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March on Washington's 50th anniversary: Viewer guide

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., head of

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, speaks to thousands during his "I Have a Dream" speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial for the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, in Washington. Actor-singer Sammy Davis Jr., is at bottom right. (Aug. 28, 1963) Credit: AP

Wednesday is the 50th anniversary of one of the great events of the civil rights era, the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, and television is taking notice.

But where to turn? Here's a quick list -- straight from the networks themselves -- of what/when/who. The march itself 50 years ago was a television landmark as well -- one of the first major news events covered by Walter Cronkite as anchor of "The Evening News," which would expand from 15 minutes to a half hour within weeks of this event. Check out the clip below for a view of some of what viewers saw that day half a century ago.

The key moment Wednesday is at 11 a.m. and coverage will be just about everywhere, and it will be live.  Here are some major highlights:

ABC News “I Have a Dream” -- four words that helped change the course of American history. ABC News and Yahoo! News will host a first-ever live global broadcast on Wednesday to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s March on Washington and his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech. This hybrid digital-television event will be anchored by George Stephanopoulos with Dan Kloeffler from ABC News World Headquarters in New York beginning at 11 a.m. Coverage will be available across all ABC News digital platforms as well as through Yahoo! News. When President Barack Obama speaks from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, ABC News will simulcast a live special report to the ABC Television Network and to the Yahoo!-ABC News Network.

MSNBC The news channel will present special coverage of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington on Wednesday. This will include live coverage from both Washington, and New York, with Chris Matthews anchoring live from the National Mall throughout the day beginning at 11a.m. After Obama’s remarks at about 4 p.m., MSNBC will present the Rev. Martin Luther King’s entire "I Have a Dream" speech, with the special hour hosted by Tamron Hall. And Chris Hayes will host a special “All In” at 8 p.m., live from Washington.  “All In” will also air King’s "I Have a Dream" speech with limited commercial interruption, followed by commentary and reflection by Hayes and his MSNBC colleagues regarding the historic nature of King’s words. The limited-commercial presentation has been made possible by Bank of America.

CNN The news channel will observe the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington on Wednesday with a re-broadcast of King's “I Have a Dream” speech. The address from five decades ago will air in its entirety. The day’s coverage will be hosted by CNN anchor Don Lemon, with live reporting from correspondents Joe Johns and Athena Jones in the crowds gathered on the National Mall to participate in the events, and commentary from CNN Crossfire host Van Jones and contributions from CNN’s Donna Brazile.

BET Networks Live coverage starts Wednesday at 2 p.m. with the BET News special “50: America Salutes the Dream,” broadcasting speeches scheduled to be delivered by Presidents Carter, Clinton and Obama, as well as other notables, performances and the "Let Freedom Ring" bell-ringing event at 3 p.m. that commemorates King’s famous address. Award-winning journalist Marc Lamont Hill will anchor coverage of the anniversary event and offer commentary on the day’s events.

CBS Evening News Anchor and managing editor Scott Pelley will lead CBS News’ live coverage of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington including President Barack Obama’s speech from the Lincoln Memorial on Wednesday. Coverage begins on "CBS This Morning" at 7 a.m. with reports on the anniversary, and includes live coverage  of President Obama’s remarks Wednesday afternoon. Pelley will be joined by CBS News Chief White House Correspondent Major Garrett from the White House, CBS News Correspondent Jeff Pegues from the National Mall, and presidential historian and CBS News consultant Douglas Brinkley from Washington, D.C.


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