His father left him at home during the historic 1963 march here, but Martin Luther King III said yesterday that he and thousands of other young people will be in town next month for the 20th anniversary "March on Washington for Jobs, Peace and Freedom."
"Youth has never been on the outside of movements for social change and progress," the 26-year-old son of the slain civil rights leader said. "Instead, we have always been in the forefront with those who have struggled for a society free of racism, violence and segregation."
The young King is traveling around the country helping to promote the Aug. 27 gathering here, and he and other march organizers told a news conference that young people won't be the only special contingent.
D.C. Del. Walter E. Fauntroy said the march had been expanded this time to include members of women's, peace and environmental movements that were not as large in 1963 when civil rights, labor and church groups organized that march.
Fauntroy said 310 groups in 35 states were making plans to come to Washington, with more than 200 buses and a special "Freedom Train" expected to help transport marchers.
In addition, he said, a group from Africa and Western Europe plans to walk here from New York, and disabled people plan to travel here in a caravan of wheelchairs from Chicago.