Poor People's Campaign Collection Online

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library - Central Library

Poor People's Campaign Collection Online

Digitized for the 50th anniversary of the Campaign

The Library is pleased to announce that the Poor People's Campaign Collection has been added to Dig DC, your home for digital local history. The collection has been digitized in its entirety to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the campaign and Resurrection City.

The collection includes correspondence, promotional materials, memorabilia, newspapers and songbooks documenting the 1968 Poor People's Campaign and Resurrection City protest encampment on the National Mall. Notable documents in the collection include original newspapers and songbooks created by the residents of Resurrection city, documentation of actions by local Quakers on behalf of the campaign and bumper stickers commemorating the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The Poor People's Campaign was a civil rights movement initiated by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in spring 1968 to support the efforts of American poor people. The campaign lobbied for economic justice and vital social programs via an Economic Bill of Rights and organized a protest encampment of thousands of poor people on the National Mall, known as Resurrection City, beginning May 21, 1968. Resurrection City had its own university, "soul tent," city hall and newspaper, two issues of which are included in the collection. The campaign effectively ended on June 24 when the camp was cleared by police following the expiration of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee's National Park Service permit. This was King's last major campaign as he was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 4.