Fifty years ago today, President John F. Kennedy was killed in Dallas. For those of us who were alive and sentient back then, it was a signal event. JFK was the first of a new generation of leadership for the country, and held the promise, as it were, for hope and change. We will never know if his death also killed, or at least wounded, those expectations or whether the Johnson administration held to Kennedy’s vision. JFK opposed the historic March on Washington and was unable to pass civil rights legislation. That accomplishment was left to Lyndon Johnson, in the wake of Martin Luther King’s assassination and the rebellions that followed in cities across the country.
civil rights movement
On May 9, the Maryland chapter of the National Lawyers Guild hosted a celebration of multiple historic civil rights milestones, including what would have been the 100th birthday of Rosa Parks and the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. The NLG gathering was also a send-off for a march commemorating the 45th anniversary of the Poor People’s Campaign, a 1968 effort to push for economic and social justice for poor people in the United States. The evening was an inspirational gathering of social justice lawyers, activists, artists, and people who took part in the campaign.