Campaigns & Events 1962-1965
Albany, Birmingham, The March on Washington & Selma
From the greta Civil Rights Movement Veterans' site, this is the manifesto of the Albany campaign which ultimately failed to reach all the objectives it set itself.
A comprehensive website from the Kennedy Library detailing how the attempt by James Meredith to integrate the University of Mississippi caused riots on campus and tested President Kennedy's strategy of moderation on civil rights to the point of destruction. A great case study of JFK's civil rights policy at mid-term.
By 1963 Alabama Governor George Corley Wallace had emerged as the leading opponent to the growing civil rights movement. Six months later he gained international notoriety for his stand in the door of the University of Alabama to block the entrance of two black students, Vivian Malone and James Hood, who had been order admitted by a federal judge. Between 1964 and 1976 Wallace ran for President four times (three as a Democrat and once as an Independent) exploiting what he believed was a deep-seated aversion to racial integration among Northerners as well as Southerners. Long before these events, he would at his inauguration as Governor on January 14, 1963, lay out his opposition to integration and the civil rights movement. His excerpted speech appears here.
Professor Glenn Eskew, a historian of the Birmingham campaign provided this useful short overview for the online Encyclopedia of Alabama.
Eyes on the Prize page dedicated to this key SCLC-led campaign in the struggle to break the stranglehold of Jim Crow in Alabama.
Full video and text of Kennedy's landmark address proposing the Civil Rights Bill. Listen out for traces of Kennedy's centrist approach, and the use of the Cold War as justification for the need for action.
If you wanted to know more about the March on Washington - who organised it, how & why - this is a great document to examine. It shows just how well planned the march was, so much more than the speeches.
The official programme with the list of speakers, the statement of demands and parking instructions.
Americans who marched on Washington 50 years ago under a blazing sun recall the day they were part of a turning point in history. Contains interviews, text, video and audio with a number of key participants.
Lewis, the chair of SNCC is introduced by A. Philip Randolph before delivering his speech. The speech had to be hastily redrafted to be less militant after other civil rights leaders complained having read a draft released the day before. Lewis was 23.
John Lewis and Bill Moyers discuss how and why he had to change his speech delivered at the March on Washington.
This draft, written by Lewis and other SNCC staff, was hastily re-written on the night of the 27/28 August after complaints from other civil rights leaders. Compare to the final speech and consider what this tells us about the aims and agenda of the movement.
This was the final delivered text. What had changed from the first draft - what do the changes tell us about the tensions within the movement?
Josephine Baker is remembered by most people as the flamboyant African American entertainer who earned fame and fortune in Paris in the 1920s. Yet through much of her later life, Baker became a vocal opponent of segregation and discrimination, often initiating one-woman protests against racial injustice. In 1963, at the age of 57, Baker flew in from France, her adopted homeland, to appear before the largest audience in her career, the 250,000 gathered at the March on Washington. Wearing her uniform of the French Resistance, of which she was active in World War II, she was the only woman to address the audience.
The news feed of the speech which ended the day of action.
The full text of King's speech.
This photo shows John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson at the meeting held with civil rights leaders on the day of the March on Washington. Figures include Roy Wilkins, Exec. Secretary of the NAACP (far right), A. Philip Randolph, long time union organiser and founder of the LCCR (standing next to JFK), Whitney Young, head of the National Urban League (far left) Martin Luther King (second left) John Lewis of SNCC (third left) ans possibly Loren Miller, an NAACP lawyer and housing rights activist from Los Angeles (fourth from left).
Rustin organised the March on Washington on A. Phiilp Randolph's behalf. Here, the master tactician explains how and why the March happened, placing it in the context of other events from that year.
Full text of the 1964 Act. Note section 1 deals with voting rights, yet it would take a further act to secure that right for African Americans in the South. What other issues are addressed by the Act?
The Wisconsin Historical Society has one of the richest collections of Civil Rights movement records in the nation, which includes more than 100 manuscript collections documenting the Mississippi Freedom Summer Project of 1964. More than 25,000 pages from the Freedom Summer manuscripts -- enough to fill several file cabinets -- are available online. A great resource for those conducting more in-depth research.