Remembering the March on Washington: A Conversation with Vivian Mozon

Friday September 13, 2013

Vivian Mozon, age 83, is a lifelong member of Mount Carmel Baptist Church, located at 3rd & I Street, NW in the Mount Vernon Triangle neighborhood. Over the past few weeks, Ms. Mozon, like many other members of Mount Carmel, recalled and shared stories of their experience participating in the March on Washington. In 1963, Ms. Mozon, was a young mother, concerned, as many moms would be, about taking her 10 year old son to an event that was rumored to attract a large crowd and had the potential for violence.  But her late husband was an avid historian and told her, “We all need to go because we have to be there for history in the making.” On the day of the March, her husband left home early to meet up with his teachers union. Ms. Mozon and her son walked to the National Mall later in the day. In a conversation with us last week, she noted that once she and her son arrived on the Mall, she was impressed with “how organized” and peaceful everything was. They stayed the whole day and Ms. Mozon spoke about being grateful that her husband urged them all to go to the March 50 years ago.

As she watched the 50th Anniversary events on TV from her Northwest DC home, she was impressed with the similarity in the “quietness and organization.” She enjoyed the speeches—especially John Lewis and Presidents Obama, Clinton and Carter—and said she was “proud to see the rain didn’t bother them (speakers).” That day 50 years ago lives on in her memory and she concluded that this year’s 50th anniversary event was “a dignified day and worthy of celebrating the occasion.”