10 of the largest political marches in US history


Across the U.S., there have been more marches and protests than weekends since President Donald Trump's inauguration in January. The first march came the day after Trump's inauguration, when approximately 1 million women marched on Washington.

The most recent set of protests followed Trump's signing of an executive order that temporarily banned nationals of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering the U.S.

From Los Angeles to New York City, protesters poured out, clogging international airports and refusing to leave until detained travelers were released. The Trump administration doubled down in defense of the ban, leaving Congress split on how to move forward.

While immigration is the point of discussion in Trump's first weeks as president, marches and protests have formed for a number of other political causes throughout U.S. history.

March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom

When: Aug. 28, 1963

Why: Approximately 250,000 people gathered at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington to highlight the political and social challenges facing the African-American community. The march was first proposed by longtime civil rights activist A. Philip Randolph, who was known for his dedication to improving the economic condition of black Americans.

This was the venue where Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech, arguably one of the most famous orations to come from the civil rights movement.

Moratorium March Against the Vietnam War

When: Nov. 15, 1969

Why: More than 500,000 people marched on Washington in protest of U.S. involvement in Vietnam. By the end of 1969, around 45,000 Americans had been killed in the conflict. The November demonstration was carried out in tandem with other rallies around the world, and smaller rallies had been held since 1976, but the march in 1969 showed that the antiwar movement was home to more than just politicized youth.

A cease-fire was established in 1973, thus ending U.S. troop deployment in Vietnam. The war ended in 1975 after the fall of Saigon to Communist forces.

Solidarity Day March on Washington

When: Sept. 19, 1981

Why: More than 250,000 people marched in Washington in protest of then-President Ronald Reagan's budget cuts and tax policies. The rally was also in opposition to the firing of 12,000 striking air traffic controllers, for which Reagan was accused of union busting.

At the time of the protest, Reagan was 65 miles away at Camp David, where he received reports on the march.

Anti-Nuclear Weapon March in New York City

When: June 12, 1982

Why: Nearly 1 million people filled Central Park and Manhattan in New York in opposition of nuclear weapons and support of disarmament. At the time, it was called the "biggest disarmament gathering in the nation's history," according to the New York Times.

Some of the demonstrators had camped in the park the night prior, and the New York Police Department reportedly had 5,000 officers working overtime for the gathering.

March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights

When: Oct. 11, 1987

Why: Around 200,000 people marched by the White House and rallied near the Capitol in Washington as a call for more federal money for AIDS research and treatment. Organizers said around 300,000 people attended and at the time called it the largest gay rights march.

The AIDS Memorial Quilt was displayed on the National Mall for the first time on this day. The quilt took up a space larger than a football field and featured 1,920 memorial panels, most of which represented someone who had died of AIDS.

March on Washington for Lesbian, Gay, and Bi Equal Rights and Liberation

When:April 25, 1993

Why: While size estimates range from 300,000 to just over 1 million people, those marching called for an end of discrimination against the LGBT community and for an end to the military's ban on LGBT people serving openly in the armed forces. The marchers also called for more funding for AIDS research.

At 2 p.m. on the day of the march, men and women laid down "in front of the White House in silence, symbolizing the number of AIDS deaths," according to the New York Times. In 1994, AIDS became the leading cause of death for all Americans age 25 to 44.

The Million Man March

When: Oct. 16, 1995

Why: The Million Man March was organized by the Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who called the event "A Holy Day of Atonement, Reconciliation and Responsibility," according to the New York Times in 1995. The event was intended to help bring the black community together and create a "spirit of brotherhood, love, and unity" among black men in America.

Some estimates for the event say 400,000 people showed up for the march while others put the total near 850,000.

The Million Women March

When: Oct. 25, 1997

Why: Anywhere from 500,000 to 2.1 million women gathered in Philadelphia to draw attention to issues facing women in the black community. Organizers wanted the march to reflect and build on the experiences of black people affected by crime, homelessness, economic disadvantage and the disintegration of families, according to the New York Times.

Winnie Mandela, former wife of South African President Nelson Mandela, was one of the women to speak at the march.

Protests Against the Iraq War

When: Feb 15-16, 2003

Why: Millions of people globally protested ahead of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in March of 2003. President George W. Bush and his advisers built the case for war on the premise that Iraq and its leader Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction.

Reports estimate around 500,000 protesters in New York City, 750,000 in London, more than 650,000 in Madrid, 500,000 for Berlin and around 100,000 in Paris. Protests also occurred in Austria, Canada, Denmark, Ireland, Norway, South Africa, Sweden, among other countries.

This outpouring has been called the "largest single coordinated protest" in history.

The March for Women's Lives

When: April 25, 2004

Why: Organizers claim more than 1 million abortion rights supporters gathered to protest the conservative policies of President George W. Bush's administration. One such piece of legislation was the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, which prohibits a form of late-term abortion. Bush signed the act into law in November 2003.

The march reportedly took a year to organize, and Bush was at Camp David during the time of the protest.