Smithsonian Museum Of American History
James Montgomery Flagg’s ‘I Want You for U.S. Army’ poster, 1917, the most iconic image produced in support of the WWI recruitment effort.
The Smithsonians National Museum of American History bills itself as the greatest single collection of U.S. history in the world, home to more than 1.8 million objects that each, in some fundamental way, defines the American experience. The museum offers about 100 online exhibits from its encyclopedic collections, each with a mix of photos, video, graphics and text on topics ranging from the life of Abe Lincoln to the development of the first artificial heart to the evolution of voting machines and even an array of vintage lunch boxes.
Click HERE for the experience.
The Third March From Selma To Montgomery
On March 15, 1964, President Lyndon Johnson called for the passage of a new voting rights bill and ordered U.S. Army troops and the Alabama National Guard to protect those participating in the Selma-to-Montgomery march. The courageous individuals who participated in the five-day, 54-mile march ended their journey at the Capitol in Montgomery.
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The museum, which tells the story of African-Americans from the Middle Passage to the present, is located at the Lorraine Motel the place where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spent his final hours.
Whats unique about our museum is that we are actually a historic site. -Noelle Trent
The motel was built in the 1920s and in 1945, Walter and Loree Bailey purchased it, naming it after Mrs. Bailey and the Nat King Cole song Sweet Lorraine. Located one block off Main Street, it quickly became one of the premier destinations for African Americans including Jackie Robinson, Sam Cooke, Wilson Pickett and Aretha Franklin to stay in segregated Memphis.
King had stayed there during a previous visit in 1966. In 1968, he returned to Memphis to support a strike by city sanitation workers and lead a nonviolent march.
A defining moment for the civil rights movement is the Memphis sanitation strike. And while its not known very well outside of Memphis, it is a key moment for us, more than just the moment when Dr. King was assassinated, said Trent, standing just outside a museum exhibit chronicling the event.
Memphis sanitation workers in 1968 could work 80 hours a week, and still be on public assistance. They didnt have uniforms and were sometimes refused rides on public transit because of their smell, she said.
That phrase became the well-known sign worn by workers on strike: I Am A Man.
The next day, King was killed on the balcony in front of Room 306 at the Lorraine Motel.
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National Women’s History Museum
Come for the deep well of biographies and digital classroom resources, stay for the wide array of virtual exhibits, many of which are enabled by Google Arts & Culture. For two decades, the National Womens History Museum has been the largest online cultural institution telling the stories of women who helped transform the U.S. Heavy with slide shows and graphics, the virtual exhibits document women making waves in politics, sports, civil rights, science and technology and more. Check out its collection of oral histories from the American Rosie Movement, relaying women’s contributions to the nations defense production.
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Griggs Hall At American Baptist College
American Baptist College produced some influential civil rights leaders, including Julius Scruggs, Bernard LaFayette, Jim Bevel, William Barbee and John Lewis. These men participated in the Nashville sit-in movement and set the tone for nonviolent protest in the South. Visitors can honor the contributions of these activists by visiting Griggs Hall, the first building to be erected on the campus.
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National Civil Rights Museum At The Lorraine Motel
The National Civil Rights Museum is a collection of historic museums and sites, including the Lorraine Motel, the site of Dr. Kings assassination on April 4, 1968. These locations and exhibits explore the history of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States from the 17th century to present day.
John Philip Sousa Middle School
Built in 1950 and formerly known as John Philip Sousa Junior High School, the public middle school was the site of an attempt at school integration. When 12 black students were denied admission to the all-white school, the Bolling v. Sharpe case was filed by James Nabrit Jr., a professor at Howard University School of Law. The case was originally argued in 1952 and was eventually incorporated into Brown v. Board of Education.
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Holt Street Baptist Church
On the evening of Dec. 5, 1955, in the aftermath of Rosa Parks arrest, 5,000 people gathered at Holt Street Baptist Church. They filled the sanctuary, the basement auditorium and even spilled outside to hear the newly elected president of the Montgomery Improvement Association, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. His stirring speech advocating action without violence gave rise to the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Holt Street Baptist Church, while no longer meeting at its original building, is still active today within the Montgomery community.
Selma To Montgomery National Historic Trail
The 54-mile path between Selma and Montgomery, Alabama, was named a National Historic Trail in 1966. Begin at the Selma Interpretive Center, located at the foot of the Edmund Pettus Bridge, for an introduction to the trail. There you can also pick up brochures, watch videos and visit exhibits and a bookstore. Then drive along the same route activists took March 21-25, 1965, including crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge, site of the Bloody Sunday beatings during the first march.
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Virginia Civil Rights Memorial
The Virginia Civil Rights Memorial is located on the grounds of the state Capitol in Richmond. The monument includes a sculpture of Barbara Johns, the 16-year-old young woman who helped organize demonstrations at Moton High School to demand better educational facilities. It also features 17 additional statues of leaders or participants in the Civil Rights Movement on four sides of a rectangular granite stone block onto which are carved quotes. The memorial was designed by Stanley Bleifeld.
National Civil Rights Museum Virtual Tour
The National Civil Rights Museum traces the history of the civil rights movement in the United States from the 17th century to the present. The museum is built around the former Lorraine Motel, which was the site of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968.
The museum consists of a complex of historic buildings in Memphis, Tennessee, with exhibits on the history and legacy of the civil rights movement.
During the segregation era, the Lorraine Motel operated as lodging that catered to African American clientele. Among its guests through the 1960s were musicians that including Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, Wilson Picket, and many others.
Following the assassination of King, Room 306 where King died, and the adjoining room were maintained as a memorial to the activist leader.
Eventually, a museum complex was developed, and in 1991, the museum was opened to the public.
The foundation also became the custodian of the police and evidence files associated with the assassination, including the rifle and fatal bullet.
Recreation of Martin Luther Kings Cell in Birmingham Jail
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Highlights Of The National Civil War Museum
- Chains, iron shackles, and bracelets from the slave trade, including a slave collar
- The portable writing kit of General Winfield Scott
- Major General George McClellans saddle, used when he was General-In-Chief of the Union army
- A sword belt presented to General Ulysses S. Grant to commemorate the capture of Vicksburg
- Doeskin riding gauntlets belonging to Lee
- Lees Bible, inscribed in his hand, used for almost 20 years
- The last battle map used by General Robert E. Lee during the Appomattox campaign
- Various rifles, revolvers, officers swords, and munitions later discovered on battlefields
- A wooden saddle and tack box used by Grant
- Memorabilia from Civil War veterans reunions
- A collection of memorabilia from Lincolns assassination
- A Lincoln administration china plate and a lantern from Lincolns home in Springfield, Illinois
American Battlefield Trust Virtual Battlefield Tours
The State of Pennsylvania Monument is the largest memorial at the Gettysburg battlefield, commemorating the tens of thousands of Pennsylvanians who fought there.
Most on-site battlefield tours require a leap of imagination: the ability to walk around a perfectly peaceful open field and overlay a mental movie of smoke and combat and fallen warriors, all the while considering the military strategy and broader political stakes. ABTs website may not offer the sunshine on your back, but it marries the setting, action and context far more seamlessly, with its 360-degree virtual tours of more than 20 American Revolution and Civil War battlefields. In the Gettysburg tour alone, there are 15 different stopsno walking requiredeach of which features clickable icons with granular detail about all the whos, whats and whys. And when youre done touring, be sure to explore the sites other robust resources, from battle summaries to generals biographies.
Click HERE for the experience.
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National Civil Rights Museum
- National Civil Rights Museum â Virtual Tour. The National Civil Rights Museum traces the history of the civil rights movement in the United States from the 17th century to the present. The museum is built around the former Lorraine Motel, which was the site of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jrâ¦
New Zion Baptist Church
New Orleans, Louisiana
In 1957, a group of Baptist pastors and activists from across the South met at the New Zion Baptist Church to form the Southern Leadership Conference, which later that year would be renamed as the Southern Christian Leadership Conference . The members chose Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as their first president. Plans are underway for a memorial across the street that will offer interpretive displays to tell the story of the SCLCs founding and other New Orleans-based civil rights milestones.
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Civil Rights Museums To Visit Virtually
You can find a complete list of all the virtual tours and experiences offered by the United States Civil Rights Trail here.
National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel
National Voting Rights Museum And Institute
After President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act on August 6, 1965, nearly 7,000 African-Americans registered to vote in Dallas County, Alabama, resulting in the election defeat of the segregationist sheriff who led the Bloody Sunday attack on marchers. This museum displays items and stories relating to the voting rights campaign, from the beginning of the marches to the end of the fight. Hear firsthand accounts of these events from volunteer guides as they share memories of the struggle to gain the right to vote.
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The Center Map & Virtual Tour
Your virtual experience begins on the second floor with Rolls Down Like Water: The American Civil Rights Movement, a gallery depicting key issues from the Jim Crow south of the 1950s to Dr. Kings assassination in 1968. This gallery concludes with the third floor Requiem exhibit and leads you to the entrance of Spark of Conviction: The Global Human Rights Movement a gallery that provides an understanding of what human rights are, how they are threatened, and how we can take action today. Additionally, the tour will travel to our first floor exhibition of Voice to the Voiceless: The Morehouse College Martin Luther King Jr. Collection, as well as featured rotating exhibits.
Mccrory’s Five & Dime
Rock Hill, South Carolina
On January 31, 1961, nine students from Friendship Junior College in Rock Hill tried to order food and drinks from McCrorys Five & Dime. They were refused service and instructed to leave, but they did not get up. All nine students were arrested. The McCrorys building still houses an active restaurant, Five & Dine, and the original counter where the sit-in occurred is engraved with the names of the Friendship Nine.
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National Civil Rights Museum Tour
In May 2011, historian Richard Norton Smith led a 10-day bus tour from Asheville, North Carolina to Austin, Texas. The group stopped at several presidential and historic sites along the route. One of the stops was the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee. The museum is on the site of the Lorraine Motel, where Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated April 4, 1968. It opened as the National Civil Rights Museum in 1991 and 2011 marks its 20th anniversary. The museums director of governmental and community affairs, Gwen Harmon, led the group on a tour of the museum, which starts with the year 1619 through the death of the Reverend King, and reflects on his legacy. close
Clark Memorial United Methodist Church
The Clark Memorial United Methodist Church served as a meeting site for numerous civil rights efforts. In 1958, James Lawson hosted workshops on nonviolent protest at the church, and in 1961 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. held the annual meeting of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference there. The church is still active in the Nashville community.
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Virtual History Museums And Experiences To Explore From Home
‘Walk’ among the terra cotta warriors. Tour Anne Frank’s secret annex. Read letters to FDR. And more.
The need for social distancing may have forced museums and historic sites around the world to close their doors for now, but many have made their spaces, exhibits and collections available to anyone with a digital device and a decent web connection. Some offer 360-degree tours, like the one that takes you into every nook and cranny of George Washingtons Mount Vernon estate. Others present virtual exhibits or browsable online archives, such as the dozens on Google Arts & Cultures site, where partner museums share treasures like the Rosetta Stone and ancient Egyptian artifacts …iconic 20th century photos …or troves of sports history . Here are 10 standout virtual history sites worth exploring:
Birmingham Civil Rights Institute
Serving as a connection to the Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument, the institute allows visitors to experience a depiction of a segregated city in the 1950s as well as examine a replica of a Freedom Rider bus and even the actual door of the jail cell where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. penned his famous Letter From Birmingham Jail.
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Supreme Court Of The United States
The United States Supreme Court Building was the site of the landmark ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, which combined five lawsuits fighting for public school desegregation. Chief Justice Earl Warren and the Warren Court unanimously overturned the separate but equal principle established in Plessy v. Ferguson . This decision made it illegal to segregate public educational facilities and was the impetus for countless school integrations across the country.
Medgar Evers Home Museum
Medgar Evers, the first NAACP field secretary and prominent civil rights activist and organizer, was assassinated at his home in 1963. This private home now a National Historic Landmark has been turned into a museum and restored to look as it did when the Evers family lived there.
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Th Street Baptist Church
16th Street Baptist Church is still an active church in the Birmingham community today, in spite of its tragic past. During the Civil Rights Movement, the church served as a meeting place for the organization of marches and other civil rights activities. In 1963, the church was bombed, resulting in the deaths of four young black girls: Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley, Denise McNair and Carole Robertson. This event galvanized the federal government to take action on civil rights legislation.