King's legacy continues after 50 years


Martin Luther King, Jr. speak during the Civil Rights March on Washington, Aug. 28, 1963. Courtesy Photo

George and Viola Taliaferro will never forget about their opportunity to witness one of the most iconic speeches in American history. They were just an hour away. 

“We lived in Baltimore, Md.,” Viola Taliaferro said. “I could not go to the March on Washington because our youngest daughter was sick.”

Mrs. Taliaferro put her head down in grief as she recalled how she felt in that moment.

“And I sat there in our bedroom with her in my arms, watching it on television with tears rolling down my face,” Viola Taliaferro said, “I mean, it was — it’s hard to describe it, how we felt about Martin, how Martin said for all of us what needed to be said and backed it up.”

Fifty years ago, on Aug. 28, 1963, 34-year-old minister Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and civil rights leaders A. Philip Randolph and Bayard Rustin led hundreds of thousands of people in a rally in the nation's capital for economic and social equality in America.

The march became officially known as the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

The Taliaferros, as well as others who lived during that time, could not have predicted how this moment would be recorded in history. King’s “I have a Dream” speech shook the nation and is still regarded today as one of the most famous speeches of all time.

See Wednesday’s Indiana Daily Student in print or online for a full profile of George and Viola Taliaferro, along with additional content honoring the legacy of Dr. King.

Like what you're reading? Support independent, award-winning college journalism on this site. Donate here.


Comments powered by Disqus