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March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom - 1963 Broadcast and Schedule From The Educational Radio Network (ERN)

The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom was originally broadcast live across the Educational Radio Network (known as ERN, a precursor to NPR) on August 28, 1963. The coverage began at 9am and continued for 15 uninterrupted hours (until midnight), and was heard live on WGBH; a member of the network and an active participant in the broadcast. Only WGBH retained the original broadcast materials, and we are proud to present them here — unedited and in real-time — on this milestone anniversary of the March On Washington.

Thank you for tuning in to WGBH's re-broadcast of the 1963 March on Washington coverage.

The livestream has concluded, but you can continue to access the March on Washington archive through WGBH Open Vault. Archival material was also used in WGBH News' one-hour radio documentary "Witness to History."

August 28, 1963 broadcast schedule

9am – 10am - Introduction by anchor George Geesey; reports from various locations by ERN staff; pre-program entertainment from the stage at the Washington Monument grounds.

10am – 11am - Interviews with participants, music from the stage, Joan Baez, Peter, Paul & Mary, and Odetta. Segment also includes various interviews including with George W. Goodman, clergy from Acton, Mass., and an update from police headquarters.

11am – Noon - Bob Dylan (sings), comments from Bayard Rustin, Jackie Robinson interview, President John F. Kennedy press conference clips, various on-the-spot interviews with marchers.

Noon – 1pm - Reports of the actual March, along with pre-recorded “reflections” on the meaning of the march by Roy Wilkins. Pre-recorded interview with John A. Volpe, former Massachusetts governor. Interview with Norman Thomas.

1:00pm – 1:57pm – Interview with Marlon Brando. Pre-recorded interviews with Sen. Paul Douglas (D-IL), Sen. Kenneth Keating (R-NY), Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, Josephine Baker, Rev. Ralph Abernathy, Joan Baez, Dr. Ralph Bunche, and Dick Gregory. Bob Dylan (sings). Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Len Chandler and Stuart Scharf sing, “Keep Your Eyes On The Prize.” Interviews with Burt Lancaster and Harry Belafonte.

1:57pm – 4:15pm – The official program of The March:

Camilla Williams sings the national anthem
A. Philip Randolph introduction
Daisy Bates speaks
Dr. Eugene Carson Blake remarks
Marion Anderson sings
John Lewis speaks
Walter Reuther remarks
James Farmer (imprisoned) remarks (read by Floyd McKissick)
Eva Jessye Choir performs
Whitney Young remarks
Roy Wilkins speaks
Mahalia Jackson sings
Rabbi Joachim Prinz remarks
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. introduction by A. Philip Randolph
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Bayard Rustin reads demands
A. Philip Randolph reads pledge
Dr. Benjamin E. Mays of Morehouse College (closing benediction)

4:15pm – 5:30pm - Demonstrators leaving, clean-up logistics, singing, replays of Bayard Rustin reading the list of demands and A. Philip Randolph reading the march pledge, pre-recorded comments by James Farmer, recorded interview with Sen. Hubert Humphrey, recorded report with G. Mennen Williams, pre-recorded report from Voice Of America reporter Robert Rodeen, Isaiah Minkoff interview, follow-up on earlier report of food poisoning, pre-recorded statements from Louis Fox.

5:30pm – 6:30pm – Commentaries on march, problems of dispersal, pre-recorded telephone interview with Arthur Miller, live interview Thomas Adel Queener (Ghana), pre-recorded statement by an unidentified member of Hartford’s NAACP, discussion with psychiatrists Dr. Frank Abram Hale and Dr. Elizabeth Davis, press conference on White House meeting of top 10 march leaders with President Kennedy.

6:30pm – 7:00pm - Myron Spencer (substituting for Louis Lyons) reports the news. “Backgrounds” Myron Spencer (director of the graduate school of business at Northeastern University) with guest Dr. William C. Kvaraceus, director of youth studies at the Lincoln Filenes Center and professor of education at Tufts University.

7:00pm - 9:00pm - WGBH’s Bill Cavness introduces excerpts from the afternoon’s official ceremony from the Lincoln Memorial.

9:00pm - 10:30pm - Panel discussion on the implications of the freedom march: moderator Geoffrey Godsell (editorial writer for The Christian Science Monitor), with guests Haywood Burns (author of “The Voices of Negro Protest in America”), William Higgs (civil rights consultant and representative of Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee on the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights), William Goldsmith (assistant professor of politics at Brandies University).

10:30pm – 11:00pm – Reflections on the march by the ERN reporters who covered it: anchor George Geesey with Malcolm Davis, Arnold Shaw. Al Hulsen, Cal Mositer, Jeff Giley, and David Edwards. Bob Genest introduces pre-recorded interviews with Massachusetts Governor Endicott Peabody, Mrs. Medgar Evers, Charles P. McLean (director of public relations for the E.O. Elks), Massachusetts Attorney General Edward Brook.

11:00pm – Midnight – One-hour WGBH News retrospective


The March on Washington 50-Year Anniversary: Programs and Coverage from WGBH

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