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From Interracial Sit-Ins to Interreligious Solidarity: 1963

Grades 6-12


“The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom” in August 1963 is a major milestone in the Civil Rights Movement. It was where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his “I Have A Dream” speech. The National Catholic Conference for Interracial Justice (NCCIJ) was one of many organizations which sponsored the March on Washington. Several Catholic Bishops participated and many encouraged Catholics to attend. An article “Catholics Active In Rights March On Washington” was published in The Catholic Advocate soon after the event.

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Catholic involvement was [extensive or minuscule] and varied in the Aug. 28 March on Washington. Catholic [individuals or groups] marched under identifying banners, Archbishop Patrick A. O’Boyle of Washington offered the invocation at the [White House or Lincoln Memorial].

The Bishops assembled at the [Washington Monument grounds or White House rose garden] with representatives of the [National or Local] Conference on Religion and Race and officers of Catholic Interracial Councils and marched to the [Jefferson or Lincoln] Memorial. The 10 leaders of the march spoke, including Matthew Ahmann. executive director of the National Catholic Conference for Interracial [Justice or Freedom]. Earlier, they had met with President [Nixon or Kennedy].

Pastors and parishioners from [most or a few] Catholic churches in downtown Washington also were present. An [ignorant or integrated] committee of the Knights of Columbus served throughout the day at an [information booth or food truck] set up by the Urban League on the Monument grounds, Issuing applications and tickets for hostel accommodations. A box lunch supper Wednesday evening, [bus tickets or sleeping facilities] and breakfast Thursday morning were among the services supplied.