March on Washington Artifacts from the Smithsonian Collections | History | Smithsonian
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Commemorative buttons from the day of the march seem to almost foreshadow the influence of the historic occasion for years after. The button is a gift to the National Museum of American History from Virginia Beets, Robert N. Ferrell, Jack S. Goodwin and Sam Steinhart. (NMAH)
Martin Luther King, Jr. gave this engraved pocket watch to Bayard Rustin, a civil rights activist and chief organizer of the march. The watch is on loan to the National Museum of American History from Walter Naegle, Rustin's partner of 10 years. (NMAH)
This document lists the planes, trains and buses that were confirmed to be heading to Washington for the march. Just days before the march, organizers knew to expect 67,080 people. The list is on loan from Rachelle Horowitz, to whom chief organizer Bayard Rustin had entrusted the task of coordinating transportation to the march. (NMAH)
Many people boarded buses like the Liberator to travel to the march. Round-trip fare, from New York City to Washington, D.C., cost $8. (NMAAHC)
The actors, singers and politicians who participated in the march were seated in reserved sections behind the stage at the Lincoln Memorial. The ticket is on loan from Walter Naegle. (NMAH)
A map for the day of the march outlined the parade route and areas where participants could find restrooms, first aid and telephones. The map is a gift from the Rev. Walter Fauntroy, who helped organize and promote the march from Washington, D.C. (NMAH)
Event organizers sold buttons at 25 cents each to raise money for the march. The button is a gift to the National Museum of American History from Virginia Beets, Robert N. Ferrell, Jack S. Goodwin and Sam Steinhart. (NMAH)
Flyers advertising the march listed protesters’ demands: meaningful civil rights laws, fair employment and housing, voting rights and integrated education. (NMAH)
An informational leaflet drawn up by the D.C. Coordinating Committee reads that the march is being held to “restore economic freedom to all in this nation” and “blot out once and for all the scourge of racial discrimination.” The pamphlet is a gift from the Rev. Walter Fauntroy. (NMAH)
A program lists the order of events for August 28, 1963. A series of remarks from various civil rights and religious leaders followed the national anthem, culminating with Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech and hundreds of thousands singing “We Shall Overcome.” The program is a gift from the Rev. Walter Fauntroy and the A. Philip Randolph Institute. (NMAH)
Several organizations, including the NAACP, had pennants made for the day of the march. The pennant is a gift to the museum from Gregory Wilson and Lynn Shapiro. (Jacqueline Moen)

March on Washington Artifacts from the Smithsonian Collections

A trove of documents, buttons and other memorable tokens carry the memory of the most historic day in the civil rights movement

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