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“I Have a Dream”: A 50th Year Testament to the March that Changed America by Dr. Bernard LaFayette, Dr. Rodney Sampson, Bob Adelman, Dr. Charles Steele, Damien Conners

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The March Itself

AUGUST 28, 1963

Photographs and Captions: Bob Adelman

The time was right, 100 years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation.

The germ of the idea for the march was generated by A. Philip Randolph, the president of the Negro American Labor Council, vice president of the AFL-CIO, and the president of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. He and Bayard Rustin, a pacifist and fellow civil rights activist, had planned a march like this before back in 1941. When the proposed numbers of those planning to attend the march in 1941 grew to as high as 100,000, President Franklin Roosevelt urged them to call off the demonstration. When they declined, Roosevelt issued Executive Order 8802, which became the First Employment Act, ...

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