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, DCPL Special Collections archivist, and Dr. Marya Annette McQuirter of the dc1968 project.

#dc1968 Saving Family Treasures: Personal Archiving Workshop 101 

Personal archiving workshops with the dc1968 project including free archiving kits for participants.
Saturdays, 1-3 p.m.

Woodridge Neighborhood Library, June 16
Bellevue (William O. Lockridge) Neighborhood Library, Aug. 11

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.
Saturdays, Noon-4 p.m.
Anacostia Library, April 7 
Mt. Pleasant Library, May 19

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 launch Saturday, April 7, at Anacostia Library, and posters will be exhibited in temporary displays throughout library branches during spring and summer.

Visit DC Public Library's Soul Tent at:

Funk Parade, May 12
Mount Pleasant Library, May 14-20
with a curated performance by Uptown Art House on Thursday, May 17 at 6:30 p.m.
Anacostia Library, June 3-9
with a curated performance by DC Legendary Musicians on Saturday, June 9 at 1 p.m.
Woodridge Library, June 10-17
with a curated performance by Luke Stewart on Monday, June 11 at 6:30 p.m.
Benning Library, June 18-24
with a curated performance by East of the River Jazz on Tuesday, June 19 at 6 p.m.

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 Center, also known as the Soul Tent, in Resurrection City, where figures such as Muddy Waters, Dorothy Height and Jesse Jackson performed, spoke and rallied, DCPL’s Soul Tent is a series of week-long installations that will include recordings and photographs of Resurrection City from DCPL’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. 

Visit DC Public Library's calendar for an up-to-date list, by searching for 1968: 50th anniversary events.
Highlights of our upcoming book talks, story times, teach-ins and screenings include an Author Talk: George Derek Musgrove on Chocolate City: A History of Race and Democracy in the Nation's Capital; DC Reads - An Evening with Viet Thanh Nguyen, author of The Refugees and more. 

People's University Online Resource
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.