tv News4 Midday NBC August 28, 2013 11:00am-11:38am EDT
to some day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. i have a dream. >> 50 years after that speech by martin luther king jr., thousands are again gathered at the lincoln memorial. president obama was just 2 years old at the time. now he's one of the three presidents who will speak today. hi, everyone, good morning. welcome to news 4 midday. i'm richard jordan in for barbara harrison. it's wednesday, august 28, and we have live coverage of the 50th anniversary. at the lincoln memorial, a
monumental event is planned. what kind of crowd are we seeing now? >> reporter: good morning. the crowds are starting to build here, slowly but surely. you might be able to see over my shoulder some of the invited guests are gathering just below the steps of the linken elinco memorial. the numbers are relatively small. if you compare it to the event that was here on saturday. at this point. but we are seeing more people come. they're having to go through security as they enter the grounds here. a lot of folks have umbrellas up. the numbers are growing as we go through the late part of the morning here. we'll expect this program will start in just the next few minutes. we'll begin with an invocation, as you might imagine. first to speak today will be ambassador andrew young. and of course a very close friend to dr. martin luther king jr. he'll be the opening speaker here a little bit later on this morning. then president obama will be the
speakered feature in between lots of other people, key figures in government, and there will be performances here as well. as you might imagine, the effort to get here has been monumental. we told you about how a lot of roads around the mall were closing today as people needed to make their way here. they're still getting here. the question will be later today how will they get home as a lot of roads will still be impacted. adam tusk has that part of our coverage. >> road closures and restrictions still in place here as we hit the midday and as we go into the afternoon. let's take a look out our live drive cam here. this is memorial circle as we go through memorial bridge. we've been telling you all day to expect barricades, closures, those kinds of things. we're hitting them right here as we go up through the circle. seeing lots of flashing lights. memorial bridge shut down for most of the day today. the question will be, how you
going to get out of town. now that the crowds have mainly gathered and the events are rolling, the focus turns to getting out of town. >> i just wanted to have, feel the energy of the people. >> reporter: she is visiting from new york and says she is going to take a chance and try to drive out of the city. drive that way. >> okay. >> reporter: away from the mall. >> yes. >> reporter: of course, road closures and restrictions still in place. until the evening when things start getting back to normal. even with all the advanced warning, some still didn't realize the closure were in place. did you know the bridge was closed? >> no. >> reporter: now you're stuck in traffic. take a look at this graphic. you can see just how extensive the closures really are. they're extending in all directions, encluincluding the
memorial bridge. >> i want to see obama, clinton, and carter speak on the national mall. it's absolutely incredible. >> reporter: back here live as we go through the memorial circle. the memorial circle opened. the bridge, right here. you cannot get through here. a lot of people have been caught off guard by these closures. metro may be your best bet. reporting live in arlington, adam tusk, news 4. >> one of the other concerns is the weather. as it often is. we've been seeing a steady light rain happening here over the last hour or so. storm team 4 meteorologist tom kieran's back in the weather center with the latest on that. >> yes, here from the storm team 4 weather center. showing just some areas of patchy light rain. we've really not had any mheavy
downpours but enough for an umbrella. the color mostly is light rain. we do have another area of some moderate rain that is just now coming into western maryland, just now making its way into the panhandle of west virginia. this is the second wave of rain. we had the first wave come through this morning. now that's south of us. getting a couple moderate showers northern neck of virginia, parts of southern maryland. that's tibing to advance to the south and east. right now, the close-up view of the radar is showing right around the metro area, we have just a few light showers. now just to our south and east, those are going to be continuing to advance off to the southeast of us. right now, i'm watching this area of some moderate rain. there's even some thunder and lightning associated with that. it is way up into southern pennsylvania. that area of moderate rain is probably going to be into the metro area. and for the events on the mall, unfortunately, by around 2:00 to 3:00 in the afternoon, we'll begin to see that moving in. we'll take a look at that in detail.
and we'll look at the rest of your week and weekend in a couple minutes, aaron. >> reporter: before the events started to get under way, there was a large crowd that gathered for a march. a march for jobs and justice here in d.c. news 4 tony tull's been covering that for us. he joins us along the mall with more on that. >> those folks haven't quite yet made it to the lincoln memorial. we have quite the crowd over at the main part of the mall. over to my right, you can see, we've had quite a bit of foot traffic headed over to the lincoln memorial. that march for jobs and justice, we caught up with some of those folks, about what it was like to be part of such an historic day. >> i kind of feel lucky that i'm getting to do this today. >> reporter: he is taking in the emotion of the morning, gathered on new jersey avenue with his family to take part in the march for jobs and justice. although he wasn't alive back in 1963, his family still has a connection. >> our parents marched in 1963.
and it's always been something that's been part of our family legacy. >> reporter: the march left new jersey avenue and headed to the department of labor on constitution. it continued to the department of justice on pennsylvania avenue. april came all the way from montgomery, alabama, to be part of this historic day. >> it's very touching. we're blessed to be here. can't wait for it to start. >> reporter: with people from all over the country, different races, religious beliefs and more, the theme today throughout the crowd was united. >> it's a tremendous honor and we've got a lot of work to do and as citizens we've got to come together and continue to take a stand and be part of history for civil rights for all people in our country and our world. >> reporter: so, aaron, a lot of these folks coming from all over the country. very excited to be part of this historic day. it's the latest from the national mall. >> all right, tony, thank you for that. we should point out this program was supposed to get started around 11:00 this morning so it
seems as though things are running behind. there is a long program planned. we expect they'll get started in fairly short order. we are streaming the program live at nbcwashington.com. you can watch it there. and here live at the lincoln memorial we'll be bringing you pieces from the stage as well. for now, we send it back to the studio. >> a special interfaith church service just wrapped up in southwest d.c. ♪ reverend bernice king opened the service. king says her father is often remembered for his fight for equal and human rights. she says his passion was based in his faith. >> the
"i'm terry mcauliffe, candidate for governor, and i sponsored this ad." it's been called "cuccinelli's witch hunt" "designed to intimidate and suppress" ken cuccinelli used taxpayer funds to investigate a uva professor whose research on climate change cuccinelli opposed. cuccinelli, a climate change denier, forced the university to spend over half a million dollars defending itself against it's own attorney general. ken cuccinelli. he's focused on his own agenda. not us.
welcome back live to the lincoln memorial here as we mark the 50th anniversary of the march on washington with the closing ceremonies at this hour. on the stage, you'll see the host for today's event, journalist soledad o'brien and actor and author hill harper welcoming the crowd that has gathered here. and the crowd gathering along
the reflecting pool. trying to get the crowd energized as the speakers begin to work towards the podium. speaking to the folks who were here in 1963, encouraging them to stand up and be represented in the crowd that has gathered 50 years later. the invocation happening in just a few minutes here. the first speaker, ambassador andrew young, who if you saw barbara a barbara's story with him, has an incredible story to tell. we'll hear from others as well. back to you. >> now let's get the latest developments in syria. the u.n. special envoy to syria says evidence suggests some kind of chemical substance was used in an attack last week. the comments came as a team of u.n. inspectors continue, to look for evidence syrian troops used chemical weapons. the white house says it has evidence that proves it happened but the u.n. is urging the u.s. to wait before ordering any military strikes. >> i do know that this,
president obama and the american administration are not known to be trigger happy. what they decide, i don't know, but certainly the security council has to be -- >> parliament is holding an energy meeting tomorrow to clear the way for its military to respond to the crisis in syria. the u.s., meanwhile, may order a military strike as early as tomorrow. here with more, nbc's senior political editor mark murray. good morning. we know the president will be talking soon at the lincoln memorial. >> he's given some previews of what he's going to talk about. he did this in a town hall when he was in new york state last week. he was talking about economic opportunity for everyone. he says one of the parts that gets lost, it was also about economic justice. president said something really interesting in that town hall.
he said even if you end up erasing discrimination, erasing evil, there would still be poor people. there will still be people without education. >> he's going to talk about these issues. do we expect him to say anything about race? saying this isn't a celebration, it's really a continuation of what king started. >> he can't escape not talking about it. it is interesting, he's sometimes avoided national conversations about race, particularly in his first term. we saw him talk about it right after the george zimmerman verdict. also, make it more inclusive to talk not only about african-americans but about everybody and the march to justice. >> do we expect him, moving on to syria, to say anything about what's happening there any time soon? >> of course, soon is the big word. my colleague richard engel is reporting on the ground everyone
has seemed to be passed the point of no return, that all eyes are on president obama. i would expect him to address the nation at some point, we don't know if it's going to be a prime-time address or an interview to someone else. one of the big goals he has to have is to tell the american people what the goal and objective is for the united states. you just can't go willy-nilly and launch some strikes. and define the goal. that's what a lot of people are looking for. to see if this remains a limited mission. >> one of the u.s.' biggest allies, british prime minister david cameron moving forward. there's also basically some other countries like iran who are saying we should hold off. what do you expect to happen? >> do you see the president holding back? >> i think the united states has made up its mind. one of the interesting things, by telegraphing what we're going to do is trying to set up saying this is going to be a limited mission. this is not going to be sending
ground troops. again, it's really important to see what the president has to say about this, what the united states mission is. is this going to be afghanistan where the troops are in for years, a decade or so? i think the president has to lay that out. >> thanks a lot. for more, check out "first read" on nbcnews.com. now, we want to turn to the weather. a wet wednesday out there on the national mall. >> unfortunately. with so many people showing up. again, in washington for the events today. there is a likelihood of some more rain. we've already had a little bit of light rain. 4 camera. it's all gray. that is actually color video. it doesn't look very colorful. there's the williams be bridge. a little bit of light rain
falling there. here's another view. showing a few thin spots in the overcast. might actually have a little sun trying to break through. the dew point, steamy 72. we've got a light westerly breeze there. we did have one area of light rain. now it's abated a bit. here comes another surge coming in out of the north and west. right now, that first wave is passing south and east of washington. just a few sprinkles now in southern prince georges county from near oxen hill down toward waldorf. further north and west, there's another batch of some rain coming down out of pennsylvania. there's a disturbance here that is kicking off some thundershowers just to the east of pittsburgh. it does look like that's is going to make its way into the metro area. the leading edge of that already now into hagers town to just west of frederick. does look like that's going to make it into washington.
perhaps around 2:00 or so. right now, near 80 in the nearby neighborhoods in prince georges county. elsewhere, generally in the mid to upper 70s. now with a look in detail for the march on washington, on the mall now, we have chuck bell. is the grass wet there? >> we've had a couple of sprinkles. there's actually just enough sunlight getting through to cast a dim shadow. as you've been showing us, i've got my p an aapp and umbrella. rain chances are up and up through today. an 80% chance. it is steamy down here.
it is not terribly hot. temperatures generally in the low to mid-80s. but, boy, it's awfully humid. with more rain chances, you're going to want to stay weather aware as you mplan your activities. it has not been a washout. there's a little bit of bright ni brightening. a pretty good day to be down here. >> just a reminder, those who have tickets, if you're a ticket holder, you're not allowed to bring an umbrella. storms ending tonight. still rather humid tomorrow. mostly sunny. highs near 90. more humid again on saturday. each afternoon, a chance for some passing showers.
perhaps off and on on monday. >> let's go back to lincoln at the memorial. >> we are listening now to ambassador young, who's taken the podium here at the lincoln memorial. a very close friend of dr. martin luther king. he opened by singing an old spiritual here on the stage. an old southern minister himself. let's listen in. >> -- taken down to reedsville penitentiary in the middle of the night and thought it was going to be his last night on earth. he went through the battles and came out victorious. but we knew that the fight was just beginning.
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>> actor forest whitaker and his son attended a reception. the elder whitaker tweeted out this picture. he stars in the movie "lee daniels the butler." it's about a local man named eugene allen. he worked as a white house butler for more than 30 years. now, let's go back to aaron. >> reporter: richard, d.c. mayor on the podium. likely he will speak about that of course. >> the heightening alleghenies of pennsylvania, but also from stone mountain of georgia and every hill and mow hill of mississippi. there was one place that dr. king didn't mention in that speech but about which he later spoke of forcefully and that was the district of columbia.
that's because, that's because full freedom and democracy were and are still denied to the people who quite literally live within the sight of the capital dome. we have no voting representative in our own congress. we pay more than $3.5 billion. $3.5 billion a year in federal taxes. but don't even get the final say in how we spend the money. and we send our sons and our daughters to fight for democracy overseas but don't get to practice it fully here at home. so today, as we remember those who gave so much a century ago to extend the blessings of liberty to all americans, i hope
that all of you will stand with me when i say what we must let freedom ring from mt. st. al bon where rises the majestic national cathedral. and most of all, we must let freedom ring from capitol hill itself, until all of the residents of the very seat of our great democracy are truly free. again, let me welcome you to our nation's capital, the district of columbia. please join hands with us and make every american free, especially those who live in the district of columbia, our nation's capital. thank you all very much. >> as he does often, d.c. mayor vincent gray speaking eloquently about the desire for representation in congress and d.c.'s desire for home rule. news 4 midday continues in just a moment. if you're going from store to store trying to
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welcome back to news 4 midday. live at the lincoln memorial. the 50th be anniversary of the march on washington. the commemoration continues. first, i want to show you the crowd that is still building here this morning. this program will go until about 4:00 this afternoon. more people continue to come. they're having to go through security at the far end of the reflecting pool. the crowd is growing as this morning progresses. a live look at the stage now. you're listening to the reverend wesley fips, a vocal artist,
wrapping up his song. he'll be followed by angus king of maine. he was here during the march on washington in 1963. he'll be able to offer some perspective on the experience then and what is happening here today. richard. >> all right, aaron. organizers at the lincoln memorial will ring a historic bell at 3:00. the exact time dr. martin luther king wrapped up his speech, quoting the song, my country 'tis of thee. organizers brought in a bell from the 16th street baptist church in birmingham. it was the site of the bombing that killed four young girls. [ bells tolling ] >> bells from nearly 300 churches and historical monuments across the country will also ring their bells. dr. king preached his last sunday sermon at the cathedral
in 196. he was assassinated four days later. a statue of king preaching is now carved in one of the cathedral's bays. on this anniversary, a poll shows many americans say his dream has not become reality. the nbc news poll found 54% of americans agree that our nation judges people by their character and not by their skin color. 79% of blacks surveyed disagree with that statement. as for general race relations in the u.s., just 50% say they're good. that number had been above 70% since '79. the survey was taken shortly after the verdict in the george zimmerman trial. you can watch the ceremony on your mobile device. we are live streaming it right now. just go to nbcwashington.com. we've learned the names of three people killed in a crash. police say 37-year-old beth any dempsey was in the back seat with h