Fifteen-year-old Joanna Swanger of Springfield, Ohio, said she had made reading about the 1960s her summer project. That is why she asked her mother if she could come along to the march yesterday.
"She was born in 1968 and she really regrets not being involved in that era," said Carolyn Swanger, Joanna's mother, who accompanied her daughter to Washington by bus.
Joanna, who was wearing a button that said "Freeze Nuclear Arms" and a medallion that said "War is not healthy for children and other living things," said she first became interested in the '60s by listening to the music of the Beatles and the folk groups of the era. She began looking up articles about the '60s protests and marches in The New York Times.
"It's a great experience, very memorable," she said, as she listened to Gloria Steinem speaking from the podium set up on the Mall.
"This could only happen in America," her mother said. "It makes me proud to be an American. We can come together and express our feelings peacefully and I do believe the citizens can accomplish the goals they are expressing today."
At 67, Tom North, of Butler County, Pa., was also on his first march. "I mainly came for peace," said North, who came with a contingent from the Calvin United Presbyterian Church of Zelienople, Pa. North saw the 1963 march on television. "I supported Dr. King all the way," he said.