#OccupyDCNow is simply revisiting 1968 Resurrection City

As the hardcore few dozen protestors hunker down on Freedom Plaza in the rain, the OccupyDCNow movement is remindful of 1968 when Resurrection City filled the National Mall for a few weeks.

Oh, this protest is nothing compared to prior movement that attracted thousands to build a tent city along the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool. I was eight years old and remember my parents driving past it on the way to a family gathering, amazed by a group camping out on the mall. History seems to have forgotten Resurrection City, but it made a lasting impression on me.

Resurrection City was actually a legacy of the recently slain Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., whose statue will be dedicated on Sunday just a few yards from where the tent city stood.

The Poor People’s Campaign was to protest jobs, housing and economic issues for the nation’s poor. The organization wanted a $30 billion anti-poverty package that included an “economic bill of rights.”

Ironically, the movement wasn’t connected to King’s April 4 death. The group began planning the May 12, 1968 protest six months earlier. The movement ended after president candidate Robert F. Kennedy’s June 6th assassination. The economic package was never approved by Congress.

There are some great photographs at John Phillips Photography.com and Bill Wingell

About Rick

Rick Snider is a native Washingtonian, long-time journalist and licensed tour guide since 2010.
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