On this day in 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. gave his “I have a dream” speech to more than 200,000 people from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C.
The protest was a landmark moment in the Civil Rights movement, leading up to the Civil Rights Act being passed in 1964, which outlawed segregation in public spaces and employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. It also led up to the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965, which explicitly banned practices that could discriminate against any voter during registration or in the process of casting a vote. In 2013, the Supreme Court repealed most of the Voting Rights Act because, they said, it was outdated.
Today was also the day in 2005 that New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin made the official call that citizens of New Orleans should evacuate their homes—the following day, Hurricane Katrina made landfall on the Gulf Coast.
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