10:37 A.M., Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, WASHINGTON– Keeping the Connecticut group on track and upbeat with a homemade drum, Rosendale N.Y. teaching artist Fre (pronounced “free”) Atlast talks about her instruments and the story behind her unique name.
10:17 A.M, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, WASHINGTON–That energy gave way to reflection and an emotional moment for many as they came to the monument that many had wanted to see for the first time.
9:36 A.M., World War II Memorial, WASHINGTON–As the Connecticut group walked toward the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, they were joined by thousands of people in toward for the march, ranging from singers to drummers to people hawking memorabilia at every street corner. The weather was beautiful, in the 70s and sunny, with Washington’s typical August humidity absent for much of the day. While gathering up the group, some members started a spontaneous musical rally:
9:17 A.M., Constitution Avenue NW, WASHINGTON– Two students in the group, Janievette Correa and Jacqueline Starks, both from Hartford, share their thoughts on the day:
8:02 A.M., FAIRFAX, Va. – Students from Connecticut gather on the mall this morning before the big day:
6:08 A.M., Aug. 24: Hartford remembers the 1963 March on Washington:
Surrounded by hundreds of thousands of people in the sweltering Washington heat of August 1963, Thirman Milner wasn’t sure what to expect as he looked up to the podium where the Rev.Martin Luther King Jr. was about to speak.
… Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.
And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream …
For Milner, who had traveled overnight from Connecticut by train and who would one day become Hartford’s first black mayor, the moment was transformative.
“I think his speech was an awakening call for all of us,” he said during an interview last week. “It sort of brought into focus what the march was really about.”
“It was huge, it was overwhelming,” said Brian Steinberg, who is now a professor at Westfield State University, near Springfield, but who was a 21-year-old student and a member of a popular Hartford band, the Downbeats, in 1963. “I don’t think we really registered what the ‘I Have a Dream’ speech would be. We knew it was good, but we didn’t realize how good.”
Read more about Greater Hartford’s memories of the march
10:07 P.M. FAIRFAX, Va.–The day’s trip saw Connecticut’s group hit major traffic delays at a few points and arrived later than planned. But Victoria Christgau, the group’s leader and the executive director of the Connecticut Center for Non-Violence, encouraged the marchers not to be discouraged.
Then the marchers’ voices began ringing out through the first floor of their hotel as they started to sing, just hours before they will march in the nation’s capital, as you can see below:
9:23 P.M. FAIRFAX, Va.– Ten hours after they started, the Connecticut group arrived in Fairfax, a Virginia suburb of Washington where they’ll stay overnight before marching tomorrow. After everyone got off the bus and got something to eat for dinner, Hartford resident Wanda Correa talked about what it’s like to be here with her daughter, Janievette, who is in high school.