“Newseum” Celebrates Anniversary of Civil Rights Movement


Today, the Newseum opened its newest exhibit, “1965: Civil Rights at 50,” which explores the dramatic civil rights events of 1965, from the historic march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., to the signing of the Voting Rights Act by President Lyndon B. Johnson. The fight for voting rights peaked in a violent clash between peaceful protesters and police that came to be known as “Bloody Sunday,” after state troopers and deputies armed with clubs and whips beat and trampled protesters as they attempted to cross Selma’s Edmund Pettus  Bridge.

Among the newspapers on display is a March 8, 1965, edition of The Dallas Morning News featuring a front-page photo of civil rights leader John Lewis being beaten by a state trooper. Lewis, today a congressman from Georgia, recounted his experiences on “Bloody Sunday” in his graphic novel “March.” Images from “March” are on display in the exhibit. Also on display are a March 1965 issue of Life magazine showing dramatic photos of a bandaged protester and a defiant state trooper, and an August 1965 issue of Time comparing the violent images coming out of the Watts riots to the battlefields of  Vietnam.

The exhibit also includes powerful photos that show protesters facing off with state troopers in Selma and marching to the state Capitol in Montgomery two weeks later for the largest civil rights rally the South had ever  seen.

On Saturday, Jan. 17, at 2:30 p.m., the Newseum will host an Inside Media program with U.S. Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton and CBS News White House correspondent Bill Plante, who will talk about their memories of the civil rights movement. The program is free with paid admission to the  Newseum.

“1965” is a companion exhibit to “Make Some Noise: Students and the Civil Rights Movement,” which opened at the Newseum inAugust 2013. The exhibit features a section of the original F.W. Woolworth lunch counter in Greensboro, N.C., where in 1960 four African American college students launched the sit-in movement, and a bronze casting of the Birmingham, Ala., jail cell door behind which the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. penned his famous “Letter From Birmingham Jail” in  1963.

The Newseum’s Digital Classroom website features a free learning module called “Making a Change,” which explores the civil rights movement through the lenses of historical connections, media literacy, and civics and citizenship using videos, archival news footage and interviews. These standards-aligned lesson plans will help teachers enhance student engagement with Newseum content, their communities and their peers across the  country.

Contributing sponsorship support for “Civil Rights at 50” has been provided by Walmart and  Altria.

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