37¢ Martin Luther King, Jr.
Celebrate the Century – 1960s
Issue Date: September 17, 1999
City: Green Bay, WI
Printed By: Ashton-Potter (USA) Ltd
Printing Method: Lithographed, engraved
Even after the Supreme Court outlawed segregation in 1954, racial equality didn’t exist in much of America. The civil rights movement of the 1960s, led by Martin Luther King Jr., changed that. Under his guidance, many people of all races united on behalf of equality.
When President John F. Kennedy proposed a civil rights bill in 1963, King organized a march on the capital to urge Congress to pass the legislation. The March on Washington took place August 28, 1963, and attracted over 200,000 people. Demonstrators marched from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial. The highlight of the march was King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, given at the Lincoln Memorial.
As he looked out over the crowd, King realized the end of his speech wasn’t what he wanted to say, so he began preaching. In his stirring speech, King defined the civil rights movement’s moral basis. His plea for equality conveyed a sense of urgency to members of the crowd. On that day, King envisioned justice for all races.
Congress passed Kennedy’s civil rights bill in 1964. The act called for an end to racial discrimination in education, employment, and in public places. King, whose struggle for equality changed America forever, was awarded the Nobel peace prize in 1964.