Monday, August 30, 2010

Famous Marches on Washington

What do Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor” rally, the Vietnam War, the KKK, Martin Luther King Jr., and Gay & Lesbians have in common? They all inspired a march on Washington.

Americans have been pretty routinely marching on Washington since 1894. Before 1995 the government made estimates of the number of participants. In 1995 the organizers of the “Million Man March” were so critical of the National Park Services’ conservative estimate of 400,000 participants that the government discontinued making estimates of the number of participants at such events.

There is no effort at making an unbiased count of march participants today. Estimates of the “Restoring Honor” march on Washington range from 87,000 – 650,000. Estimates may vary by ideology.

Below are march numbers based on “conservative” government estimates of earlier marches on Washington:

Woman’s Suffrage March of 1913: 5,000

Ku Klux Klan March to protect America against Blacks, Jews, Catholics, labor unions, and communists of 1925 : Participants 35,000 (Overall national Klan membership reached 6 million paying members in 1924).

Martin Luther King Jr. march on Washington of 1963 (during which King made the “I Have a Dream Speech”): Participants 250,000

March to end the Vietnam War of 1969: Participants 600,000

March to end the Vietnam War of 1971: Participants 500,000

National March on Washington for Gay and Lesbian Rights of 1987: Participants 500,000

Million Man March of 1995: Participants 400,000

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