Martin Luther King Jr. Day – Civil Rights History

Today we celebrate the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his leadership in the American Civil Rights Movement. I grew up in this era, so to me, it is “current” history (I know I am dating myself big time with that statement), but, in fact, many who are now interested in family history may have parents or even grandparents who were active in the efforts to secure civil rights for all Americans.

To learn more about the 1950s and 1960s events, a fabulous resource with which to begin is the Library of Congress. It’s digital collections are growing daily, but it seems to be a way under-used resource for genealogists. While we might not be lucky enough to find family members mentioned by name, we can certainly learn much about the social and cultural lives of our ancestors.

Here is just a sampling of topics to get you started:

Martin Luther King Jr.

The Civil Rights Movement

Rosa Parks

Civil Rights Demonstrations

Coretta Scott King

Civil Rights Act of 1964

Brown vs. Board of Education

Little Rock, Arkansas School Integration



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