Special Event: Freedom Summer

June 16, 2014
Location: Walter and Leonore Annenberg Theater

Guests: Gwen Ifill, Mark Samels, Bob Moses, Rita Schwerner Bender and Stanley Nelson

It was called Freedom Summer, a campaign organized by civil rights groups in 1964 to send hundreds of young people into the heart of Mississippi to register black voters.

The Newseum marks the 50th anniversary of Freedom Summer with a special program featuring an extended preview of the new "American Experience" film "Freedom Summer", produced, written and directed by Stanley Nelson. The film debuts on PBS on June 24 at 9 p.m.

The program also includes a conversation with Nelson, civil rights leader Bob Moses and Rita Schwerner Bender, whose husband, Michael Schwerner, was one of three Freedom Summer workers murdered by members of the Ku Klux Klan. The discussion will be moderated by Gwen Ifill of "PBS NewsHour."

Mark Samels, executive producer of "American Experience," will also make remarks prior to the screening.

"Freedom Summer" tells the story of the 10 memorable weeks in 1964 when more than 700 student volunteers from around the country joined organizers and local civil rights leaders in a historic effort to shatter the foundations of white supremacy in Mississippi.

Exclusive corporate funding for "American Experience" is provided by Liberty Mutual Insurance. Major funding provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Major funding for "Freedom Summer" provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the Human Endeavor. Additional funding provided by the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations: Dedicated to Strengthening America's Future Through Education; the Yawkey Foundations, the Documentary Investment Group: Robert & Marjie Kargman and the Brian A. McCarthy Foundation; and by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and Public Television Viewers. "American Experience" is produced for PBS by WGBH Boston.

"1964: Civil Rights at 50" is a yearlong exhibit at the Newseum that chronicles the events of a dramatic year in the civil rights movement, including Freedom Summer, "Mississippi Burning" and the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Contributing sponsorship support for "Civil Rights at 50" has been provided by Walmart and Altria Group.


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1964: Civil Rights at 50
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