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Not knowing what to expect, the District and federal government prepared for the worse in the days leading up to the civil rights event.
Aug. 28, 1963 Military police line up at the Washington Monument prior to the March on Washington. Fearing violence from the event, 30 Army helicopters patrolled the skies, swooping low over the Reflecting Pool. Four thousand troops stood ready in the Washington suburbs, and 15,000 paratroopers were placed on standby in North Carolina. AP