March on Washington: 20 things you didn’t know

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington. For many, it is the most significant event of the Civil Rights Movement. But how much do we really know about one of the most influential moments in modern history?

Author William P. Jones sought to reshape the way the public thinks about the demonstration with his book, The March on Washington: Jobs, Freedom, and the Forgotten History of Civil Rights. He says many overlook the real purpose of the march, thus one of its major accomplishments.

“The March on Washington had a really tremendous impact that is much broader than we typically understand,” Jones told theGrio. “We look at this pivotal moment in terms of its efforts to dismantle racism, but that was just a part of it. The march was initially focused on jobs, and it was effective in making the connection between racial inequality and economic justice.”

After he stumbled on the idea to write a book on the march, Jones was often surprised by the things he learned along the way in the course of his research. The economic focus was one surprise, but there are many others. For a deeper look into the March on Washington, here are a few facts you may not know.

Follow Donovan X. Ramsey at @iDXR