Congressman Sanford Bishop

Representing the 2nd District of Georgia

Bill Commemorates March On Washington

Sep 1, 2003
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. U.S. Representative Sanford Bishop has introduced a resolution to formally commemorate the “March on Washington” 40 years ago, an event that he says spawned greater “freedom, justice and equality for all Americans.”

After dropping the measure in the hopper Wednesday (9/3), the Second District Congressman circulated a letter to all members of the U.S. House Thursday (9/4) urging them to support the legislation and “join me in remembering and honoring the March on Washington of August 28, 1963, in which more than 250,000 people from across the national traveled by plane, bus, train and foot to participate in an historic peaceful protest.”

The resolution was expected to receive overwhelming bipartisan support.

Representative Bishop said in his letter:

“In the spring and summer of 1963, 100 years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, the ‘Big Six’ civil rights leaders-Martin Luther King, Jr., James Farmer, John Lewis, Whitney Young, Roy Wilkins, and A. Philip Randolph-convened to plan a peaceful mass protest against the racial and civil right injustices that were widespread at that time. The historic event, the largest U.S. demonstration ever assembled to that date, featured the Rev. Martin Luther King’s now historic “I Have a Dream” speech, which challenged Americans to answer the call of the U.S. Constitution, and transformed the state of race relations and civil rights in America.

“The event was planned in direct response to the tragic events of the spring and summer of 1960 in which more than 20,000 citizens were arrested and detained while nonviolently protesting notable injustices, including: police dogs attacking peaceful demonstrators in Birmingham; the tragic assassinations of civil right activists; and the lack of Congressional support for President Kennedy’s civil rights bill that aimed to end discrimination of African-Americans in the work place, voting booth, educational facilities, and all other public domains.

“As a direct result of the March, Dr. King’s historic speech, and the movement that they spawned, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 came to fruition….

“Let us come together… and celebrate freedom, justice and equality for all Americans.”