NPR : News

50 Years Later: Sounds And Voices From The March

It was a cloudy and rainy day in Washington on Wednesday. But that did not keep thousands from descending on the National Mall to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.

There were long lines to get onto the Mall, and security was tight. The attendees seemed to skew much older than the march that was held on the Mall on Saturday, whose speakers were more pointed and polemic. (On Wednesday, there were noticeably far fewer people holding protest signs.) Gospel singers like Bebe Winans and Shirley Caesar performed in between speakers, which occasionally gave the proceedings the feel of a church service.

President Obama, the country's first black commander-in-chief, delivered a sober speech from the same steps where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his "I Have A Dream Speech," 50 years earlier.

The speakers remembered the sacrifices of the civil rights movements and they also remembered the triumph.

To give you an idea of what it was like, we've cobbled together some voices and sounds from the march.

-- Daisy Morgan, from Marianna, Fla., says the civil rights movement has directly affected her life:

-- Anna Frame, from Alexandria, Va., says Wednesday was a day for reflection:

-- Darlene Adams, from Washington, D.C., said she wanted to be part of history, unfortunately, she did not make it into the event:

-- Margaret Pearson, 71 and from the U.K., moved to the U.S. after the landmark Civil Rights Act, but she thinks it's important to remember:

-- At 3 p.m. ET., some 300 sites across the country rang their bells to symbolically answer the call of King's "let freedom ring." The bell tower at the National Cathedral in Washington played "Lift Every Voice and Sing."

-- Back in 1960, King preached at Shiloh Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. Today, some leaders, including King's daughter, Bernice, gathered for an interfaith service. The congregation sang Our Country 'Tis Of Thee:

Audio came from NPR's Allison Keyes, Sami Yenigun and Tanya Ballard Brown. The bells came from the Associated Press. NPR's Gene Demby contributed to the report.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

'Star Wars' Editors Defy Hollywood Conventions

In a film industry often dominated by men, there's at least one exception: Many editors are women. Maryann Brandon and Mary Jo Markey speak about their work on the new Star Wars.
NPR

Florida Says Its Fruits, Vegetables Are Safe From Invasive Fruit Fly

Since September, Florida has been fighting an infestation of the Oriental fruit fly, an invasive pest that threatened more than 400 crops. The state declared the insect eradicated as of Saturday.
NPR

The Senate Battle That Looms For Scalia's Replacement

NPR's Domenico Montanaro discusses the upcoming battle on Capitol Hill on replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court.
NPR

Colonialism Comment Puts Facebook Under Scrutiny

A Facebook board member lambasted a decision by regulators in India, the social network's second-largest market. He thereby sparked new scrutiny of Facebook's intentions in that country.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.