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Congress to Mark Civil Rights March

Congress to Mark Civil Rights March Members of Congress and civil rights leaders will commemorate the 40th anniversary of the March on Washington at a Congressional celebration at 11 a.m. today in Statuary Hall.

In addition to speeches by the House and Senate leadership — which will include Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) and Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) — the event will feature Rep. John Lewis’ (D-Ga.) personal recollections of the day in August 1963 when thousands of Americans converged on Washington, D.C., to protest racial discrimination and segregation.

In addition, National Urban League President Marc Morial will deliver remarks on behalf of the ‘Big Six” civil rights groups that met with President John F. Kennedy and issued the call for the march. Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) will also offer remarks.

The then-23-year-old Lewis spoke at the Aug. 28, 1963, march representing the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee. He is the only surviving member of the ‘Big Six” civil rights leaders.

Opera soprano Ruby Robertson will perform at the event.

— Bree Hocking

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