1968: 50th Anniversary

1968: 50th Anniversary

People's University


1968 was a momentous year in US history. The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy were assassinated. The Poor People's Campaign, which Dr. King was organizing at the time of his death, brought activists from across the nation to D.C. for Resurrection City. 1968 also brought the groundbreaking of what would become the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library and the opening of Federal City College, now part of the University of the District of Columbia.

For the 50th anniversary, the library is hosting a series of programs and events to highlight the experiences that shaped 1968 locally and nationally. Join us at library locations around the city throughout 2018.

Evolutions and Legacies: Martin Luther King Jr. and D.C., 1957-1972 
Curated by Derek Gray, DC Public Library Special Collections archivist, and Dr. Marya Annette McQuirter of the dc1968 project.

Visiting professors with subject expertise will lead lectures and discussion seminars on a variety of topics. REGISTRATION REQUIRED visit washingtoniana.eventbrite.com

Marya McQuirter
Monday, August 6, 6:30 p.m. 
Petworth Neighborhood Library | 4200 Kansas Ave., NW

Samir Meghelli

Thursday, August 16, 6:30 p.m.
Watha T. Daniel Shaw Neighborhood Library | 1630 7th St., NW

Amanda Huron

Thursday, August 23, 6:30 p.m.
Cleveland Park Neighborhood Library | 3310 Connecticut Ave., NW

Olivia Cadaval and Quique Aviles

Monday, September 17, 6:30 p.m.
Mount Pleasant Neighborhood Library | 3160 16th St., NW

Saving Family Treasures
Personal archiving workshops with the dc1968 project

This series began in February, with workshops at Anacostia Neighborhood Library (February 24), Mt. Pleasant Neighborhood Library (March 17), and Woodridge Neighborhood Library (June 16).

Join us for the last workshop of this series. 
Free archiving kits for participants!
Saturday, August 11, 1-3 p.m.
Bellevue (William O. Lockrige) Library 
| 115 Atlantic St., SW

2018 marks the 50th anniversary of Chuck Brown's legendary band, the Soul Searchers. Join the library's Go-Go Archive as we celebrate all month long! View selected go-go items in an exhibit at Benning Library all month, and share your go-go memories at these great events:

Thursday, August 16, 7-10 p.m.
Go-Go Archive at the Big Ugly Truck Pop-up
14th and U Streets NW

Saturday, August 18, 12-3 p.m.
Church Brown Day Movie Screenings
Woodridge Neighborhood Library | 1801 Hamlin St., NE

Saturday, August 18, 3 p.m.
Library takeout & The Go-Go Archive at DPR's Chuck Brown Day
Chuck Brown Memorial Park | 2901 20th St., NE

Saturday, August 25, 1-5 p.m.
Go-Go Pop-up Museum and Panel Discussion
Benning Library | 3935 Benning Rd., NE
Do you have go-go ephemera at home, but aren't ready to donate it to the archive? This is your chance to exhibit the items in your home for the community to see! Have a story you would like to tell? We'll be on site with a recorder and can capture your go-go story. The Pop-Up Museum opens at 1:00 pm. If you are bringing materials to exhibit, please arrive at 12 p.m. to set up. At 3:00 pm, the Go-Go Archive will host a panel discussion with scholars, musicians and critics entitled "Marketing Go-Go: past to the present" and will focus on the media associated with this musical genre. Participants TBA.

Visit dclibrary.org/chuckbrown for more information about the Go-Go Archive.

Pop-Up Museum: Your D.C. Stories 1968-2018
In partnership with the dc1968 project, this Pop-Up Museum is a one-day show created by you. Share your stories, save your family treasures and learn about D.C. happenings in 1968. Bring your yearbooks, church bulletins, posters and family photos that highlight the themes of art, activism, music, service and everyday life in D.C. Two Pop-Up Museums were held on April 7 at Anacostia Library and May 19 at Mt. Pleasant Library.

The Hunger Wall Poster Project

Make a poster with a local activist artist and help create a Hunger Wall for 2018. In 1968, activists in Resurrection City drew and painted on a plywood mural known as the Hunger Wall, expressing messages of solidarity among different races, cultures and regions of the country in the human rights struggle. This spring, you can work with a local activist artist to create your own poster combining activist imagery from 1968 with your own messages for 2018. The project features four new library posters created for the Library by Nando Álvarez, Adrienne Gaither, Monolith and Justin Poppe. Workshops launched Saturday, April 7 at Anacostia Library, and continue through the summer. Posters will be exhibited in temporary displays throughout library branches and in the community throughout summer and fall.

Watch a video about the Hunger Wall Poster Project here.
Download printable versions of posters from this project here, as part of the Justseeds portfolio for the 2018 Poor People’s Campaign.

Celebrate the 1968 Poor People’s Campaign and explore this historic struggle for justice through music, words and images. Inspired by the Many Races Soul Centeralso known as the Soul Tentin Resurrection City, where figures such as Muddy Waters, Dorothy Height and Jesse Jackson performed, spoke and rallied, the library’s Soul Tent is a series of week-long installations that will include recordings and photographs of Resurrection City from the library’s Special Collections, the Library of Congress American Folklife Center and the Smithsonian’s Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. Join us for community story collecting led by artist-in-residence Anu Yadav, musical collaborations curated by local artists, listening sessions and more
This project is part of the DC Community Heritage Project, a collaboration between HumanitiesDC and the Historic Preservation Office.

Listen to DCPL Presents: The Poor People’s Campaign on the Full Service Radio program DCPL Radio
Watch a video about the Soul Tent here.

The Soul Tent visited the following locations throughout 2018:
May 14 – 20,
Mount Pleasant Library (feat. Uptown Art House May 17, 6pm)

June 3 – 9, Anacostia Library (feat. DC Legendary Musicians June 9, 12pm)
June 10 – 16, Woodridge Library (feat. Maplehouse Collective June 11, 6:30)
June 18 – 23, The DC Public Library’s Soul Tent @ the National Mall in partnership with the new Poor People’s Campaign (tent site located near Jefferson Drive north of the Smithsonian Castle)
July 7 - 23, Benning/Dorothy I. Height Library (feat. Dorothy Height Day on Saturday, July 14)

The Soul Tent will visit the Blind Whino SW Arts Club for an exhibit in September. Continue to visit this page for updates.

Other upcoming highlights include:

Visit DC Public Library's calendar for an up-to-date list by searching for 1968: 50th Anniversary Events.

People's University Online Resource
Click here for further information on People's University events and suggested reading lists. Explore a selection of newspaper clippings, photographs, audio and video from the library's collections that highlight this important moment in D.C. history. Discover reading lists for children, teens and adults. Learn more about ongoing programs and community partnerships to celebrate 1968. 

Continue to visit this page for updates.