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that there are now 250,000.” It turned out there were 400,000, more
than we ever thought.
I remember I was around the memorial where the speeches were
taking place. I remember Joan Baez coming by and Joe Walker, a guy
on the union publication, had a camera and he went over to Joan and
he said, “Joan, will you wear this hat? I want to take a picture.” We
always had pictures of important people with 1199 hats. So I
remember taking a picture of that.
Anyway, it was a big event, a big day.
What other recollections do you have of the march? It's a little
secondary to the 1199 story, but your recollections of the speech.
The speeches, you know, it's what everybody else remembers
about the speech. The King speech was the big thing, although I
remember I was very impressed by John Lewis' speech in terms of its
content. But everybody was very good and they staked out there own-
-everybody was wonderful. It was great history.
What kind of impact would an event like that have on the union, do
On the members, it had a tremendous impact. First of all,
remember that King was close to this union, and King's stature
jumped. At that particular point, King skyrocketed. To feel that he's
ours is a great thing for the members to feel. See, we were always
putting out things about “join the March on Washington,” the big
buttons and everything that we were selling in advance. We'd always
do a big PR campaign to promote the sales, so that it was all over the
hospitals, so everybody knew that we were very actively involved in it.
So when it over, it was like a badge, “I was at the Washington March.”
That badge got bigger and bigger as the years went on, but it was big
What were some of the other activities that the union was involved
in, both cultural and political, in this period?
I'm looking to refresh my memory at an issue of the publication
1199 Drug News in June '65, which devoted a major feature and the
cover, it says, “1199ers know a good union doesn't have to be dull.” It
has several pages of photographs of different events: Theater 1199,
Salute to Israel, Forum with Norman Thomas on Peace and War, with
very interesting photographs. In the description of the event, it reports
that John Randolph and Sarah Cunningham appeared at a Theater
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