The Civil Rights History Project: Survey of Collections and Repositories
Repository: National Archives and Records Administration. Archives II
Collection Description (Extant): George Stevens Jr., who headed the United States Information Agency (USIA) Motion Picture Service unit from 1962-67, brought in young talented documentary filmmakers such as Charles Guggenheim, Carroll Ballard, Kent McKenzie, Leo Seltzer, Terry Sanders, Bruce Herschensohn, and James Blue, who directed "The March." This period ushered in the 'Golden Era' of USIA films.
Examining the 1963 Civil Rights March on Washington from the ground-level and focusing on the idealistic passion, joy and synergy of the crowds, Blue's documentary lets us see the event take shape from the planning stage -- with sound checks and worries about whether people will attend -- to the arrival of enormous crowds on parades of trains and buses. It culminates in Martin Luther King's electrifying "I Have a Dream" speech.
These USIA films were rarely seen in America because, fearing propaganda, the 1948 Smith-Mundt Act mandated that no USIA film could be shown domestically without a special act of Congress. These films are being rediscovered because a 1990 act of Congress (P.L. 101-246) authorized domestic screening twelve years after release.
Access Copy Note: The documentary is also available online at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jidABYf_nLU
Digital Status: Yes
Existing IDs: ARC Identifier 47526
Finding Aid URL: http://arcweb.archives.gov/arc/action/ExternalIdSearch?id=47526
Rights (CRHP): Contact the repository which holds the collection for information on rights
March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, Washington, D.C., 1963