LONG BEACH (CBSLA.com) — A Long Beach woman who was in the nation’s capital 50 years ago for the historic March on Washington said she counts that day as the highlight of her life.
Peggy Dammond Preacely, a 20-year-old freedom rider and member of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, traveled from Boston to Washington D.C. for the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.
Dammond Preacely told CBS2′s Pat Harvey she felt the march would be a major turning point in history.
“You just felt like the world was going to turn around, you felt like there weren’t going to be any more problems after the march,” said Dammond Preacely. “How could there be? We were going to save America.”
Immersed in the civil rights movement from the age of 15, Dammond Preacely was arrested three times for participating in sit-ins, marches and boycotts in Maryland and Albany.
During one arrest, Dammond Preacely said she and her fellow protesters were held in a stockade for two weeks, while sheriff’s authorities conducted target practice in plain view.
Dammond Preacely met Dr. King in city jail. “Dr. King came brought some of us toothbrushes and said ‘carry on, students’.”