55th anniversary of Ben's Chili Bowl draws Bill Cosby and Jesse - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

55th anniversary of Ben's Chili Bowl draws Bill Cosby and Jesse Jackson

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Ben's Chili Bowl on U Street, one of Washington's most treasured eating establishments, is celebrating its 55th anniversary. Hundreds of people turned out for what amounted to a big block party.

That anniversary comes as the nation is taking note of another historic date, the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.

I caught up with Jesse Jackson and Bill Cosby, two national icons, at Ben's Chili Bowl Thursday and asked them about the importance of the march and this anniversary.

Jackson has been marching since the 1960s when he marched with Martin Luther King Jr. He says this 50th anniversary is not a celebration of the 1963 march, but a continuation of work on King's unfulfilled dream.

Jackson told me, "The dream in '64 was public accommodations. In '65, the dream was the right to vote. In ‘66, the dream was the war on poverty, and so the dream keeps expanding."

Jackson says what needs to happen now is a shift in focus.

"We need access to capital, technology, education and welfare and healthcare," he said.

The former D.C. Shadow Senator is also calling for a push to get D.C. voting representation in Congress.

Bill Cosby is probably Ben's best, most-famous friend. About the anniversary march, he said, "Some people will call it a continuation, but I think even as people are coming down and they're in the area, let's think about ourselves. The individual has to look up, before the speakers speak, and say to him or herself and the children, where are we today up here, compared to where we were then."

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