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Assembly Area

Washington Monument

Constitution Ave.

Independence Ave.

Lincoln Memorial

MARCHERS TO CONVERGE ON LINCOLN MEMORIAL- Broken lines locate the assembly area of the civil rights march at Washington, Aug. 28. Marchers will gather near Washington Monument and parade down Constitution and Independence Avenues to converge on the Lincoln Memorial. As many as 100,000 Negro and white enthusiasts for civil rights are expected to participate.

Washington Will Be Symbol of U.S. Power To Marchers

WASHINGTON (AP)- The civil rights marchers may not see it all, but this is a city nerved by power, lined with marble, vibrant with areas of beauty and blighted by contrasting areas of squalor.

It is a city of great monuments and slums, of complex law and petty crime, of history and lethargy.

To the 100,000 or more civil rights marchers expected here Wednesday, Washington will be a symbol of national power, a capital where men and women petition for redress of grievance.

They will gather at the base of the soaring Washington Monument, the center of a vast complex of greenery and marble, a monument that looks east to the Capital, north to the White House, west to the Lincoln Memorial and south to the Jefferson Memorial and the Tidal Basin rimmed with cherry trees.

They will march a few blocks down huge avenues and across parklands to the Lincoln Memorial, a temple in style of the Parthenon of ancient Greece.

These are the symbols of government and beauty and history that draw almost 5 million tourists to Washington each year. But Washington has other faces, too.

In the last decade, Washington has become the only major city in the nation that has more Negroes than whites. During these years, 200,000 whites have rushed into the nearly all-white suburbs of Virginia and Maryland. Their places have been taken by Negro migrants from the South, many forced into slums.

A rise in crime has come at the same time. Although the crime has received wide and often lurid publicity, it differs little from crime rates in other big cities of America. Washington in ninth in size with a population of 764,000 but 13th in crime rate.

Some observers see signs of discontent among the city's Negroes and evidence of rising tension between the races. Last Thanksgiving, a riot, bristling with racial overtones, erupted at the high school championship football game. Negroes say there is job discrimination in the city and housing discrimination in its suburbs.

The people who live in Washington do not rule themselves and take care of their own problems. They now have the right to vote for president but, since the 1870s, they have not been allowed to elect their own officials.

The ultimate power lies in the hands of Congress- specifically in the committees that handle District of Columbia money and problems. Most of these committees are ruled by Southerners. Some residents say these congressmen have no sympathy for a 57 per cent Negro city with integrated schools and restaurants and stores.

As they drive through the city, the demonstrators will see very little industry, and it is industry that usually yields mass tax revenue for a city.

To make up for this, Congress appropriates a lump sum each year and hands it to the city. The city always complains it is far less than the amount that would flow in if federal property were taxable.

The marchers likely will find a hot and muggy city on Wednesday. That's usually the way of the city in late August.

Like India's New Delhi and Brazil's Brasilia, Washington is a city created as a capital, with no other reason for life. It does not have the vitality and culture of Paris or London or Rome or even Mexico City.

Washington has had many episodes of demonstrators marching on the city and pleading for special causes. None had been as large as Wednesday's march promises to be. Some have ended in violence.

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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There is currently no available "Beginner" label. The following is the default level label: This article in the Greenfield, Massachusetts Recorder was printed just a few days before the 1963 civil rights March on Washington. The march, organized to build support for federal civil rights legislation, would be the scene of the Reverend Martin Luther King's historic "I Have A Dream" speech. This article focuses on the contrast between the affluent capital area, where the rally will take place, and the poor African-American sections of the city. The reference to a recent football riot "bristling with racial overtones" reflects fears that the civil rights march itself might result in violence. No such violence occurred, enhancing the reputation of King and the protest movement.


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"Marchers to Converge on Lincoln Memorial" and "Washington Will be Symbol of U.S. Power Marchers" article in GRG newspaper

publisher   Greenfield Recorder-Gazette
date   Aug 26, 1963
location   Greenfield, Massachusetts
height   10.0"
width   3.75"
height   8.0"
width   1.75"
process/materials   printed paper, ink
item type   Periodicals/Newspaper
accession #   #L08.004

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See Also...

"Break-Through Accomplished" editorial from Greenfield Recorder-Gazette newspaper

"Leaders of March Still Have Not Attained Goal" article from Greenfield Recorder-Gazette newspaper

"King's Dream Speech In 1963 Urged Full Rights For Negroes" article from Greenfield Recorder newspaper

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