The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom was one of the largest political rallies for human rights in United States history and called for civil and economic rights for African Americans. It took place in Washington, D.C.Martin Luther King, Jr., standing in front of the Lincoln Memorial, delivered his historic "I Have a Dream" speech advocating racial harmony during the march.The march was organized by a group of civil rights, labor, and religious organizations, under the theme "jobs, and freedom."
The march is widely credited with helping to pass the Civil Rights Act (1964) and the Voting Rights Act (1965). More than 2,000 buses, 21 special trains, 10 chartered airliners, and uncounted cars converged on Washington.The march began at the Washington Monument and ended at the Lincoln Memorial with a program of music and speakers. The march failed to start on time because its leaders were meeting with members of Congress.The 1963 March also spurred anniversary marches that occur every five years, with the 20th and 25th being some of the most well known. The 25th Anniversary theme was "We Still have a Dream...Jobs, Peace, Freedom."
Musician Bob Dylan performed several songs, including "Only a Pawn in Their Game", about the culturally fed racial hatred amongst Southern whites that led to the assassination of Medgar Evers. He also perfomed "When the Ship Comes In", during which he was joined by fellow folk singer Joan Baez, who earlier had led the crowds in several verses of "We Shall Overcome" and "Oh Freedom". Speakers included all six civil-rights leaders of the so called, "Big Six"; Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish religious leaders; and labor leader Walter Reuther. Daisy Bates and Josephine Baker were the only women to speak.