Press Release

1963 was a year when everything changed. It was a roller-coaster time in American political and social history, when our nation experienced civil rights protests, the start of Beatlemania, and growing involvement in Vietnam. Martin Luther King, Jr.‘s “I Have a Dream” speech in Washington, D.C., brought enormous hope. And then, in the final months of the year, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy plunged the country into darkness, abruptly halting an age of innocence. Organized into three sections, 1963 will survey the history and culture of the times and will focus on three major events: the treatment of civil rights protesters in Birmingham, Alabama, in May; Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech in Washington, D.C., in August; and the assassination of President Kennedy in Dallas in November. In addition, a selection of photographs will examine the culture of 1963 though music, fashion, science, and sports.