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The March on Washington in Photographs

On August 28, 1963, photographer Rowland Scherman, working for the United States Information Agency (USIA), took a photograph which has become an iconic image of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. This Inside the Vaults video short follows the subject of the photograph: Edith Lee-Payne of Detroit, Michigan, who celebrated her 12th birthday by attending the March on Washington with her mother. In the photograph, which is among the holdings of the National Archives, she carries a March on Washington banner and concentrates intently on the scene before her. Ms. Lee-Payne had no idea she had been photographed until recently, when her sister saw the photograph in a calendar celebrating African-American history. The well-known image has been reproduced countless times in history books, on calendars, and most recently in the National Park Service brochure for the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C. Also appearing in the video is National Archives Supervisory Archivist Ed McCarter and photographer Rowland Scherman. In addition to the famous image of Ms. Lee-Payne, many other USIA photos from that day are shown. Inside the Vaults includes highlights from the National Archives in the Washington, DC, area and from the Presidential libraries and regional archives nationwide. These shorts present behind-the-scenes exclusives and offer surprising stories about the National Archives treasures. See more from Inside the Vaults at
Length: 03:05


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