The photo is a couple of years old, having been taken before the scaffolding went up on the Washington Monument for repairs for damage from the 2011 earthquake — scaffolding which has since been removed. It’s a winter or fall picture, I’m guessing from the bare trees, and taken early in the morning, as the sun rises in the east over the Capitol and Washington Monument. That is one of the best times to be at the Lincoln Memorial, in my experience. The man in the photo has the historic spot very much to himself at that time.
Engraving on the stone says:
I HAVE A DREAM
MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.
THE MARCH ON WASHINGTON
FOR JOBS AND FREEDOM
AUGUST 28, 1963
Assuming you’re older than 51, where were you that day in August? Do you remember the event in the news?
King’s speech got very little press that day, or the next. It was in the time when television news operations used film. The film came late in the afternoon, and would have to be developed — it missed evening broadcasts on that Saturday. The text did not get much mention, either — reports for the Washington Post and New York Times, had to be filed early. Most reporters wrote before the event. Even those who wrote after the speech often were unaware of how it had moved the crowd. It’s one of those historic events that, had you been there, you’d have known something happened. but not necessarily what.
News reports tended to be dominated by coverage of the size of the crowd, and the fact that violence didn’t break out.
It was a different time.
- The Lincoln Memorial and Its Importance on this Day in History (forksandpassports.wordpress.com)
- The 1963 March on Washington and MLK’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech 50 years later (photos) (photos.oregonlive.com)
- Photos: Martin Luther King’s ‘I Have A Dream’ speech and the March on Washington (photos.denverpost.com)
- AP PHOTOS: Remembering March on Washington (sfgate.com)
- 50 years later, thousands gather in Washington – Boston.com (boston.com)
- Picture Archive: March on Washington, 1963 (news.nationalgeographic.com)
- Washington Monument (inducedchaos.com)
- WATCH: People Who Marched On Washington 50 Years Ago Reflect On MLK’s Legacy (huffingtonpost.com)