On this day in 1963, over 200,000 peaceful protesters marched into Washington D.C. for the cause of civil rights and equality. Throughout the event the atmosphere remained friendly and calm, much to the surprise of many who feared the day would end in violence. A massive crowd of civil rights supporters from all walks of life gathered at the Lincoln Memorial to hear stirring speeches given by leaders of the movement. The most famous of these, of course, was that of Martin Luther King Jr., who at the end of his seven-minute address laid aside his prepared text and spoke the now-familiar words, “I have a dream.”
The next year saw the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibited segregation in public facilities and racial discrimination in education and employment.