• On April 15, 1889, Asa Philip Randolph was born in Crescent City, Florida, where his father was a pastor in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Randolph was raised in an intelligent family, and he and his older brother both attended the Cookman Institute in Jacksonville, a Methodist school created during Reconstruction as Florida's first all-Black institution of higher learning. Randolph traveled to New York City in 1911, inspired by the teachings of famous Black thinker W.E.B. Du Bois. He landed in Harlem, where he obtained employment on an apartment building's switchboard and enrolled in classes at City College of New York. Randolph's commitment to the socialist cause landed him a job with the Brotherhood of Labor, a Black labor organization. He married Lucille Green, a young widow and Howard University graduate who managed a beauty shop in the same building where he worked, in 1914. In 1963, Randolph partnered with fellow activist Bayard Rustin to organize the enormous August 28 March on Washington. Nearly 250,000 people attended to hear civil rights leaders speak, including Martin Luther King Jr., who delivered his historic "I Have a Dream" address from the Lincoln Memorial steps. Randolph, whose beloved wife, Lucille, died just weeks before the event, informed the assembly that they were seeing the start of a new war "not only for the Negro, but for all Americans who hunger for freedom and a better life." The March on Washington aided in the passing of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the first significant piece of civil rights legislation since Reconstruction. That same year, Lyndon B. Johnson honored the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Randolph for his advocacy.