Dozens of Chicagoans gathered Saturday at DuSable of African American History to mark the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.
Several community leaders and youth organizations reenacted the iconic March on Washington as they marched through Washington Park.
Gov. Pat Quinn made an appearance on Saturday, the same day thousands of people marched in Washington to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr.'s famous speech. The Illinois governor said it was important to honor those who marched in the 1960s.
“Without 250,000 Americans peacefully gathering 50 years ago today under Abraham Lincoln’s watchful eye, Congress might not have passed the 1964 Civil Rights Act or the 1965 Voting Rights Act,” Quinn said in a statement. “Today, we honor all who marched and remember the everlasting words that Dr. Martin Luther King has left us.”
Later Saturday Quinn planned to attend the 7th Annual Civil Rights Game at U.S. Cellular Field between the Chicago White Sox and the Texas Rangers.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel also spoke at the event, remembering Dr. King's 1966 visit to Chicago's Southwest Side, where he led a march of nearly 700 people to protest housing segregation in the city.
King took aim at Mayor Richard J. Daley whose housing plan for Chicago included corralling low-income blacks into housing projects.
As King marched across Marquette Park, an onlooker hurled a stone at the leader. It struck King in the head, and he fell to one knee.
King was one of the 30 people injured in the march.
"Over the last 50 years we have covered many miles," Emanuel said. "We have more miles to walk to make sure that the words live on and not just in our ears but in our spirits."