Former Columbus Preacher Reflects On March On Washington

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Graetz was a personal friend of Martin Luther King, Jr., and attended the March on Washington at King's urging.(Photo: PBS)
Graetz was a personal friend of Martin Luther King, Jr., and attended the March on Washington at King's urging.(Photo: PBS)

All this week, we’ve heard memories and recollections from August 28, 1963. That day, 50 years ago, a quarter-million people converged on the nation’s capital for the March on Washington.

Robert Graetz was among them. A white preacher and civil rights activist originally from West Virginia and raised in Columbus, he played a key role in the Montgomery bus boycotts.

But he almost didn’t make it to the rally in Washington.

WOSU’s Steve Brown spoke with Graetz from his home in Montgomery, Alabama. Click the play button above to hear their conversation.

You can hear special coverage of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington Wednesday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. on 89.7, NPR News.

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