Inside the March on Washington: Moving On

(The following is a guest post by Guha Shankar, folklife specialist in the American Folklife Center and the Library’s project director of the Civil Rights History Project, and Kate Stewart, processing archivist in the American Folklife Center, who is principally responsible for organizing and making available collections with Civil Rights content in the division to […]

The Reward of Courage

Picture this: The battle of good versus evil set against the backdrop of early 19th century America, where the coming together of two young lovers is threatened by the mistaken belief of an inheritable disease that would afflict their future children. Charlatans who promise quack cures in place of scientific medicine are pitted against the […]

Imagination and Invention

“To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.” – Thomas Edison In August 1795, John Fitch not only demonstrated the first successful steamboat but was also granted a United States patent for his invention. A century later, on Aug. 12, 1877, Thomas Alva Edison is believed to have completed the model for […]

Inside the March on Washington: Speaking Truth to Power

(The following is a guest post by Guha Shankar, folklife specialist in the American Folklife Center and the Library’s Project Director of the Civil Rights History Project, a Congressionally mandated documentation initiative that is being carried out in collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.) Dr. Martin Luther King’s […]

Inside the March on Washington: “Our Support Really Ran Deep”

(The following is a guest post by Guha Shankar, folklife specialist in the American Folklife Center and the Library’s Project Director of the Civil Rights History Project, a Congressionally mandated documentation initiative that is being carried out in collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.) Fifty years later, the […]

March on Washington Riches at the Library of Congress

Celebrants observing the 50thanniversary of the March on Washington should not miss special displays of artifacts, treasures and a talk by Congressman John Lewis on Wednesday, Aug. 28, all at the Library of Congress and all free and open to the public. Opening that day is the Library’s photo exhibition, “A Day Like No Other, […]

Inside the March on Washington: Bayard Rustin’s “Army”

(The following is a guest post by Kate Stewart, processing archivist in the American Folklife Center, who is principally responsible for organizing and making available collections with Civil Rights content in the division to researchers and the public.) The planning and execution of the March on Washington in 1963 stands as an extraordinary testament to the […]

“West Side Story” Redux

On August 19, 1957, “West Side Story” began its pre-Broadway tour at the National Theatre in Washington, D.C. About a month later, it opened on Broadway, changing the nature of the American musical and challenging the country’s view of itself. The show dealt seriously with violence, adolescent gangs and racial prejudice—themes rarely included in musicals—and […]

Inquiring Minds: Alan Lomax Goes North

(The following is a guest post by Guha Shankar, folklife specialist with the Library of Congress American Folklife Center.) A fall landscape of orange and red foliage rushes by a car winding down a long road…a stern-faced singer draws his bow across a single-stringed lute and sings a ballad in Serbian about the 1389 Battle […]