But having the Hollywood stars there wasn't just for show or for increased media attention. It also helped calm President John F. Kennedy's nerves about the march.
"I believe that their presence did a lot to assuage people who are preoccupied with the fact there could be violence," Belafonte said.
"One of the things that I said in my conversations with the Kennedys in discussing why they should be more yielding in their support of our demonstration was the fact that there would be such a presence of highly profiled artists -- that that alone would put anxiety to rest," he added.
"People would be looking at the occasion in a far more festive way."
Belafonte continued his acting and singing career, and today, at 86, he is still an activist for human rights causes.
Rachelle Horowitz took a break from her job at the Worker's Defense League in 1963 to be in charge of March on Washington transportation -- despite the fact she couldn't even drive.
"And I was totally horrified and frightened about this notion," she said. "And I said something that also in retrospect seems fairly silly. 'How can I be the transportation director? I can't drive,' which I couldn't. I was a New Yorker. And also I had lost my bus on every previous march."
But with the encouragement of her mentor and future lifelong colleague, march organizer Bayard Rustin, Horowitz proceeded to organize all the buses, trains and planes for the more than 200,000 people who attended the march that day.
In a time long before e-mail and Facebook, this was no easy task. Horowitz used a system of 5x3 index cards and massive lists attached to the office walls to keep track of all the various travel options.
After her months of tedious work came to fruition with a well-attended and successful march, Horowitz reveled in the moment at the end of the day.
"All of us who had worked on the march," continued Horowitz, "were just incredibly happy and pleased with what had happened. And we all linked hands and sang 'We Shall Overcome.' "
Horowitz went on to be Rustin's assistant and eventually served as the political director for the American Federation of Teachers.