Postwar America (1946-1975)
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Though rallies featured national figures like Martin Luther King, Jr., and lawsuits were often filed by men, the day-in, day-out on-the-ground organizing and protesting against school segregation was led by mothers who demanded the best possible education for their children. In 1958 in New York City, a group of mothers nicknamed the "Harlem Nine"…

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Item Type: Photograph
Date: Circa 1964

Freedom Day I, October 22, 1963, was one of several city-wide boycotts organized by the Coordinating Council of City Organizations to protest Chicago's segregated schools. Participating students instead attended one-day "freedom schools" organized in black churches and community centers, following a curriculum that encouraged students to discuss…

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Item Type: Pamphlet/Petition
Date: 1966

The cooperative efforts of local grassroots activists and Freedom Summer volunteers yielded the election of three African American officials, including L.B. Paige, in Mississippi's Benton County for the first time since Reconstruction. The news was announced in the Benton County Freedom Train newsletter, which noted that black candidates lost…

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Item Type: Newspaper/Magazine
Date: 1964

This photograph was published in a report chronicling the intimidation and violence towards African-American voting activists. As the original photo caption notes, police documented voters as they entered courthouses so that the "evidence" could later be used to identify them to employers and landlords for possible firing and eviction. The report…

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Item Type: Photograph
Date: Circa 1964

In this lesson students will examine three documents about the Montgomery Bus Boycott (1955-1956) to determine the importance of local activists, especially women, in the civil rights movement. This lesson might serve as an introduction to a unit on the civil rights movement.

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Item Type: Teaching Activity
Date: 2010

This timeline tracks the series of events surrounding the Memphis sanitation workers' strike that began in February, 1968, including the "I've Been to the Mountaintop" speech by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and his assassination the following day.

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Item Type: Timeline
Date: Circa 1968

After the creation of the Peace Corps in 1961, communist newspapers and other propaganda outlets in Asia, Africa, and, South American were quick to denounce the U.S. humanitarian program as a trick to stop the spread of revolution in underdeveloped countries. At the time, the Kennedy Administration was considering a proposal to use U.S. army…

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Item Type: TV/Film
Date: 1961

Kennedy had first spoken of an "Alliance for Progress" between the United States and Latin America in his inaugural address. Citing a shared heritage, Kennedy outlined his vision for a "large-scale Inter-American effort... to attack the social barriers which block economic progress" at a 1961 White House reception for Latin American diplomats.

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Item Type: Speech
Date: 1961

Martin Luther King, Jr.'s famous "I Have a Dream" speech was delivered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial at the conclusion of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on August 28, 1963. Delivered in the rhetorical tradition of the African-American church, the speech is hailed as a masterpiece, epitomizing King's eloquent and powerful…
Malcolm X delivered this speech, titled "Prospects for Freedom in 1965," to an Organization for Afro American Unity (OAAU) rally at the Militant Labor Forum in New York City on January 7, 1965. A month later he was assassinated. Inspired by the Organization of African Unity, in the summer of 1964 he founded the OAAU, which advocated for independent…

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Item Type: Speech
Date: 1965