The anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom is most often memorialized as the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech, his famous words resonating through half a century. But one man is not a movement, and the march made history for drawing more than 200,000 souls -- making it the single-largest protest in American history on that August 28 nearly 50 years ago.
The marchers came from all over the country, Maine to Mississippi, dressed in the prim styles of the time and bearing in mind the early-1960s protest strategy of looking more respectable on the picket line than in everyday life, the better to convince the outside world. The faces of the marchers -- ecstatic, eager, joyous, hot and tired -- are the major subject of This Is The Day: The March on Washington, a collection of the luminous images of photojournalist Leonard Freed (1929-2006) published by Getty Publications earlier this year. Images from the book will be on display in Washington for the next six months as part of the Library of Congress show "A Day Like No Other: Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington," which opens August 28 and also features the work of other important photojournalists of the day.