Reporting from Washington
Police Headquarters this is Michael Rice. Comprehensive Planning has paid off so far for Washington police. With over 40,000 persons already assembled on the grounds of the Washington Monument
and the Lincoln Memorial
at last report and more arriving in droves according to officers on the scene. And various forces in the field have yet to encounter any major problems.
Traffic is moving smoothly even around Union Station
where seventeen special trains have disgorged 13,000 people. 80 shuttle buses are picking up new arrivals and taking them to the March area. Spaces reserved for buses coming into the city are far from filled. Several hundred are here and parked.
The presence of Lincoln Rockwell
and fifty of his cohorts has led to no incidents. Police are successfully containing them in a small area east of the Washington Monument
. The health officers report no casualties. So the story from police headquarters is simply is all is well in Washington
. This Michael Rice for the ERN returning you to George Geesey.
The police report now that about 50,000 people are in this assembly area. That’s about 25,000 more than we had, and certainly it’s far from the expected total of perhaps 200,000, but we’re still an hour away from when the March begins and the Monument
ceremonies will then be over and we’ll be moving down to the Lincoln Memorial
And, of course, some people are already gathering down there. Some people are coming directly to that point. So perhaps we will swell this crowd today to the expected 200,000. Down in the area of the Lincoln Memorial
standing by where the March leaders have set up a press tent to carry out information to the media covering this today we have reporter Arnold Shaw. Let’s switch to him at this time.
From the news headquarters of the Lincoln Memorial
this is Arnold Shaw. The press representatives are increasing in number here at the Lincoln Memorial
but most are waiting for the planned activities to begin.
As you can probably hear some music is being fed over the public address system for the enjoyment of those assembled at the southern foot of the mall. Such a beautiful day that walking is most enjoyable and informative. In chatting with the people sitting on the grassy slopes of this park like area, some interesting observations can be made. Yes, there are people already here from the nations capitol itself. One gentleman stated that he was mainly impressed with the amount of police patrolling the area.
It appears provisions have been made for any emergency. Another native Washington
ian said that she felt that she was spending a morning in Athens, Greece
many hundred years ago. Not just because of the architecture of the Lincoln Memorial
, but the fact that hundreds and soon thousands of people would be gathered around this shrine in the voice of the people participating in the government of their nation.
Two young students just back from Europe said that they just happened to be in Washington, DC
sightseeing. They thought it would be interesting to hear the speeches and enjoy the entertainment to be held here later. These students from Alabama made known their interest with a slightly reserved feeling of participation.
An elderly woman from New Jersey
was most anticipatory about what is actually going to happen, and in her words, “I hope to God that everything remains as friendly and relaxed as it is right now.” Friendly and relaxed it is. To a couple from Miami Beach
it is like a picnic. These two people traveled from Florida
on trains especially to be here for the civil rights demonstration. The woman most excited about this day said that she hoped that year from now thousands of Americans would hold a similar demonstration right here in the nation’s capital for peace.
Once the day ends, the two plan to board a train and head back immediately to Florida
. These are some comments of people from I chatted with here at the Lincoln Memorial
. Some 500 members of civil rights groups have arrived by train from Cincinnati
under the direction of local NAACP President Bill Bowen. Members of NAACP, CORE and ALC, the Negro American Labor Council.
Many people sitting, picnicking along the Reflecting Pool
steps below the Monument
. A family visiting in DC
from Millingsville, Georgia
now at the Pool
plans to join the March when it reaches the Monument. People with headbands, arm bands, buttons all around but in a happy holiday atmosphere.
Some people said that they had the day off anyway so they came down to see what was happening. Students from Winchester, Virginia
and others from Warrenton, Virginia
. We spoke with two ushers, part of a group of 3,000 members of the Inter-Denominational Church Ushers Association of the District of Columbia
vicinity who will collect the pledges to be presented to Congress daily every day after the march.
The pledges will be circulated through the crowd, and this is what the pledge states. “Standing before the Lincoln Memorial
on the 28th of August
in the Centennial Year of Emancipation, I affirm my complete personal commitment to the struggle for jobs and freedom for all Americans. To fulfill that commitment, I pledge that I will not relax until victory is won.
I pledge that I will join and support all actions undertaken in good faith and in accord with the time honored Democratic tradition of non-violent protest, of peaceful assembly and petition and redress through the courts and the legislative process. I pledge to carry the message of the March to my friends and neighbors back home, and to arouse them to an equal commitment and an equal effort. I will march and I will write letters. I will demonstrate and I will vote. I will work to make sure that my voice and those of my brothers ring clear and determined from every corner of our land.
I pledge my heart and my mind and my body unequivocally and without regard to personal sacrifice to the achievement of social peace through social justice. This a pledge card being distributed to thousands of people here in the nation’s capitol today, and to be mailed daily to the Congressmen. These are some of the observations and comments from the news headquarters at the Lincoln Memorial
here in Washington
, DC. This is Arnold Shaw for the Educational Radio Network returning you to George Geesey.
Well, the police estimates now of this swelling crowd are up to 50,000 as we reported. At 9:00 a.m. this morning a very large group arrived at the terminal of the train station. And the usual procedure, of course, as we’ve explained is to get off the trains, go through the concourse and get on shuttle buses which will then go through town and end at 15th and Constitution, which is right beside the Washington Monument
Now this particular large group went to the buses, found out that they had to pay an addition fee to be transported and leaders there told them do not get on the buses but walk over to the Monument grounds and so they have. So this is one group that did not take advantage of the shuttle buses being provided here in the Washington
area. A large group of buses has just left Baltimore, and this perhaps is the 459 odd buses, which are coming from the New York
area. So they’re progressing very good onto the George Washington Parkway.
Forty-six cars have been impounded so far in the Washington
area, cars which violated the no parking after 1:00 a.m. this morning. And, police have about twelve cranes cruising around the area where buses are to have their reserved parking. And so far some owners are going to have a little hard time finding their cars, but there is a restricted area set aside just for the impounded cars. So that’s where they’ll be.
Forty-six have been found so far to be violating what over a large part of Washington is a no parking area today. Martin Luther King and some of the leaders for this March on Washington
for Jobs and Freedom have been at the capitol today. So far they’ve been talking with some of the Congressional leaders, which have been meeting with them. They saw the Honorable Everett Dirksen
who is the Minority Leader of the Senate.
They’ve also talked this morning to the leader, the Majority Leader of the Senate, Mike Mansfield
, and now they are going to talk to the Speaker of the House, Mr. McCormack
and just about this time. And we’re not verified yet as to whether they have left. They’re to leave Capitol Hill
and go to the Washington Monument
There is lots of entertainment on the Washington
stage still. Josh White is there right now, but rather than go back and bring you this particular coverage, we’d like to switch to one of our live remote sites, that site being the one beside the Reflecting Pool
where Norman Prevatte is standing by with an interview.