By Robert Mann

SNCC leader John Lewis (left) and Jim Zwerg after being beaten during the Freedom Rides (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

SNCC leader John Lewis (left) and Jim Zwerg after being beaten during the Freedom Rides (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The sound of speeches and music wafted across the National Mall in Washington on the balmy afternoon of Wednesday, Aug. 28, 1963. A crowd of several hundred thousand flooded the space between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument, all there for the historic “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.”

But even as the program began and the speakers began addressing the crowd, conflict erupted inside a guardhouse under the massive seat of Lincoln’s statue. Surrounding 23-year-old John Lewis – son of an Alabama sharecropper and the new president of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Council (SNCC) – were the giants of the civil rights movement, including Martin Luther King Jr.A. Philip RandolphBayard Rustin and Roy Wilkins. Read the full article here.


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