The most famous words of the 20th century were spoken from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. The Rev. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech will be remembered long after our civilization is gone. He delivered the final address during the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The event drew 200,000 spectators. Celebrities on hand ranged from Sammy Davis Jr. to Marlon Brando to Bob Dylan.
A marker, dedicated in 2003 by the Rev. King’s widow Coretta Scott King, memorializes the moment. The memorial has been the site of many other pivotal moments in U.S. history. Some say the modern civil rights movement got its start with Marian Anderson’s 1939 Easter Sunday concert at the memorial. The African-American performer had been banned from performing at Constitution Hall by the owners, the Daughters of the American Revolution.
For general Washington travel info here.
Take a fascinating self-guided Civil War to Civil Rights walking tour, offered by Cultural Tourism DC. Download a free map and guide book here.
Or take a guided tour covering the city’s rich African-American history, including the King Memorial and a reserved ticketed entry to the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Other cool Washington D.C. tours, including spy tours, Segway tours, night-time bicycle tours, trolley tours, and much more
For a signature Washington experience, head to Ben’s Chili Bowl. Open since 1958, it has been visited by pretty much every important DC visitor and resident ever since. Don’t expect anything fancy though. The menu’s mainstay are chili dogs, and an only-in-DC sausage called a half-smoke. Also salads and even vegetarian options.
Celebrity chef Jose Andres has several great downtown restaurants, including China Chilicano, Jaleo and Oyamel Cocina Mexicana
For more choices, you’ll find a world of options on Washingtonian magazine’s Top 100 list.
Willard InterContinental Washington No other D.C. hotel feels more at the center of power than the Willard, a beautiful Beaux Arts building, just a block from the White House. Look for specials or packages because it’s quite spendy. 1401 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, 202/628-9100
For something more funky and stylish, consider the stylish Kimpton Hotel Monaco Washington, DC.
If there’s not a convention in town, you often can catch a deal at the Residence Inn or Courtyard by Marriott, which share a lobby, and are walking distance to the Mall.