Spring 2020 Education Series
JFK Library Teaching and Learning Tuesdays
From the Library's Department of Education and Public Programs Team
June 9, 2020 (Week 11)
Civil Rights


Featuring primary sources, lesson plans, activities and more focusing on civil rights
Radio and Television Report to the American People on Civil Rights - June 11, 1963
Vivian Malone entering Foster Auditorium to register for classes at the University of Alabama, 1963
Image Credit: Library of Congress
On June 11, 1963, in this landmark address on civil rights, President Kennedy responds to the threats of violence and obstruction on the University of Alabama campus following desegregation attempts, and tells the millions of people tuning in on radio and television that "We are confronted primarily with a moral issue. It is as old as the scriptures and is as clear as the American Constitution." He asks Congress to enact legislation protecting all Americans’ voting rights, legal standing, educational opportunities, and access to public facilities, but recognizes that legislation alone cannot solve the country's problems concerning race relations. He states that, "It is time to act in the Congress, in your State and local legislative body and, above all, in all of our daily lives." 
Ready-to-Go Resources
Elementary & Middle School
Lesson Plan
Investigating Kennedy's Address on Civil Rights
Grades 4 - 8
By June 1963, the growing number and size of demonstrations, the violent backlash from segregationists, and the deaths of activists and other citizens compelled President Kennedy to take a clear stand on civil rights. In this lesson, students read, listen to, and summarize excerpts of his June 11th speech on civil rights. They reflect on its resonance today and create images of a better future.
High School
Lesson Plan
Persuader-in-Chief:
JFK’s June 11, 1963 Address on Civil Rights
Grades 9 - 12
In this lesson, students examine the persuasive techniques in President Kennedy's June 11, 1963 Radio and Television Report to the American People on Civil Rights and evaluate the effectiveness of the speech.
Forum and Oral History Spotlight
Watch and Discuss a Past Forum
A Conversation with John Lewis - The 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom
The Kennedy Library hosted an afternoon conference commemorating the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. The program included a showing of a documentary entitled  The March,  a presentation by attendees of the March; and a panel discussion with historians Clayborne Carson and Peniel Joseph, civil rights leader Elaine Jones, Kennedy administration official Senator Harris Wofford, and veteran journalist Callie Crossley. Congressman John Lewis presented this concluding keynote address.
Kennedy Library Forums are webcast live and recorded whenever possible. Written transcripts of most recorded events are also available. View our past Forums or visit our YouTube channel to view past Forums .
Oral History
John Lewis
In this oral history interview, Congressman John Lewis (D-GA) discusses President Kennedy's evolution on civil rights, the FBI's investigation of the civil rights movement, "Bloody Sunday" and the march from Selma to Montgomery, 1965, among other issues.
Activity of the Week
Suffrage Sunflower
Suffragists Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony wore sunflower pins as they campaigned for the right to vote in Kansas in 1867. While the Kansas referendum failed, yellow remained a color of the suffrage movement into the 20th century. Your students can make their own suffrage sunflower and discover more about the popular symbols and colors used by suffragists in the campaign to secure the right to vote for women.
Interactive Resource
1963: The Struggle for Civil Rights
This interactive time line brings to life the pivotal civil rights events of 1963 through more than 230 primary sources ranging from film footage of the March on Washington and letters from youth advising the president to JFK’s landmark address to the American people and secret recordings of behind-the-scenes negotiations on civil rights legislation.
In Case You Missed It...
JFK Library's Teaching and Learning Tuesdays 6/2
Last week's email featured the " Fighting for Equality " and " Examining the Equal Pay Act of 1963 " lesson plans, A Conversation with Stacey Abrams Forum , the "Suffrage Sash" activity, "New Women's Rights Teaching Resources" from the US National Archives' DocsTeach, and an announcement about the upcoming New Frontiers newsletter issue.

In addition, all past emails from this series are available on the Library's website.
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John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum
Columbia Point, Boston, MA 02125
(617) 514-1600
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