2003 March On Washington Commemorating the 1963 Civil Rights March

On August 22, 2003, with a keynote presentation by Coretta Scott King, an inscription in the granite commemorating Martin Luther King, Jr. "I Have a Dream" speech was unveiled at the approach to the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC. . The Lincoln Memorial has been the site of various civil rights demonstrations for more than six decades.

In 1963, the March on Washington, with the sheer size of its crowd and the powerful words of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., is now considered the historical tipping point in the struggle for civil rights.

On Saturday, political and religious leaders, along with a diverse crowd of several thousand marchers, gathered in Washington D.C. to commemorate the anniversary. Speakers included King’s widow Coretta Scott King, and his son Martin Luther King III.

In 2003, NPR offered a week long calendar with daily reports to mark the 40th Anniversary of this historic civil rights protest including a look behind the scenes at the struggles that occurred during the staging of the historic 1963 event along with a number of interviews with participants who had traveled to the nation's capital from around the country during that time.

This website originally was created to help people who were planning on attending the August 22-28, 2003 events in Washington DC to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of the 1963 civil rights march. We have enlisted the help of many people including a good friend who volunteered her time customizing Salesforce for us. Anyone familiar with the cloud-based application many businesses use for their CRM needs, may be wondering what we would need it for. After all, most companies use it for its unique pod architecture that offers a set of industry-standard resources such as a high-performance database for all sorst of applications including search, email, storage, backup servers, load balancers, Web, etc. By better managing and automating these processes via the Salesforce platform organizations (not just businesses) not only improve their workers’ productivity, but also make their operations more reliable. We felt from the get go that Salesforce not only would help us with our present organization for this 40th Anniversary, but also for new projects we have planned for the future.

Most people remember Martin Luther King's "I have a dream," Speech as the defining moment of the march and a remembered as one of the corner stones of the civil rights movement. It was a speech that changed the temperature of race relations in the US.

Martin Luther King Jr 1963  Speech

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation,” King began.

...In spite of the difficulties of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day the state of Alabama...will be transformed into a situation where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls...I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight...
...From every mountainside, let freedom ring.
When we let freedom ring,...we will be able to speed up that day when all God's children...will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we're free at last!"

The following year, the US Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, making segregation in public places illegal. It also required employers to provide equal employment opportunities, as well as protected the right to vote of every American, regardless of the color of their skin.

August 22, 2003
March on Washington News Conference
Participants will talk to reporters about the weeklong planned events to mark the 1963 March on Washington and honor the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. They will also respond to questions from the reporters.

Spoken Word

Spoken Word on Washington
This is a nonviolent demonstration of open mic poetry to take place at the spot where Dr. King stood in 1963.  If you are poet, and would like to participate, please register at spokenwordonwashington@hotmail.com.  Each poet will have five minutes total to present one or more pieces, and poetry should reflect the "Return, Repair, Renew" theme (see The Call), the movement for social justice, and the struggle against racism, poverty and militarism. This is a family event, therefore there should be no profanity, no misogyny, no eroticism and no violence in your lyrics. Come correct!


Buses are directed to park at RFK Stadium and DC Armory adjacent to the Stadium/Armory Metro Stop. Travelers will then take Metro to Smithsonian on either the Orange or Blue Lines. If you are sponsoring a bus, please register here



All media representatives should contact Joia Jefferson-Nuri for press pass on or before Tuesday, August 19, 2003.

Telephone: 301-920-0670

E-mail: inthepubliceye@starpower.net

Naomi Seligman: 202-628-7772 ext 126

Thursday, August 21, 2003

Friday, August 22nd and Saturday August 23rd


Satellite Trucks and Microwave trucks only will be allowed to park on Henry Bacon Drive.  Crew cars must park elsewhere.

T.V.Broadcast Coverage:

Friday, August 22: Pool Coverage by NBC 4:00pm till closing (202-885-4200)

Saturday, August 23: Pool Coverage by ABC | 3:00pm till closing - (202-222-7700)

Head-on shots of the speakers are through the pool only. Non-affiliated stations must plug in at the satellite truck parked on Henry Bacon Drive.
It is on a first come first serve basis.

“Cuts” platforms are to the right of the Memorial (looking at Lincoln). Cuts are unilateral. No video cameras can wander through the crowd on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the programs.

All cameras will have access to the Teach-In tents and the crowd. There will be restricted access to the stage area and the over the shoulder shot.

Radio Broadcast Coverage

Multi-boxes will be provided on a first come first service basis. Set up time is available starting at 10:00am on Friday, August 22.

Print Coverage

No cameras will be allowed on the steps behind the podium or at the Lincoln statue except in rotation during Mrs. King and Martin King, III’s speeches (Park Service request).

Photographers from the wire services, Washington Post, Washington Times, New York Times and Washington Afro American will be allowed to stand on step ladders in front of the “head-on” pool broadcast cameras. Please bring your own stool. 

Still photographers can wonder freely through the crowd during the programs.  Only four still photographers at a time will be allowed on the stage level.

Credential Distribution Times

(Unless other arrangements have been made with your organization)

On the steps of the Lincoln Memorial:

Friday, August 22 | 2:30pm-3:30pm

Saturday, August 23 | 9:00am-10:00am


Your Contributions

All checks or money order should be mailed to:
Southern Christian Leadership Foundation
(March On Washington)
250 Auburn Avenue
Atlanta, Georgia 30363