It was 50 years ago today that 200,000 men and women, led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. marched on Washington. That makes today the 50th anniversary of the “I Have A Dream” speech, and digital agency Organic, the National Park Service, and “some friends from Google” threw the transformative activist event a virtual birthday party in the form of the website WeAreStillMarching.com.
The site, from agency Organic in partnership with Google Chrome and production company Unit9, is a gorgeous piece of design and interactive user experience. Upon entering, users are given the opportunity to click and explore the text of the “I Have A Dream” speech while the famous recording plays; behind the text of the speech, which scrolls across the bottom of the screen, photographs from the event cycle through. There are striking images of scores of people stretching seemingly for miles, of countless signs held in the air, and of Dr. King in mid-speech.
Clicking an icon to the top right of the page, meanwhile, brings up a gallery of images from the event, the era, and related events today. There are the devastating images–federal marshals removing a little girl from a public school, scores of hooded Klansmen marching in front of the Capitol–but also images that tie the events of the ’60s to today in ways that are more encouraging–a young Jesse Jackson grasping the hand of a fellow marcher, or the inauguration of President Obama. Another icon allows users to add their own faces to the gallery; a third gives them the chance to record their own message.
It’s a fascinating example of interactive history, on the anniversary of a day when the interaction of hundreds of thousands with a speech that spoke to their hopes is what made history.