Examining the 1963 Civil Rights March on Washington from the ground-level and focusing on the idealistic passion, joy and synergy of the crowds, James Blue's documentary lets us see the event take shape from the planning stage -- with sound checks and worries about whether people will attend -- to the arrival of enormous crowds on parades of trains and buses. It culminates in Martin Luther King's electrifying "I Have a Dream" speech.
George Stevens Jr., who headed the United States Information Agency (USIA) Motion Picture Service unit from 1962 to 1967, brought in young, talented documentary filmmakers such as Charles Guggenheim, Carroll Ballard, Kent McKenzie, Leo Seltzer, Terry Sanders, Bruce Herschensohn, and James Blue, who directed "The March." This period ushered in the "Golden Era" of USIA films.
These USIA films were rarely seen in America because, fearing propaganda, the 1948 Smith-Mundt Act mandated that no USIA film could be shown domestically without a special act of Congress. These films are being rediscovered because a 1990 act of Congress (P.L. 101-246) authorized domestic screening twelve years after release.
Transcript (PDF): http://archives.gov/social-media/transcripts/transcript-march-pt1-of-3-2602934.pdf
U.S. Information Agency (1982-10/01/1999)
This documentary film, directed by James Blue, examines the 1963 Civil Rights March on Washington from its planning stages to its culmination in Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech.
Motion Picture, Sound, and Video Records Section, Special Media Archives Services Division (NWCS-M), National Archives at College Park, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD, 20740-6001.
For information about ordering reproductions of moving images held by the Motion Picture, Sound, and Video Records Section, visit: http://www.archives.gov/research/order/broadcast-quality-film-dc.html
Civil rights demonstrations
King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-1968
Randolph, A. Philip (Asa Philip), 1889-
Blue, James, Director
More information is available in the National Archives online catalog: