Their fathers led the nation in the early years amid the struggle by black America for civil rights — and both Lynda Bird Johnson Robb and Caroline Kennedy see much work still to be done.

President Barack Obama (L) shakes hands with former U.S. President Bill Clinton during the ceremony to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

At the 50th anniversary ceremony of the March on Washington, Robb appealed for continued progress. She remembered the words of Coretta Scott King, telling the crowd that, "Freedom is never really won. You earn it and win it in every generation."

Robb's father, President Lyndon Johnson, signed the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

Kennedy, daughter of President John F. Kennedy and the nominee to be ambassador to Japan, said the country cannot forget all those who sacrificed so much when they marched for jobs and freedom 50 years ago.

Oprah: King forced US to wake up, change

Betty Waller Gray (C) of Richmond, Virginia, listens during the 'Let Freedom Ring Commemoration and Call to Action' (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Oprah Winfrey says Martin Luther King Jr. forced the nation "to wake up, look at itself and eventually change." She says the civil rights leader's lessons inspire people all over the world.

Speaking at the March on Washington ceremonies Wednesday, Winfrey said King recognized that Americans shared the same dreams and that their hopes were not different based on race. She says King was right when he said all Americans' destinies are intertwined and would rise or fall based on how people treat their neighbors.

Winfrey, a media mogul, says she asked her mother as a 9-year-old girl why her family wasn't there for the march.

 

Winfrey says it took her 50 years, but she finally arrived on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to mark the anniversary of King's march.