Browse Items (36 total)

In 1967, Smithsonian Secretary S. Dillon Ripley opened a carousel on the Mall. Built in 1922, the carousel featured music played by a Wurlitzer organ. In the photo, Ripley celebrated its 10th anniversary on the Mall. By 1981, the carousel was too…

In 1848, 77 enslaved African Americans, including the Edmonson sisters, attempted to escape their bondage in Washington, DC, by fleeing north to freedom via the ship the Pearl. Unfortunately, unfavorable winds slowed their escape, the ship was…

The National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights, held on October 14, 1979, was inspired in part by the assassination of openly gay California politician Harvey Milk. The five issues the march supported included the end of anti-homosexual…

Mary and Emily Edmonson were among the 77 enslaved African Americans who boarded the schooner, Pearl, in 1848 intending to sail down the Potomac, then north to freedom. Captured when the Pearl becalmed, the Edmonson sisters were jailed. They awaited…

The 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom attracted demonstrators of all ages. Edith Lee-Payne attended the March, which was held on her twelfth birthday, with her mother who thought it important to teach her about the Civil Rights struggle.…

Held in the spring of 1957, the Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom was organized by the newly formed Southern Leaders Conference (later known as the Southern Christian Leadership Coalition or SCLC). 25,000 demonstrators attended the event at the Lincoln…

Slave trading establishments in Washington, DC are superimposed on this 1855 Atlas of Washington, DC to show the locations of a few of the many slave trading establishments in the city. Businesses flourished on the Mall's borders including slave…

In this photo, residents of Resurrection City wash mud from their feet. In the late spring and early summer of 1968, 2800 demonstrators camped on the Mall on 15 acres of open space south of the Reflecting Pool, including the area which is now the…

Resurrection City, organized by Ralph Abernathy, was part of the 1968 Poor People's Campaign, a demonstration for full employment and living wages. During May 1968 thousands of demonstrators representing communities across the country lived in a…

The public bathing beach at the Tidal Basin closed in 1925 after less than a decade in operation. This swimming area was segregated, open only to whites. Congress controlled the Washington DC budget and received increasing pressure from the African…
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