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Keeping the dream alive

For 24-year-old Mary Gee, taking off work on a Wednesday was a big deal, especially because her employer forbade participation in demonstrations such as the march she planned to attend.

But Gee, then a member of two organizations that promoted equality for all people, decided that she had to take off Wednesday, Aug. 28, 1963 to travel on a bus to Washington, D.C., where she joined friends to demonstrate peacefully. Little did she realize how important that day would be and, somewhat to her surprise, that she didn’t lose her job after all.

Not only was Gee overwhelmed by the sight of several hundred thousand people who also traveled to Washington that day, but also by the rhetoric of principal speaker Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who delivered his landmark "I Have A Dream" speech that day.

Fifty years later, Gee, now Foster resident Mary Sampson, sits in her waterfront home off Fickle Fen Road that overlooks the East River. She recounted in great detail how she attended The...

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