners who were convicted in murder cases decades ago. The 132nd Maryland State Fair opens today at the Timonium fairgrounds. And more.

Organizers are expecting crowds of thousands on the National Mall Saturday to celebrate one of a week’s worth of events to mark the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington.

The crowd at that march was estimated at 250,000; the National Park Service has issued a permit for 150,000 people on Saturday. But Gerald Stansbury, president of the state chapter of the NAACP, says that’s his goal for Maryland alone.

“We can make it happen,” he told a rally in Upper Marlboro this week.

‘It Was Like a United Congregation’

Aug 22, 2013

Ed Warfield, white, a retired Episcopal clergyman, was 30 years old in 1963. At the time he was serving as Vicar of the Chapel of the Ascension in East Baltimore. He lives in Sykesville now.  St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church, where Warfield is still active in ministry, will have a multi-racial group of people read Dr. King's speech on Sunday, August 25.   

'The Epiphany That There Could Be More...'

Aug 21, 2013

12 years old in August 1963, black, grew up in South Baltimore, Congressman for Maryland’s 7th district.  Rep. Cummings wasn't at The March On Washington, but his father was. 

'We Knew Something Great Was About To Happen'

Aug 21, 2013

Bob Ross, chair of the Prince Georges County branch of the NAACP, was 19, living in West Philadelphia in August 1963. He had just come home from working at a camp when is mother told him to pack his things, they were going to Washington. He now lives in Prince Georges County