Important Sites in the Fight for American Civil Rights

For nearly one hundred years, Americans have been celebrating black history in February, at first for one week coinciding with Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass’s birthdays, and later the entire month of February.

In honor of black history, all the people who have worked for equality in the United States and around the world, let’s look at some important sites from the struggle for equal rights in the United States.

Sixteenth Street Baptist Church

Birmingham Alabama was a hotbed of civic unrest in the 1950s and 1960s as black Americans in the southern United States fought against Jim Crow laws and entrenched racism. The Sixteenth Street Baptist Church had a long history of supporting African Americans and working towards equality.

On Sunday, September 15, 1963, a bomb went off in the basement of the church, killing four young girls, and injuring 22 others. It took the state nearly forty years to prosecute and convict three men for the crimes.

16th Street Baptist Church (StreetView)
16th Street Baptist Church

Edmund Pettus Bridge

As part of the nonviolent movement for equality, a large peaceful march was planned to go from Selma Alabama, to Montgomery, the capital. When marchers crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma on Sunday, March 7, 1965, armed police and others opposing equality attacked them, sending 17 people to the hospital.

The national press from what became known as “Bloody Sunday” became national news and helped galvanize the country in support of equal rights.

Edmund Pettus Bridge (1965 March on Selma) (Google Maps)
Edmund Pettus Bridge (1965 March on Selma)

Lincoln Memorial

Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States, is known as the Great Emancipator because he signed the Emancipation Proclamation and led the Union in the Civil War, fought in part over the issue of slavery in the South.

The Lincoln Memorial has been a rallying point for gatherings and protests, and Martin Luther King, Jr. used the memorial as his backdrop for his now-famous “I have a dream” speech. He gave the speech at the culmination of the March on Washington, on August 28, 1963.

Lincoln Memorial (StreetView)
Lincoln Memorial

Rosa Parks Library and Museum

Rosa Parks is possibly the most famous female advocate of the civil rights movement. She was thrust into the spotlight in 1955 when she refused to give up her bus seat to a white man, sparking a boycott of the Montgomery city bus system that lasted more than a year and resulted in the mandatory integration of the city’s transportation system.

A museum and library has been created to honor Rosa Parks and educate visitors on Parks’ life, the civil rights era in Montgomery, and the bus boycott. Anyone interested in walking in the footsteps of heroes like Rosa Parks should visit this museum.

Rosa Parks Library and Museum (Birds Eye)
Rosa Parks Library and Museum

Martin Luther King, Jr. Assassination Site

Martin Luther King, Jr. was the most influential advocate of civil rights in the 1950s and 1960s, and while he drew much praise and recognition for his work, not all of the recognition was positive. Many people resented King for his message and work, and some felt so threatened that they wanted to harm him. On April 4, 1968, King was at a motel in Memphis, Tennessee, when he was shot and murdered by James Earl Ray.

The Lorraine Motel, where he was shot, has since been turned into a memorial and museum, and is an important place for people walking the steps of the “civil rights trail”.

MLK, Jr. assassination site/Lorraine Motel (Birds Eye)
MLK, Jr. assassination site/Lorraine Motel

Little Rock Central High School

An important part of the civil rights movement was integration of public places, including schools. In 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court mandated that public schools be integrated, much to the frustration of many white people, especially in the South.

In 1957, Little Rock Central High School was the scene of forced integration when nine students attempted to attend the school but were faced with such threats of violence that they were unable to attend. President Eisenhower sent the national guard in to escort and protect the students for the entire school year.

Little Rock Central High School (Google Maps)
Little Rock Central High School

Sit Ins at the Woolworth’s Lunch Counter

Sit ins, where people would sit at a lunch counter in a segregated diner and attempt to order food, were a nonviolent protest during the civil rights movement.

On February 1, 1960, four black students began what would become a months-long protest at the Woolworth’s in Greensboro, North Carolina, and spark a chain of similar protests throughout the South. After months of protest, national attention, and significant revenue loss, the store quietly changed it’s policy of desegregation, a major victory for civil rights.

The building has been turned into the International Civil Rights Center and Museum, and it includes a portion of the counter where the sit in took place.

International Civil Rights Center & Museum (StreetView)
International Civil Rights Center & Museum

These are just a few of the places where important events in the struggle for equal rights in the United States took place. If you’re ever near any of them, take a detour and learn more about the history that shapes our culture and our country even today.

Remembering Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr. was an African American preacher and minister who became the country’s most important civil rights icon, leading citizens in nonviolent protests, marches and civil disobedience in the 1960s. He was assassinated on April 4, 1968, sparking riots and mourning across the country, and cementing his importance as a leader and hero for all Americans who value freedom, equality and civil rights.

In honor of his legacy, a national holiday was established and is now commemorated on the third Monday in January; January 20 in 2020.

Many people honor King’s legacy by turning the holiday into a day of service. As we honor the civil rights icon, let’s look back on his life and influence.

Birthplace, Atlanta, Georgia

King was born in Atlanta, Georgia on January 15, 1929. His father was a minister, and taught his children about inequality in America, pointing out segregation and discrimination in their daily lives.

It was in his youth that King, Jr. experienced his first discriminatory experiences, including being forced to stand in a bus so white riders could sit.

These moments never felt right to him, and inspired him to advocate for change.

Birthplace of Martin Luther King, Jr. (StreetView)
Birthplace of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Morehouse College, Atlanta, Georgia

King entered Morehouse College at 15, exhibiting a bright mind and ability to succeed both academically and athletically. It was here, at age 18, that he decided to join the ministry, feeling even at this young age that he would advocate for humanity, even extending to “social protest” if needed. He graduated from Morehouse College at age 19, and then enrolled at Crozer Theological Seminary to earn his degree in Divinity.

Morehouse College (Birds Eye)
Morehouse College

Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, Montgomery, Alabama

King married Coretta Scott on June 18, 1953 and then took a job in 1954 at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery Alabama, which was later renamed Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church. The church, organized in 1877, has a long history of serving the African American community.

In addition to King, several other prominent civil rights advocates worked at or were affiliated with the church.

Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church (Google Maps)
Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church

Montgomery Alabama Bus Boycott

While serving as pastor in Montgomery, King became involved in civil rights activities, and began working on what became known as the Montgomery Bus Boycott. The boycott started in December 1955 and lasted 385 days as nearly all African Americans refused to ride city buses, instead organizing an effective system of carpools and ride sharing to get people to and from work while crippling the city transit system.

Parks’ case worked its way through the courts and eventually went to the Supreme Court, who ruled that forced segregation of the transit system was unconstitutional.

Rosa Parks Library and Museum (Birds Eye)
Rosa Parks Library and Museum

Lincoln Memorial, Washington, D.C.

As King worked towards equality, his efforts gained national attention and support. On August 28, 1963, he led a March on Washington, where between 200,000-300,000 people marched in support of equal rights and other issues.

At the Lincoln Memorial, the end point of the march, King gave his impassioned “I Have a Dream” speech, which is one of the most memorable and most impactful speeches in American history.

Lincoln Memorial (StreetView)
Lincoln Memorial

Brown Chapel A.M.E. Church, Selma, Alabama

King worked as head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, which had the goal of working to end segregation and racial discrimination in the United States by focusing on efforts in the South. Selma, Alabama, was an important focal point of these efforts, including multiple efforts to hold a voting rights march from Selma to Montgomery. These marches were organized and started at the Brown Chapel A.M.E. Church, which also held voter registration events and planning meetings in the move for equal rights.

Brown Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church (StreetView)
Brown Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church

Edmund Pettus Bridge

The first attempt, on March 7, 1965, resulted in violence against the marchers, both by counter protesters and police. By the time marchers reached the Edmund Pettus Bridge, mob violence broke out against the marchers and the effort was called off. It was so violent that the event earned the nickname “Bloody Sunday”.

Outrage against the police violence fueled national support of the movement. Two days later, King led a second, symbolic march to the bridge and disbanded the march in fear of repeated attacks.

Later, a march from Selma to Montgomery finally took place, representing the slow but steady progress to remove voting discrimination in the South.

Edmund Pettus Bridge (1965 March on Selma) (Google Maps)
Edmund Pettus Bridge (1965 March on Selma)

Lorraine Hotel, Memphis

King often traveled throughout the southern United States. In late March 1968, King was in Memphis, Tennessee for protest marches and other activities. He was standing outside his motel room when he was shot by James Earl Ray. He died later that evening.

The motel has since been turned into the National Civil Rights Museum.

Communities across the country were so upset at his assassination that days of protest, riots and violence broke out, including in Washington, D.C., Chicago and Baltimore.

Lorraine Hotel (StreetView)
Lorraine Hotel

Ebenezer Baptist Church

During the 1960s, King continued to work on civil rights issues, and moved his family to Atlanta, Georgia, where he became co-pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church with his father. He served here until his death. His private funeral was held here on April 9, 1968. His wife Coretta organized a powerful funeral honoring his life and properly pay tribute to his sacrifice.

Ebenezer Baptist Church Heritage Sanctuary (Birds Eye)
Ebenezer Baptist Church Heritage Sanctuary

King Center, Atlanta, Georgia

After his death, Coretta Scott King worked hard to preserve her husband’s memory and legacy. She and others created the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change. More than  one million visitors come each year to tour sites important to King’s life, learn about the leader, read his papers and gain perspectives they can share with others after they leave.

King and his wife are entombed there, and visitors can pay their respects to the civil rights leaders.

Martin Luther King's Tomb at the King Center in Atlanta (Birds Eye)
Martin Luther King's Tomb at the King Center in Atlanta

Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, Washington, D.C.

On August 22, 2011, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial was opened on the Mall in Washington, D.C. The memorial features a 30 foot statute of King, designed to look like he is emerging from the “mountain of despair” of which he spoke. Many quotes from King’s speeches and sermons are displayed throughout the four acre memorial. It is a must-see for anyone visiting the National Mall.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial (StreetView)
Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial

Today is a great time to learn more about Martin Luther King, Jr. and the efforts he made to ensure social justice. If you are inspired by his life and sacrifice, a great way to honor the hero would be to go out and give service in your community; at a shelter, with children or however your feel will honor Dr. King’s legacy.

Safari #116 – American College Football

VirtualGlobetrotting’s Safaris are weekly challenges to see who can find the most maps from a specific category.

(Our definition of a week is a little strange though, as the last Safari we put on was over 3 years ago!)

Well, dust off your fedoras and binoculars, for it’s time to start the first Safari of 2018!

With the American College Football season entering the last month of regular season games, let’s look for people playing pigskin! Valid submissions must all be in Street View and of people playing football (American). Pictures, art, ads, paintings, murals, etc. are all fine. Players can be of any age, professional or amateur.

For an example of what we’re looking for, here is what the previous Safari’s “Soccer v2” submissions were:

Safari 107 Soccer

The safari will end at 07:00am UTC on Wednesday, November 14. Post your maps to Street View – Safari Submission and another appropriate category for credit.

You can track the progress of the hunt on the Games page.

Good luck and happy hunting!

Wallace Neff, Architect of California’s Golden Age

Wallace Neff was a famous Southern Californian architect. The houses he designed are still among the most coveted and appreciated houses in Los Angeles by celebrities and architectural connoisseurs alike. The distinct style he worked in is called the California style.

Jon Brooks's house (Birds Eye)
Jon Brooks's house
William Joseph "Bill" Bell Jr. and Maria Arena Bell's house (Google Maps)
William Joseph "Bill" Bell Jr. and Maria Arena Bell's house
Adrien Labi's house (The Singleton Estate) (Birds Eye)
Adrien Labi's house (The Singleton Estate)
Carol and Frank Biondi Jr.'s house (Google Maps)
Carol and Frank Biondi Jr.'s house
Jimmy Iovine's House (Birds Eye)
Jimmy Iovine's House
Bradley S. Cohen's House (Birds Eye)
Bradley S. Cohen's House
Peter Dent & Susan Purvis-Dent's house (formerly Madonna's) (Birds Eye)
Peter Dent & Susan Purvis-Dent's house (formerly Madonna's)
Bill Guthy & Victoria Jackson's house (formerly Cary Grant's & Buster Keatons's) (Birds Eye)
Bill Guthy & Victoria Jackson's house (formerly Cary Grant's & Buster Keatons's)
Rudolph Valentino's 'Falcon Lair' (demolished) (Birds Eye)
Rudolph Valentino's 'Falcon Lair' (demolished)
Pickfair Estate (Birds Eye)
Pickfair Estate
'Chandler House' by Wallace Neff (Birds Eye)
'Chandler House' by Wallace Neff
James Murdoch's House (Birds Eye)
James Murdoch's House
Loren G. Lipson's House (Birds Eye)
Loren G. Lipson's House
'Dome Home' by Wallace Neff (Birds Eye)
'Dome Home' by Wallace Neff
Ricky & Betty Chow's House (Google Maps)
Ricky & Betty Chow's House
Diane Keaton's House (former) (Google Maps)
Diane Keaton's House (former)

Thomas Edison

Thomas Edison (February 11, 1847 – October 18, 1931) was an American inventor and businessman. He developed many devices that greatly influenced life around the world, including the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and a long-lasting, practical electric light bulb. Dubbed “The Wizard of Menlo Park”, he was one of the first inventors to apply the principles of mass production and large-scale teamwork to the process of invention, and because of that, he is often credited with the creation of the first industrial research laboratory.

Thomas Edison Statue (StreetView)
Thomas Edison Statue

Thomas Edison statue (StreetView)
Thomas Edison statue
Edison Memorial Tower (Birds Eye)
Edison Memorial Tower

Edison's Black Maria (Google Maps)
Edison's Black Maria
Thomas Edison's Hollywood star (StreetView)
Thomas Edison's Hollywood star

Thomas Edison Birthplace Museum (Birds Eye)
Thomas Edison Birthplace Museum
Thomas Edison National Historic Site (Google Maps)
Thomas Edison National Historic Site

Thomas Edison's House (former) (Birds Eye)
Thomas Edison's House (former)