Without looking it up, do you know of these two events?

That’s the one.

I don’t have a TV, and I get news second hand by reading stories that get discussed and linked on this board and other sources.
So I really had no exposure to any of the 50th Anniversary stuff.

I’m not surprised they didn’t know the first one. (I know the names, and that it’s related to the Civil War, but not the details.)

However I’m pretty surprised that they didn’t know what the March on Washington was. That’s still recent history and is really famous, especially with this being the 50th anniversary.

To be clear:

  1. John Brown tried to lead an armed slave rebellion which ended at Harper’s Ferry, VA.

  2. The March on Washington, to which I was referring was MLK’s March on Washington. Tomorrow is the 50th anniversary of his “I Have a Dream Speech,” here is DC there is are a number of events marking the anniversary.

I was shocked that John Brown didn’t even get a glimmer of recognition, but even when prompted with the fact that this week marked the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, I got blank looks.

I got them both - 36 yr old woman.

The March on Washington was a touch tricky, because now it seems like some other organization is marching in Washington every day, but I assumed that you meant THE March on Washington.

I know about John Brown in a unique way - from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books. In the later books, in De Smet, she talks about how the new preacher is kin to John Brown, and says she can see a little John Brown in him when he gets all riled up. She references some general language re: slave riots, but it was enough for my brain to make connections after that, when I would run across something about him later.

the march on Washington happened in New York.

having a wild-eyed, crazy-looking, gun and bible-quoting guy as your rep on your state day?

I’d thought Kansas was pretty staid, sort of like Saskatchewan, just more so. I may have to re-think that…

I’m 37, and I was a little vague on Harper’s Ferry but remembered enough to know that it had to do with slavery and people died. I totally nailed the March on Washington, though I haven’t seen any anniversary coverage.

Agreed. In my school system, it was ancient history in 9th grade, followed by about 2,000 years of world history in 10th, then American history for the last two years. I dimly remember the Civil War being covered both junior and senior year, but in the latter it was just kind of a gloss-over as we started to discuss the reconstruction

  1. It was about slavery.
  2. Civil rights.

I’m 42.

I’m 34 from Cleveland. Never heard of the first one (although I’ve heard of Harper’s Ferry…) I do remember learning about Nat Turner’s slave rebellion, so perhaps we only had time for one?

I’m familiar with the March on Washington.

Yes, I knew both. Male, 57.

Although there have certainly been other marches on Washington besides the MLK one.


Yes, 60 year old female.

Which of the many marches on Washington were you thinking of, madmonk28?

I’m late twenties and British (I’m guessing nationality would be an interesting data point here). I knew John Brown was an abolitionist whose soul went marching on while his body lay a-mouldering in the grave, and I knew (or believed, I’ve still not looked it up, so I could be wrong) that the Raid on Harper’s Ferry was an event that happened in the run-up to the American Civil War - but didn’t know that John Brown was involved. I didn’t know about the march on Washington, thinking it was maybe something to do with the War of 1812.

Not really. Sort of knew the second one.

I knew of both, but forgot the specifics of John Brown. Also, I know about the MLK speech, but wasn’t certain if you were talking about that or something else, e.g. The Million Man March.

Oh, that’s something none of us thought of, other people people marching on Washington. Very cool.

I watched the original MLK march on Washington when I was 20. I had never seen so many people gathered on the mall at that time. Dr. King certainly knew how to keep people’s attention with his delivery and words.

Someone I had met two years before was behind the podium with Dr. King. I had learned the lyrics to “We Shall Oversome” and “Eyes on the Prize” from him. In retrospect, where were the women at the speaker’s podium? Where was Rosa Parks? People can be so aware of the prejudices of others and so blind to their own.

It was a phenominal speech. And I think that it unified a lot of people.

I am 70.

50 and Canadian.

No idea about John Brown, had a vague idea that the Washington thing might have had something to do with the I had a dream speech because that’s been on the news of late.

I knew both very well. I went to Wikipedia to check my answers. 46 year old, moved to the USA as an adult. In the year before I became a citizen, I read a 21 volume history of the US. I was going to be able to vote for the first time, wanted to make sure I was well grounded in the context.

I’m amazed how little my (college educated) co-workers know. My expat colleagues seem to be better informed.

58 and Canadian.

I know that John Brown led an attack on Hapers Ferry as part of a failed slave revolt. Recall reading about it in history class, forgot the details.
yeah, everyone marches on Washington, but I like others assume you meant the original giant march, which was a civil rights protest IIRC which basically filled up the Mall?

Whenever Canadian comedians on TV get bored, quizzing Americans, especially about geography is a good sport. (Rick Mercer’s “Talking to Americans”) I don’t get it. We had to go through a different continent each semester in Grades 7 through 10 (repetitive), and pretty much describe the countries, capitals, climate, watershed, common agricultural and mineral products, etc. Shirley, something must have sunk in for anyone who went to school?