White House Statement on the 25th Anniversary of the March on Washington


August 27, 1988


Twenty-five years ago, about a quarter of a million Americans gathered in Washington to bear witness to a noble cause. In their speeches, in their songs, in their prayers, those marchers recalled America's promise of liberty and opportunity and said it was time to make that promise an unblemished reality. No one was more eloquent on that day than Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Speaking from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, he said that he had a dream of freedom, justice, and hope for every American and of a day when all Americans would ``not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.''


Since that day a quarter century ago, America has made vast progress toward fully achieving Dr. King's dream of a colorblind society. As a result, America today is a freer land for Americans of all backgrounds. And this nation, which Lincoln called ``the last best hope on Earth,'' is an even more brilliant beacon of freedom and hope for peoples throughout the world.


On this anniversary, it is fitting that all Americans should give thanks for that progress and for the work of those who sacrificed so much to bring it about. And let us remember, as well, that freedom is our unending challenge and our continuing vocation as Americans. This was what the March on Washington was about. This is what we as a nation are about.