The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom was 60 years ago today -- August 28, 1963. We look back at that historic day, both at how it developed and its aftermath, in an era when terrorism, violence and assassinations targeted civil rights volunteers, workers and organizers.
Novelist, short-story writer and essayist George Saunders was awarded the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction Saturday evening in one of the final sessions of the 2023 National Book Festival, conferring a lifetime honor on a versatile writer whose most famous book cast one of Washington's most famous residents in a surreal light. Saunders' 2017 novel "Lincoln in the Bardo" took a fantastical look at the visit President Abraham Lincoln paid to his young son's tomb in a Georgetown cemetery one night in 1862.
Rebecca Pomeroy, a Civil War nurse, was assigned to the White House in 1862 to help the grieving Lincoln family deal with the loss of their 11-year-old son, Willie, to typhoid fever. The story of her relationship with the Lincoln family is revealed in a collection of her papers, photographs are artifacts that are now preserved at the Library as part of the Liljenquist Family Collection of Civil War Photographs.
This winter, President Lincoln's Cottage in Washington, D.C., exhibited "Create to Free Yourselves: Abraham Lincoln and the History of Freeing Slaves in America," an installation by Georges Adéagbo. In creating it, Adéagbo visited the Library's Manuscript Division to research Lincoln's words and handwriting. Born in Benin, educated in Cote I and France, Adéagbo works internationally. Here, he talks about how he created the Lincoln project.
The Library's 2022 National Book Festival was the first in-person festival in three years, since COVID shut down much of public life in D.C, and thousands of readers and fans thronged the Convention Center in search of a good read. Celebrities such as Janelle Monae, Nick Offerman, Leslie Jordan and Megan Mullally were there to greet them. So were big names in fiction, non-fiction and children's books, including Geraldine Brooks, Karen Joy Fowler and Mitch Albom.
The papers of Leonard Downie Jr., who started as an intern at The Washington Post in the 1960s concluded his career with a 17-year run as executive editor, are now available for researchers in the Library's Manuscript Division. They offer insight on the Post's inner workings on such stories as Watergate, the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, the Bill Clinton and George W. Bush administrations, the Valerie Plame affair, 9/11, the Unabomber and much more.
Dozens of signs from the Black Lives Matter protest site across from the White House are being preserved at the Library and are now online. The protests, which lasted nearly a year from 2020 and into 2021, rallied against police violence toward African Americans after the police killing of George Floyd