Nevada Appeal at 150: Aug. 28, 1963: 200,000 freedom marchers chant hymn
The great march on Washington hit a peak of more than 200,000 by police estimates today even as some of the demonstrators for jobs and equal freedom for all Americans began heading away from the city.
Police Chief Edward Murray described the gathering of Negroes and white sympathizers as “the largest crowd of participants” in his knowledge and perhaps the largest in the city’s history.
A small army of police, national guardsmen and police reservists had little to do because the massive gathering was one of the most orderly on record.
The march of less than a mile, from the monument to the Lincoln Memorial, actually got underway in impromptu fashion nearly half an hour before the 11:30 a.m. scheduled time.
Some of the placards read: “Before we’ll be a slave, we’ll be buried in our grave.” “Segregation disunites the United States.” “No U.S. dough to help Jim Crow.” “In freedom we were born, in freedom we must live.”
The demonstration was a giant demand that racial discrimination be abolished, root and branch, throughout America.
Shortly after noon a group of Hollywood stars including Marlon Brando, Harry Belafonte and Sammy Davis Jr. arrived on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. They were welcomed by the Rev. Martin Luther King.
This continues the Appeal’s review of news stories and headlines during its Sesquicentennial year.