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Obama Will Deliver Speech On Steps Of The Lincoln Memorial

Marine One flys over the Lincoln Memorial with President Bill Clinton on board as he departed from the National Mall in May of 1999.
Joyce Naltchayan
AFP/Getty Images
Marine One flys over the Lincoln Memorial with President Bill Clinton on board as he departed from the National Mall in May of 1999.

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the civil rights' movement March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, President Obama will deliver remarks from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, the White House said today.

It was on those same steps that 50 years ago on August 28, that Martin Luther King delivered his iconic "I Have A Dream" speech.

The Washington Post explains:

"The event this month will be called 'Let Freedom Ring,' and it will highlight jobs and employment, which was also a theme of the event 50 years ago, officials said.

"Obama has refocused his message on the economy in recent weeks, delivering a series of speeches across the country, including on Tuesday in Phoenix."

Politico says the White House did not release details of what Obama's speech may touch on, "but it can be expected that it will touch on issues of race and civil rights, including the Supreme Court's recent decision declaring a key piece of the Voting Rights Act unconstitutional."

It was just last month that the normally reserved Obama got personal in addressing race and justice in this country. As our friend Frank James explained, it was a singular moment in American presidential history because "he used the bully pulpit to, as an African-American, explain black America to white America in the wake of last week's acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin."

It's worth noting that Obama delivered remarks at the Lincoln Memorial during a celebration right before he was inaugurated in January of 2009. Here's Mark's USA Today live blog of the event.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.
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