Five memorable Washington political protests

4. The Million Man March

Crowds listen to Minister Louis Farrakhan speak at the Million Man March on October 17, 1995.

Led by Nation of Islam head Louis Farrakhan, the 1995 Million Man March sought to counter negative media stereotypes of black males. Speakers included Jesse Jackson, Rosa Parks, Maya Angelou, and Reverend Jeremiah Wright.

The march was overshadowed by a controversy over the number of people who showed up. The National Park Service estimated that about 400,000 people gathered on the west front grounds of the Capitol, prompting Farrakhan to threaten to sue for defamation. Using aerial photographs, researchers from Boston University estimated the size of the crowd at between 669,600 and 1,004,400. Since 1997, the National Park Service has been prohibited from estimating crowd sizes.

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