A Reporter Remembers the ’63 March

As first published by The Daily Beast on August 27, 2013National Archives, Records of the U.S. Information Agency, Record Group 306 (ARC ID 542045)

By Hedrick Smith

Fifty years ago today, August 28, 1963, I watched the first advance elements of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom arriving in the nation’s capital. As the sky dawned pink-then-orange behind the stiletto spire of the Washington Monument, an army of overnight buses rolled into the city from points north—New York, New England, the Middle West. They parked single file along the Mall, delivering a small army of people.

The early arrivers bubbled with quiet excitement. In little groups, they moved toward the Lincoln Memorial, talking with hushed expectancy, as they occupied the historic ground at the heart of Washington.

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