Luther King's Civil Rights Speech: 50th Anniversary

Oprah Winfrey, Jamie Foxx and Forest Whitaker will join President Barack Obama and former chief executives Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter at the Lincoln Memorial on Wednesday, August 28, to mark the 50th anniversary of one of the Civil Rights Movement’s most memorable moments —the March on Washington.

Though it’s remembered for Dr. Martin Luther King’s classic “I Have a Dream” speech, at the time, the march was generally noted as the largest popular demonstration ever held in the nation’s capital. The crowd on the Mall that day was estimated to number 1 million with participants, speakers and performers drawn from many races and from all over the nation.

Georgia Representative John Lewis, one of the Democrats’ congressional elders but then an aide to King, will address the commemoration as he did the original march. TV’s Soledad O’Brien and Hill Harper will host the anniversary celebration, whose title is “Let Freedom Ring.”

Wednesday’s commemoration will feature musical performances by LeAnn Rimes and Bebe Winans. Folk singers Peter, Paul and Mary, Bob Dylan and Joan Baez sang at the march half a century ago.

Winfrey and Whitaker are starring in Lee Daniels’ The Butler, a movie about a man who served seven presidents as a White House butler.