The March on Washington was a revolutionary event at the time. People came from all over the country to attend, with one boy — Robert Avery, who was just 15 years old — hitchhiking almost 700 miles from Alabama to reach Washington.
Celebrities, too, traveled to attend the march. Harry Belafonte, actor and singer, extensively advocated for the match, bringing other celebrities to the march and encouraging studio heads in Hollywood to allow other actors to attend.
Their presence not only led to increased media attention, it also helped ease some of then-President John F. Kennedy’s anxieties about the march turning violent.
Even now, half a century later, King’s “I Have a Dream” speech and the March on Washington continue to resonate, and the speech continues to represent a significant moment in history.