On the bus to D.C. 50 years ago | TheUnion.com

Back to: Letters

On the bus to D.C. 50 years ago

Fifty years ago, I was in Washington, D.C., for the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. If I put my mind to it, I could probably locate my bus ticket for getting there from Pittsburgh, Pa. I was 16. My sister, Lisa, age 18, and our friend, Dave Culver (also 18), also went.

Below is a piece my younger sister, Laurie, wrote after I told her my memory of that day. I'd also add one more memory: that of 150,000 to 200,000 people singing. Wow!

Laurie wrote: "Today I talked with my sister, Dianne Marshall, about her experience traveling on a bus from Pittsburgh to the March on Washington with my sister, Lisa Jo Marshall, and our friend, Dave Culver. They were three white teenagers on the all-black bus. She remembered the experience of the electricity of all 150,000 people being a whole, singing together, clapping together, listening together. 'I knew I was a part of something pivotal for our nation. I remember the people on the bus keeping track of us and making sure we were cared for and got back to the bus to go home.' We marveled at our parents' faith in blessing this trip."

Oh, I forgot …I also have a banner that was carried in the march. I've kept it all these years. I'd like to get it to a museum in Pittsburgh to honor all those who took that bus ride to be a part of that event.

Dianne Marshall

Grass Valley