19 june 1968 & ~75,000 attend Solidarity Day
#OTD 19 June 1968 The Poor People's Campaign had its Solidarity Day, a galvanizing day of speeches and rallies for the ~75,000 individuals in attendance. The rally brought together the individuals, families, friends, and comrades who traveled from throughout the U.S. to bring attention to poverty, hunger, welfare rights, land rights, fishing rights, housing, labor and more. Solidarity Day (also Juneteenth) took place on the Mall at the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument.
Some of the signs in the above photograph state:
"UAW Supports Full Employment and Guaranteed Annual Income"
"Redeem the American Promise: Life, Liberty, Happiness For All"
"UAW Supports Bold Action to Abolish Poverty..."
Solidarity Day was organized by Sterling Tucker, director of the Urban League chapter here. He called on dozens of individuals, organizations and institutions to help make Solidarity Day successful. Thousands of Washingtonians also attended Solidarity Day. However, some Washingtonians were forbidden from attending.
Taquiena Boston, 14, desperately wanted to attend Solidarity Day, but her mother wouldn't let her. This is what she wrote in her diary:
June 19, 1968. Today, my sister and I bought ice cream. I didn't go out today. I watched the Solidarity March on television. 75,000 people were gathered as the beginning of the War on Poverty. Mrs. King sang. Politicians, union men made speeches. And there was entertainment. I wish I'd gone but my mother wouldn't let me. I jumped rope with my sister. Liz Taylor paid for an ad for gun control and 4,000 celebrities signed a petition. In the ad, Bobby Kennedy is walking in the field with his dog. I'm reading more of the Bible and Profiles in Courage. I marked up Travels with Charley.
Listen to her read from her diary:
Your comments are welcome below. Did you, a family member or a neighbor know attend Solidarity Day? What do you remember about Solidarity Day? Did you volunteer? Were you one of the organizers? Do you have photographs or ephemera from Solidarity Day? You may comment privately here.
Photo source: Courtesy Library of Congress, U.S. News & World Report 19 June 1968. Photographer WKL. LC-U9-19283.
Diary source: Courtesy of Taquiena Boston. A big thank you to Taquiena for sharing her incredible diary.