WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4) issued the following statement on the upcoming 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Himes will participate in a rally tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. at the Stamford Government Center to celebrate the occasion.

“Fifty years ago, ordinary people with extraordinary vision joined forces in pursuit of equal rights. Though the marchers represented different organizations, came from different parts of the country, and were of different races and creeds, they shared a common vision of fairness, brotherhood, and love. As we recall the spirit of collaboration that characterized the March, we must acknowledge the debt we owe to all those who championed equality for all citizens. While we’ve come so far in our efforts to realize the dream of Dr. King and his contemporaries, there is still work to be done.

“Let us use this anniversary as an opportunity to rededicate ourselves to the pursuit of fair access to voting and jobs for all. Especially in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby County v. Holder, Congress must put aside partisan politics to ensure that the days when intimidation and restriction surrounded the democratic process stay in the past. As we celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, we cannot ignore the fact that our nation still struggles with vast economic inequality and limits to access to higher education.

“This anniversary brings to mind the words of Lyndon B Johnson, who, as he signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, said, ‘those who founded our country knew that freedom would be secure only if each generation fought to renew and enlarge its meaning.’ To honor those who marched on Washington fifty years ago, we must carry the mantle of leadership for equality and rise to meet the challenges we face today.”

The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom took place on August 28th, 1963 and was one of the largest and most influential political rallies in American history. The march called for the economic and civil rights of African Americans, and featured the seminal “I Have a Dream” speech by Martin Luther King Jr.