By the morning of Aug. 28, 1963, Naomi Moore, Jurgen Ahler, David Johnson and Gunny Gundrum had traveled to the heart of Washington D.C. – some from across town, others from across the country – for an event that none of them would forget.
It was that Wednesday that more than 200,000 people gathered for the March on Washington, the largest demonstration in the years-long campaign against racial discrimination, and in support of pending civil rights legislation in congress.
This special edition of The Story revisits key moments from that seminal day 50 years ago, and the repercussions it had for the people who were there:
Naomi Moore was a child of the Jim Crow South who was studying in Montana and flew east for the march. Jurgen Ahler was a community organizer who rented and rode a bus with gang members from New York. David Johnson was a photographer who had documented the civil rights movement. And Gunny Gundrum was a U.S. Park Ranger who didn’t know he’d be standing beside Martin Luther King as he gave what became the historic "I have a dream" speech.
"It was like a church service, the most beautiful church service," Moore says. "It looked like everybody knew that they had a duty to do and they were there to do it."
Scenes from the March on Washington:
A roundtable conversation with famous attendees of the march: Harry Belafonte, Marlon Brando, Charlton Heston, Sidney Poitier, Joseph Mankiewicz, James Baldwin and David Schoenbrun: