Saturday, December 22, 2007
PRAYER PILGRIMAGE Held on the third anniversary of the historic Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education, the Prayer Pilgrimage of May 17, 1957 was the largest civil rights demonstration to be held in Washington, D. C. following the second World War. Nearly fifteen-thousand "pilgrims" from more than thirty states gathered at the base of the Lincoln Memorial to hear a series of sermons, scriptural readings and speeches by civil rights leaders. The primary intent of the Pilgrimage was to dramatically demonstrate to the Government and to the American people at large the need for more rapid and effective implementation *of the Brown decision to integrate American public schools. In addition, the Pilgrimage was designed to demonstrate racial solidarity; protest against racial violence in the South; and to "lobby" for the passage of pending civil rights legislation (Civil Rights Act of 1957).