On August 28, 1963, 500 residents of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County boarded buses to attend the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Little did they know they were about to join 250,000 others that day in DC in what would become one of the major turning points of the Civil Rights movement. 

 

At the march, was local Annapolis resident Marc Apter. His father, David Apter, quit his job in Public Relations in Washington, DC to handle the PR for the march. A teenager at the time, Marc's father tasked him with running speeches up and down the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to the podium and he was there for Dr. King's famous speech. 

 

Martin Luther King, Jr. and David Apter talking about the 1963 march on Washington.

David Apter (right) speaking with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. about the March on Washington.
Image courtesy of Marc Apter. 

 

Carl O. Snowden wasn't at the march that day but he is well known in Annapolis as a local Civil Rights Activist, Consultant and Politician. In 1988, he founded the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Committee, Inc., which hosts an annual awards dinner that honors those who continue to keep Dr. King's legacy alive. Upon learning that so many local residents attended the March on Washington, Carl started a campaign to raise funds for a memorial dedicated to the 'Foot Soldiers' of the march.

 

After being a part of the committee to successfully erect a statue of Dr. King at Anne Arundel Community College as well as a memorial to Coretta Scott King in Edgewater- a memorial to the attendees of the March on Washington seemed only fitting. The committee chose the People's Park at Calvert and Clay Streets because it was the location where attendees boarded the buses to Washington. The committee built and dedicated the memorial to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, in August of 2013. 

 

Ribbon cutting ceremony with Carl Snowden and Foot Soldiers.

Carl O. Snowden (center, wearing the red tie) attends the ribbon cutting of the MLK Foot Soldiers Memorial at The People's Park in downtown Annapolis. Image courtesy of Marc Apter.

 

Carl Snowden and countless volunteers, like Marc Apter, worked to bring the vision of the MLK Foot Soldiers Memorial to fruition. Marc's father, David Apter is also inscribed upon the memorial. No doubt he would be proud of the honor to be memorialized with the other Foot Soldiers from that day who brought notoriety and conviction to the Civil Rights movement that continues to shape equality and racial justice in 2021.

 

For more on The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Committee, visit their website and learn how you can get involved.