March on Washington Handbill

Grade Range: K-12
Resource Type(s): Artifacts, Primary Sources
Date Posted: 8/7/2008

The March on Washington, August 28, 1963, was the largest civil rights demonstration the nation had ever witnessed. One hundred years after the Emancipation Proclamation, 250,000 Americans of all races gathered to petition the government to pass meaningful civil rights legislation and enforce existing laws establishing racial equality. The March for Jobs and Freedom was conceived by A. Philip Randolph, leader of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, coordinated by Bayard Rustin, and supported by almost all the major civil rights organizations and many labor unions and religious organizations. Its speakers included Randolph, John Lewis, James Farmer, Walter Reuther, and Martin Luther King Jr., whose "I Have a Dream" speech invoked the hopes of all Americans seeking racial justice.

This handbill was donated in 1964 by Rev. Walter Fauntroy, a principle organizer and chairman of the Washington, D.C., coordinating committee. It is one of many items in the Museum's civil rights collection that helps document and preserve this pivotal event in American history.

Use this Investigation Sheet to guide students through describing the object and analyzing its meaning.