Events & Tours

Before the Freedom Riders: The Fight to Integrate Glen Echo Amusement Park

Thursday, May 17, 2018, 7 p.m.
Before the Freedom Riders: The Fight to Integrate Glen Echo Amusement Park

In the summer of 1960, just miles from the U.S. Capitol, a newly-formed organization of Howard University students sat down on Glen Echo Amusement Park's historic, whites-only carousel. They were joined by a largely Jewish community of civil servants, labor organizers, and young families. Together, this unprecedented coalition took on the park owners, Jim Crow, the American Nazi Party, and the Supreme Court. Three years before the March on Washington, before anyone had heard the phrase "Freedom Rides," it was at Glen Echo that this unprecedented alliance incubated some of the nation's future Civil Rights giants, galvanizing surrounding neighborhoods to stand up for what America could be.

This panel will feature four former Glen Echo protesters and Emmy award-winning filmmaker Ilana Trachtman, who will speak about her work-in-progress film, Ain't No Back to a Merry-Go-Round, which follows eight of the Glen Echo protesters before, during, and after that eventful summer.

At National Archives | 700 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW (use Special Events Entrance)

Free and open to the public. Advanced registration requested online.

In partnership with the National Archives in honor of Jewish American Heritage Month.