Martin Luther King Jr. was one of the leaders of the so-called "Big Six" civil rights groups who organized the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, which took place on August 28, 1963.
At first President Kennedy opposed the March because he thought it might turn some politicians against the passage of civil rights laws. The organizers insisted that the March go on, and Martin Luther King Jr. was one of the people who talked with the group leaders and the politicians to make the March happen.
Despite the initial disagreements, the March was a huge success. More than a quarter million people of different backgrounds attended the event. It was the largest gathering of protesters in Washington's history.
From the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech. The crowd was electrified. This speech is regarded as one of the finest speeches in history.
The March on Washington, and especially King's speech, helped put civil rights at the top of the political agenda in the United States. In the following year, 1964, the Civil Rights Act was passed.