Legislative Branch

August Feature: March on Washington

On August 28, 1963 a quarter million people came to the nation’s capital to petition their duly elected government in a demonstration known as the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Frustrated by the inaction of a gridlocked Congress, the marchers called for Congress to pass the Civil Rights bill.

The size of the event and the potential for violence caused some congressional opponents of the March to try different legislative tactics to block the demonstration. Representative Albert Watson (D-SC) proposed House Concurrent Resolution 186, which called for a cessation of all mass protests while the Civil Rights bill was being considered. Representative William Tuck (D-VA) introduced H.R. 7329, a bill to amend “the criminal laws of the United States” to prohibit interstate movement “with the intent to incite or to commit any act or engage in any conduct which would tend to incite to riot.”

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