Slatest PM: "Because They Kept Marching, America Changed"

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Aug. 28 2013 5:00 PM

Slatest PM: "Because They Kept Marching, America Changed"

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President Barack Obama speaks at the Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall August 28, 2013 in Washington, DC. Obama and others spoke to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the US civil rights era March on Washington where Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his 'I Have a Dream Speech'

Photo by Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

Josh Voorhees Josh Voorhees

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

Because They Kept Marching, America Changed: Washington Post: "A half-century to the day the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his clarion call for justice from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, tens of thousands reconvened near that spot Wednesday to hear from one of his symbolic heirs, amid hope and frustration about the current state of race relations in America. President Obama, accompanied by the first lady and two former Democratic presidents, walked down the stone steps past a cast iron bell from a Birmingham, Ala., church that survived a bombing that killed four black girls in September 1963."

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A Snippet From Obama's Speech: "[W]e'll suffer the occasional setback. But we will win these fights. This country has changed too much. People of good will, regardless of party, are too plentiful for those with ill will to change history's currents. In some ways, though, the securing of civil rights, voting rights, the eradication of legalized discrimination—the very significance of these victories may have obscured a second goal of the march, for the men and women who gathered 50 years ago were not there in search of some abstract idea. They were there seeking jobs as well as justice not just the absence of oppression but the presence of economic opportunity. For what does it profit a man, Dr. King would ask, to sit at an integrated lunch counter if he can't afford the meal?" Full transcipt.

A Ringing Tribute: Associated Press: "Church bells were ringing out Wednesday at the National Cathedral and nationwide to answer a call from one of the most important civil rights speeches in history to 'let freedom ring.' Organizers said people at more than 300 sites in nearly every state were ringing their bells to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr.'s Aug. 28, 1963 'I Have a Dream' speech. At the National Cathedral in Washington, the central bell tower played 'Lift Every Voice and Sing' from the carillon. The bells rang for about 15 minutes to mark the moment when the speech was delivered."

It's Tuesday, August 28, welcome to the Slatest PM. Follow your afternoon host on Twitter at@JoshVoorhees and the whole team at @Slatest.

Hasan Sentenced to Death: Reuters: "A military jury on Wednesday sentenced a U.S. Army psychiatrist to death for the 2009 mass murder of 13 people, mostly unarmed soldiers, at Fort Hood, Texas, which the convicted gunman said he committed in retaliation for U.S. wars in the Muslim world. ... The jury deliberated just over two hours before deciding on the death penalty for [Major Nidal] Hasan, who opened fire with a laser-sighted handgun in a medical facility at the sprawling central Texas military base just weeks before he was to be deployed to Afghanistan. ... Death sentences are rare in the military, which last executed a member of the service 52 years ago. Hasan, 42, will become the sixth man on death row at the U.S. military's prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. The same jury convicted him on Friday of 45 counts of premeditated murder and attempted premeditated murder."

Latest on Syria: New York Times: "Iranian lawmakers and commanders issued stark warnings to the United States and its allies on Tuesday, saying any military strike on Syria would lead to a retaliatory attack on Israel fanned by 'the flames of outrage.' The warnings came against a backdrop of rising momentum among Western governments for a military intervention in the Syrian conflict over what the United States, Britain, France and others have called undeniable evidence that President Bashar al-Assad’s forces used banned chemical weapons on civilians last week, killing hundreds. Mr. Assad has accused the insurgents who are trying to topple him of using such munitions."

Johnny Football's (Mini-)Suspension: ESPN: "Johnny Football will start the season on the bench. Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Johnny Manziel of No. 7 Texas A&M has been suspended for the first half of Saturday's season opener against the Rice Owls, a source told ESPN's Brett McMurphy on Wednesday afternoon. The agreement between the NCAA and Texas A&M closes the book on Manziel's recent issues, a source told McMurphy. Earlier this month, ESPN reported that the NCAA was looking into whether Manziel was paid for signing autographs at several locations, including in South Florida around the BCS National Championship game. Also, ESPN reported that a set of autograph dealers claimed that Manziel accepted payments to sign more than 4,000 items, including footballs and photographs, at an event in Connecticut in late January."

The Yosemite Wildfire: USA Today: "Higher humidity helped firefighters battling the giant wildfire at the edge of Yosemite overnight Wednesday, but the smoky haze it has produced triggered emergency air quality warnings more than 100 miles away in Nevada. The U.S. Forest Service said the fire on Wednesday was 23 per cent contained and likely would not be fully contained until at least Sept. 10. ... The effects of the stubborn fire could be felt far and wide. For the second time in a week, school children were kept indoors in Reno and Carson City and officials urged people to avoid all physical activity outdoors."

A 30-Day Sentence for Rape: CBS News: "A Montana judge who sentenced former teacher Stacey Rambold to 30 days in the rape case of a 14-year-old student is defending his decision as outrage grows over his comments that the girl was 'older than her chronological age.' In 2010, the girl killed herself at age 16 as the case was pending, and her mother told District Judge G. Todd Baugh Monday her relationship with Rambold was a 'major factor' in her suicide. ... In handing down the sentence, Baugh also said the 14-year-old victim was 'older than her chronological age' and 'as much in control of the situation' as the teacher. "

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