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Rev. Jesse Jackson reflects on King, civil rights on 50th anniversary of March on Washington

Wednesday - 8/28/2013, 7:54am  ET

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Rev. Jesse Jackson participated in the March on Washington on Aug. 28, 1963. (WTOP File)
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Jesse Jackson discusses March on Washington

On the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, Rev. Jesse Jackson talks about the civil rights movements and Dr. Martin Luther King's lasting influence.

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WASHINGTON - The 50th anniversary of the March on Washington marks a day to reflect on past struggles and look to a hopeful future, civil rights activist Rev. Jesse Jackson told WTOP Wednesday.

Jackson who participated in the March on Washington on Aug. 28, 1963 said the United States has come a long way since about 250,000 people came to D.C. for the original march and Dr. Martin Luther King delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech.

"There was a cloud of fear and intimidation and really barbarism," Jackson said of the 1963 event. "D.C. was virtually under lockdown."

Jackson said there was "racial anarchy" during the time, but President Lyndon Johnson's influence helped the civil rights movement. Jackson said President Barack Obama, like Johnson, has an opportunity to put legislation in place to make "the dream" a reality.

Fifty years later, King's impact during the March on Washington is still felt, Jackson said.

"I think he was as courageous as he was intellectual - enjoyed engaging in non-violent confrontation. To break the cycle to lose was a broad view of America and the world," Jackson said. "Remember that speech? The dream was the climax."

Listen to Jackson's entire interview with WTOP below.

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