1967: Civil Rights at 50 Exhibit opens at Newseum


Exhibit tells the story of the rise of the Black Panther Party and the turbulent events of 1967

1967 was a critical year in the long and continuing struggle for equality that continues to roil American society. “1967” is part of an annual changing exhibit that explores the relationship between the First Amendment and the civil rights movement of the 1960s.

Through powerful photos and images, the exhibit captures events the year after Black Power activists reshaped the civil rights movement with fiery demands for empowerment and racial pride. In 1967, many black Americans were electrified by new calls to fight back against oppression. That summer, simmering tensions in cities struggling with inequality, poverty and police violence exploded in the deadliest rioting of the 1960s.

The exhibit examines the Black Panther Party and its move to channel anger into radical action, positioning the group as the new vanguard of the struggle for racial justice. Other key events include the scathing speech in April 1967 by civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., who criticized the costly Vietnam War for undermining the fight against poverty at home, and the refusal of outspoken heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali to enlist in the U.S. Army. A Muslim, he cited religious reasons for seeking conscientious objector status. The year also saw the deadliest rioting of the decade erupt in cities from Detroit to Newark, N.J. There were also signs of positive change that year, as Thurgood Marshall became the first black Supreme Court justice, and a landmark Supreme Court ruling banned laws against interracial marriage.


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