Southern Ill. communities remember 60th anniversary of March on Washington

Shawnee Community College commemorates March on Washington.
Published: Aug. 28, 2023 at 4:37 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 28, 2023 at 5:16 PM CDT
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CARBONDALE, Ill. (KFVS) - Monday marked 60 years since the March on Washington, when a quarter of a million people rallied to demand an end to segregation and call for long overdue civil rights protections.

The historic event is being commemorated across the country, and right here in the Heartland.

Monday evening, August 28, leaders in Carbondale will gather to mark the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington.

We visited Shawnee Community College where faculty and students took a virtual look at the historic event.

“It was a real good learning experience to hear and see Dr. Martin Luther King and just really hear his speech,” said Robert Staff, Shawnee Community College student.

More than 50 people at Shawnee Community College experienced an historic moment in U.S. History with the help of virtual reality.

“It was really interesting, I can’t help but think about how much work was put into actually create that,” said Jessica Edwards, administrative assistant to the dean of transfers at Shawnee Community College.

Students and staff were transported back to 1963, where they joined Civil Rights leaders of the time and joined thousands of others who were part of the March on Washington, and they also got a front row seat Dr. KIng’s now famous “I have a Dream” speech.

“It’s just crazy, like it’s crazy actually seeing that. It’s real crazy and I’m glad that this is happening here at the college,” Edwards added.

Each participant used a VR headset for what amounted to a 15-minute interactive history lesson.

“I love history, it was a good experience,” said Brennon Hill, Shawnee Community College student.

He said this moment in time still offers lessons we can learn from today.

“Look into history, don’t just listen in the classroom and be like oh history doesn’t affect me. It does impact you to this day. His speech with 60 years passing we still look to his speech for guidance,” Hill continued.

Monday night’s event in Carbondale begins at 6 p.m. It’s held here at the Carbondale Civic Center and all are welcome.