Events begin on Wednesday to mark the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington when Rev. Martin Luther King Jnr made his speech: I Have A Dream.
Dr King was one of the six organizers of the event, which was a rally for jobs and freedom, when about 250,000 marchers were at the Lincoln Memorial.
The March on Washington helped pressure Congress to eventually pass the Civil Rights and Voting Rights acts in 1964 and 1965, respectively.
Dr King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 and was assassinated in 1968.
A commemorative service will be held on Wednesday at Mount Airy Baptist Church. Seminars on women and young people in the civil rights movement will take place in the following days.
The National Urban League and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference will hold events, including debates on race and poverty and on voting rights.
The US Postal Service will unveil a commemorative stamp on Friday.
The Smithsonian Institution has an exhibition commemorating the 1963 March and the National Portrait Gallery also has a show on Dr King and his life.
The week will culminate next Friday, 28 August, when President Barack Obama will speak at the Lincoln Memorial 50 years to the day after Dr King made his historic address.