Saturday, February 2, 2013

Newseum opens exhibit featuring Martin Luther King Birmingham, Alabama jail cell door

A casting of the original jail cell door behind which the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was confined after his April 1963 arrest for leading non-violent protests in Birmingham, Alabama, is seen at the Newseum in Washington on February 1, 2013. To celebrate the beginning of Black History Month, the Newseum opened "Jailed in Birmingham," a new exhibit featuring the casting of the original jail cell door. It was in this cell that the civil rights leader penned his historic letter defending civil disobedience. The "Letter From Birmingham Jail," written in response to a statement by a group of eight white Alabama clergymen, includes the now famous quote, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." AFP PHOTO/Nicholas KAMM
 

WASHINGTON, DC.- To celebrate the beginning of Black History Month, today the Newseum opens "Jailed in Birmingham," a new exhibit featuring a casting of the original jail cell door behind which the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was confined after his April 1963 arrest for leading nonviolent protests in Birmingham, Ala. It was in this cell that the civil rights leader penned his historic letter defending civil disobedience. The "Letter From Birmingham Jail," written in response to a statement by a group of eight white Alabama clergymen, includes the now-famous quote, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

The door on display is a bronze casting made from the original door to King's cell in the Birmingham city jail. The exhibit also features one of the first publications of the letter, a 1963 pamphlet published by the American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker group. The exhibit is on display in the Newseum's News Corporation News History Gallery.

On Saturday, Feb. 2, at 2:30 p.m., Chris Jenkins, editor of The RootDC, and award-winning video journalist Garrett Hubbard will discuss King's legacy during a special Inside Media program. The two collaborated on a Washington Post video series, "BrotherSpeak," which explores the experiences of black men in America. Inside Media programs are free with paid admission to the Newseum, and seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

This year will mark a number of milestone anniversaries of key events in U.S. history, and the Newseum will debut new exhibits to highlight them. From March 1 to 14, a special, free exhibit will illustrate the landmark 1913 women's suffrage parade on Pennsylvania Avenue through newspaper front pages and photos of the historic event. "Marching for Women's Rights" will be on view to the public in front of the Newseum in the museum's Today's Front Pages cases.

Later this year, the Newseum will mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy with two new exhibits and an original documentary chronicling the presidency, family life and death of America's 35th president. The Newseum will host public programs and special events about the Kennedys throughout 2013 to enhance the visitor experience. The JFK exhibits and film will be on display April 12, 2013, through Jan. 5, 2014.