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00000176-770f-dc2f-ad76-7f0fae0c0000Were you at the March, or know someone who was? Email us at newsroom@wypr.org

Original March On Washington Program

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.

I reread the flyer after I sent it to [WYPR], and what struck me as much as the demands was the statement on the opposite page. My mother recalled that at the time, there was a lot of fear that it would turn into a riot. In fact, she remembered walking by the White House on the way to the march and thinking that Kennedy should have supported it. But there was so much fear that he played it quiet until shortly after, when he met with the organizers. I think the statement in the program addresses that fear in a very powerful and poignant way.