In 2013, our country will mark the anniversaries of many major events in our civil rights history. You can take part in the commemoration just by heading to your local movie theater to see Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln. (Check out the trailer here.) The movie focuses on the final months of Lincoln’s life, in 1865, when he worked with Congress to pass the Thirteenth Amendment, making permanent the Emancipation Proclamation’s 1863 order to abolish slavery.
Want to find more ways to commemorate our civil rights history? The events and exhibits listed below are good places to start.
Emancipation Proclamation (January 1, 1863)
Beginning on January 3, the Library of Congress will display Lincoln’s first draft of the Emancipation Proclamation in an exhibit titled “The Civil War in America.”
A Smithsonian Institute exhibit, “Changing America: The Emancipation Proclamation, 1863 and the March on Washington, 1963,” will be open through September 15.
Gettysburg Address (November 19, 1863)
A dedication and remembrance day will be held at Gettysburg National Military Park.
Centennial of Rosa Parks’ birth (February 4, 1913)
Rosa Parks was arrested in Montgomery, Alabama, for an act of civil disobedience – refusing to give up her seat on a bus to white passengers. In doing so, “she quietly set off a social revolution.”
March on Washington, DC (August 28, 1963)
“I have a dream.” Some 250,000 demonstrators heard these famous words delivered by Martin Luther King, Jr. A number of items related to the March on Washington are on display at the Smithsonian.
Assassination of John F. Kennedy (November 22, 1963)
The Newseum in Washington, DC, will feature two new exhibits related to the presidency, life, and death of the 35th president of the United States.
And the opportunities for learning don’t end there. The Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands, in partnership with the National Park Service, will soon develop and release an e-learning tool called “Civil War to Civil Rights.” Watch for it on this website!