Inside the Vault in June: The March toward Equality from 1788 to 1963

This June on Inside the Vault, the online program that highlights unique primary sources from the Gilder Lehrman Collection, we trace the movement of civil rights from one of its most iconic moments to far earlier efforts in previous centuries that helped lay the groundwork.

"Stars and Stripes" Magazine (Gilder Lehrman Institute, GLC09976)On Thursday, June 3, we celebrate the historic March on Washington by remembering what made it possible. On August 28, 1963, 250,000 people gathered in front of the Lincoln Memorial for the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The event was covered by approximately 3,000 members of the press. The documents discussed illustrate the logistics for people who attended and press coverage following the event. The documents include

  • Flyers containing logistical information for attendees
  • Stars & Stripes coverage of the March on Washington
  • Lyrics to "We Shall Overcome" (Gilder Lehrman Institute, GLC09732.06)NAACP report about the march

Join us on June 3, 2021, from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. ET (4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. PT) as we examine materials related to the organization of the march as well as the subsequent press coverage. Register here.

On Thursday, June 17, we recall that fighting for the rights of African Americans started early in the country’s independence. Prince Hall and James Forten protested the treatment of Black Americans during the Founding Era. In 1788 in Boston, Hall wrote a petition demanding the Massachusetts government protect Black sailors from being kidnapped and sold into slavery. He also wanted the state to ban slave-trading ships from entering the harbor. In 1813 in Philadelphia, Forten wrote a pamphlet denouncing a proposed bill that curtailed the rights of Black people and prohibited the immigration of people of color into the state.

Join us on June 17, 2021, from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. ET (4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. PT) as we examine the writings of these two men who fought for the rights of Black lives in the Founding Era. Registration coming soon.