1963 March on Washington: 80,000 Cheese Sandwiches

1963 March on Washington: 80,000 Cheese Sandwiches

“In New York, volunteers showed up at the Riverside Church at 3:00 AM to make bagged lunches. The bagged meal, comprised of a cheese sandwich, mustard, marble cake and an apple, could be purchased by marchers for 50 cents. Working in shifts until 4 in the afternoon, the assembly line crew paused once for a few words from Dr. Robert Spike, director of the Commission on Religion and Race of the National Council of Churches: ‘As an act of love, we now dedicate these lunches for the nourishment of thousands who will be coming long distances, at great sacrifice to say with their bodies and souls that we shall overcome.’ In all, 5 tons of American cheese went into the 80,000 lunches that were loaded onto refrigerated trucks and shipped down to Washington.”

— “Eating on the March: Food at the 1963 March on Washington,” Smithsonian Magazine blog [links added]

Related:

“Churches and the 1963 March on Washington,” Frederick Douglass Opie, Food as as Lens

“The Road to Civil Rights: Getting to the March on Washington, August 28, 1963,” Richard Weingroff, FHWA Highway History

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Short link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-hdP

Image: Food prep for the March on Washington (USIA photo via National Archives). You may also download a copy of this Public Domain photo here. 

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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