Fifty years ago, tens of thousands of buses, cars, trains and chartered planes converged on Washington for the biggest civil rights rally in U.S. history. Movie stars flew in from Hollywood; high school kids caught rides from across the Deep South. There were more than a quarter-million people in all who assembled on the 100th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation to fulfill the unfinished mission of forming a more perfect union. “I have a dream!” declared the final speaker, in an address that lifted the spirit of a generation.

An enthusiastic handclasp after the "I Have a Dream" speech: Mahalia Jackson, Eugene Carson Blake, the UAW’s Walter P. Reuther and Martin Luther King Jr. at the Lincoln Memorial on Aug. 28, 1963
© Dan Budnik

To commemorate Martin Luther King Jr.’s historic speech, TIME talked to 17 people who were at the march that day. John Lewis spoke alongside King from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Joan Baez and Peter Yarrow stirred the crowd through song. Harry Belafonte led a group of celebrities to attend in support. Robert Avery, a teenager, hitchhiked with two friends from Alabama. Some were experienced activists—freedom rider Hank Thomas and Bob Zellner, the rebellious son of a Klansman who took up civil rights work in the Deep South—while others, like Maxine Allen Johnson Wood, were fresh out of college and looking to make a difference. Photographer Bob Adelman was there to document history; King’s lawyer and speechwriter Clarence B. Jones had a hand in drafting it.

Our One Dream project brings together these singular voices to tell not just the story of Aug. 28, 1963—the day when King told the world about his dream—but of the movement that inspired his words and the legacy that lives on.

One Dream is a production of Red Border Films, a new documentary filmmaking project from the editors of TIME. (The name refers to the iconic border on the cover of TIME, one of the world's most trusted news sources.) Presented to TIME's online audience through an interactive experience, each film showcases original work by renowned filmmakers and emerging talent. Viewers are able to watch the film and then explore in depth information about the filmmakers themselves and the main subjects of each story. TIME will present a new Red Border Film each month along with two expanded projects a year, bringing audiences the best in digital storytelling.

Managing Editor, TIMERichard Stengel

Deputy Managing Editor, TIMENancy Gibbs

Managing Editor, TIME.comEdward Felsenthal

Executive Editor: Radhika Jones
Project Editor: Kate Pickert
Created by: Phil Bicker
Designer: Jamison Jones
Editor, Ben Cosgrove
Portraits and Video Director of Photography: Marco Grob
Design Director: D.W. Pine
Deputy Art Director: Chrissy Dunleavy
Director of Photography: Kira Pollack
Deputy Photo Editor: Paul Moakley
Photo Editor, Liz Ronk
Executive Video Producer: Ian Orefice
Video Producers: Phil Bicker, Valerie Lapinski, Kate Pickert
Video Editor: Valerie Lapinski
Associate Video Editors: Bret Sigler, Ben Jones
Video Interns: Madeleine May, Harry Swartout
Archival Research Director: Phil Bicker
Photo Research: Arnold Horton, Vaughn Wallace
Project Photo Assistants: Elizabeth Conn-Hollyn, Jehan Jillani
Photo Assistants for Marco Grob: Tara Rice, Sally Montana
Social Media Editors: Kelly Conniff, Amy Lombard
Copy Editor: Courtney Harris Weingarten
Research: Jacob Davidson, Madison Gray, Maya Rhodan, Angela Thornton, Susan Weill

Head of Product: Daniel Bernard
Product Manager: Andy Liu
Lead Developer: John Troynousky
Web Manager: Micah Ernst
Director of Technology: Peter DiRenzo
Project Managers: Anne Dehmer, Katie Rooney

Michael Scherer
Melissa August
Patrik Henry Bass
Bobbi Baker Burrows
Regina Feiler
Danny Kim
Fleur Paysour
Haskell Wexler

Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division
The National Museum of African American History and Culture
The National Museum of American History
Birmingham Civil Rights Institute