(WASHINGTON) -- Wednesday marks the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and the “I Have a Dream” speech delivered by civil rights icon, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
It was King’s stirring and historic address at the Lincoln Memorial that electrified the crowd of 250,000 and helped pave the way for laws ending segregation and other indignities suffered by blacks that stretched back to the 17th century when they were first brought to the country as slaves.
Wednesday’s march to commemorate a half-century’s passing since the massive, non-violent demonstration in Washington, D.C. is expected to draw at least 100,000 people. It will begin at 9 a.m. eastern time and is expected to last two hours, followed by a series of speeches.
President Obama, the first African-American elected commander in chief, will deliver a speech from the same spot that King spoke from on August 28, 1963, coincidentally on a Wednesday afternoon. John F. Kennedy was president at the time but chose to observe the demonstration from his perch at the White House.
Other scheduled speakers at the “Let Freedom Ring” event Wednesday include Kennedy’s daughter, Caroline Kennedy, Lynda Johnson Robb, the daughter of the late President Lyndon Johnson, and celebrities Oprah Winfrey, Forest Whitaker and Jamie Foxx.
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