Veterans of the historical march on Washington passed the torch to the next generation of civil rights leaders today.

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Today marks the 50th anniversary of the march on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, which led to Martin Luther King‘s delivery of his legendary “I Have A Dream” speech.

The historical civil rights demonstration occurred on this day in 1963, which also just so happened to be a Wednesday.


50 years later, those same veterans traced their audacious footsteps to the Lincoln Memorial followed by a crowd of about 200,000 to once again call for economic and racial equality. The event symbolized a passing of the torch to a new generation of civil rights leaders.

In attendance were celebrities and guest speakers such as Oprah Winfrey and Jamie Foxx, who recounted to the crowd just how monumental King’s speech was, and how it catalyzed so many strides in the civil rights movement. Singer Leann Rimes was also present to perform “Amazing Grace.”

Former Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter delivered speeches promptly at 3pm, following a symbolics ringing of a bell; it was at 3pm 50 years ago that King proclaimed, “let freedom ring.” President Obama is due to close out the series of guest speeches.

Take a look at a gallery of a “look back at the March on Washington” by the L.A. times here.