The holdings of the National Archives at Atlanta include a wealth of records related to the long struggle for Civil Rights as it played out in the federal government. From Civil War interment reports to court cases enforcing the 15th Amendment in 1871 to the records of the establishment of the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Holiday in the 1980s and 1990s, these unique and diverse holdings span more than a century of American history. Between those events are documents about the Civil Rights Act of 1875, the scourge of peonage and lynching, the first attempts at organizing the Brotherhood of Colored Sleeping Car Porters, the efforts of the Fair Employment Practices Commission during World War II, and the fight for equal pay for black teachers. Plus, the stories of many iconic events and individuals are told through the records of the federal courts, such as the fight for voting rights, school integration, the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the Freedom Riders, and the March on Selma.
While this exhibit represents only a small sample of the Civil Rights-related records at the National Archives at Atlanta, we hope it will introduce you to our holdings and inspire you to pursue your own research interests.