To observe the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, President Obama will deliver a speech that's expected to be tinged with personal feeling. Joining him will be Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter.
Jose Luis Magana/AP
Three presidents and scores of stars will gather at the Lincoln Memorial Wednesday to close the commemorative ceremonies marking Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1963 March on Washington.
The 50th anniversary celebration – dubbed “Let Freedom Ring” – wraps a week-long series of local prayer services, a youth leadership training seminar, a round table about women of the movement, and discussions on poverty and economic empowerment, among other events.
So much has changed since that day – perhaps most obviously in modern times, the nation elected its first African-American president in 2008 – but for many involved in the cause of civil rights in this country, there is more to do. The wattage of notables set to turn out is not just a tribute to the nonviolent movement that King helped spawn as well as to his personal legacy, but also a reminder, many believe, of the work that remains.
President Obama, who will headline the final event, will be joined by former Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter. Oprah Winfrey and the actors Jamie Foxx and Forest Whitaker will participate. Soledad O’Brien and Hill Harper will host, and Rep. John Lewis (D) of Georgia, who spoke at the 1963 King rally, will address those gathered.
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