A Year to Remember

This summer, KHC features daily posts about the speakers and topics in the Humanities catalog. Today’s featured presentation is “1964: The Civil Rights Act, the War on Povery, and Freedom Summer” by Gretchen Cassel Eick.

President Lyndon B. Johnson addresses the nation before signing the Civil Rights Act , July 2, 1964. Photo by O.J. Rapp. Image via The LBJ Presidential Library.

President Lyndon B. Johnson addresses the nation before signing the Civil Rights Act, July 2, 1964. Photo by O.J. Rapp. Image via The LBJ Presidential Library.

2014 marks the 50th anniversaries of the landmark Civil Rights Act, the launch of President Johnson’s War on Poverty, and the Freedom Summer when young Americans worked to register voters in the South. These historic actions were met with controversy, violence, and political resistance, but the results resonated around the globe. Federal laws protecting Americans against discrimination, programs that helped lift families out of poverty, and grassroots actions that educated and empowered voters strengthened the nation. Gretchen Cassel Eick’s presentation, “1964: The Civil Rights Act, the War on Poverty, and Freedom Summer,” highlights the changes and victories of 1964, a deciding year in our nation’s history.

“Fifty years ago, Americans of African and European ancestry challenged successfully the status quo, creating a tidal wave of change that we are still feeling,” said Eick.

Gretchen Cassel Eick

Gretchen Cassel Eick

Gretchen Cassel Eick is an historian and professor emeritus at Friends University in Wichita. Her book, Dissent in Wichita: The Civil Rights Movement in the Midwest, 1954-1972, won three awards and sparked museum exhibits and commemorations of the 1958 Dockum Drug Store sit-in in Wichita, the first successful student-led sit-in.

You can attend Gretchen Cassel Eick’s “1964: The Civil Rights Act, the War on Poverty, and Freedom Summer” on Saturday, June 21 at The Kansas African American Museum in Wichita. You can also bring this topic or one of the other presentations in the Humanities catalog to your community for FREE with a Resource Center Support Grant. It’s quick and easy! Visit the Speakers Bureau page to get started or contact Leslie Von Holten, director of programs, at leslie(at)kansashumanities.org for more information.