The 50th anniversary of one of the biggest civil rights events of our time brought thousands from all over the country to Washington, D.C. In the Triangle, dozens of buses left at 11 p.m. on Saturday for the "March on Washington" event.
Even 50 years later, Martin Luther King Jr.'s famous "I Have a Dream" speech is still just as powerful and compelling.
"History is repeating itself again and I actually get a chance to be a part of it," said Shaquanna Lee, a senior at North Carolina Central University.
Lee was on one of those buses headed to Washington, D.C. She met her peers at the New Bern Avenue Walmart and along with hundreds of others, left the Triangle at around 2 a.m. Saturday.
"To actually go to D.C. and walk the roads that Martin Luther King Jr. once walked, it's just awesome," said Lee.
The first "March on Washington" attracted more than 200,000 people on Aug. 28, 1963. The massive event triggered several years of nonviolent protests for expanded civil rights all over the country, but some activists in the Triangle say there's still a long way to go.
"This summer we have experienced in North Carolina a tsunami of abuse by our elected officials, resulting in the Moral Monday movement, the forward together movement, and a new 21st century civil rights movement," said Stella Kirkendale, a civil rights Activist in Raleigh.
Kirkendale was just one of the thousands who retraced the steps of earlier activists on the national mall.
Events are planned throughout the Triangle on both Tuesday and Wednesday, Aug. 28 to mark the 50th anniversary.
The North Carolina chapter of the NAACP is holding a prayer service tonight at 7 p.m. at the Covenant Presbyterian Church in Durham to commemorate the anniversary. The N.C. NAACP will also hold a press conference at 10 a.m. in Greenville Tuesday.