In a 1963 Gallup poll, Americans listed civil rights as the most important crisis facing the nation. That May in segregated Birmingham, Alabama, firefighters blasted black marchers with powerful fire hoses. Millions of Americans were becoming out-raged at such events, and so too was President John F. Kennedy. That June the Kennedy Administration worked on a civil rights bill, and Kennedy himself would urge Congress to pass it. However, Martin Luther King Jr. knew that southern politicians would do all they could to block such legislation. King told his advisers that "something dramatic must be done" to support the civil rights bill because "I don't think it will pass otherwise." That "something" would be the March on Washington. Black labor leader A. Philip Randolph, seventy-four, had dreamed of such a march for decades. On August 28, it came to fruition, with 250,000 civil rights supporters descending on the nation's capital. King, the last of the many speakers that day, delivered his legendary "I Have a Dream" speech. This book recounts King's ascent to the proverbial "mountaintop" as well as the details of that historic event in Washington. Who made it happen? How did the marchers get through the muggy afternoon? What was their reaction to King's speech? All of these issues, and more, are explored in Martin Luther King Jr. and the 1963 March on Washington.