Mrs. Fannie Lou Hamer of Ruleville, Miss., speaks to the state's Freedom Democratic Party sympathizers outside the Capitol in Washington, D.C., in 1965.
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Civil rights activist Diane Nash listens the former Vice President Al Gore after the Freedom Awards Public Forum at Temple of Deliverance in Memphis. Gore and Nash were honored, along with musician B.B. King, for the 2008 Freedom Awards.
Three of the six leaders of African-American organizations who met with President Lyndon B. Johnson Nov. 19, 1964, talk with reporters at the White House after the meeting. They are, left to right: James Farmer, national director of the Congress of Racial Equality; Whitney M. Young, Jr., executive director of the National Urban League; and Dorothy Height of the National Council of Negro Women.
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Ella Baker helped Martin Luther King Jr. start the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and was a field secretary for the NAACP, where she worked for black voter registration. She was often referred to as the "Godmother of SNCC" — the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee — where she provided counsel to student activists.
Credit William J. Smith / AP
Mrs. Fannie Lou Hamer speaks to Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party sympathizers outside the Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 17, 1965. The House of Representatives had rejected a challenger to the 1964 election of five Mississippi representatives. Mrs. Hamer and two other African-American women were seated on the floor of the House while the challenge was being considered.
Credit HWG / AP
President Jimmy Carter talks to members of ACTION during a speech in the White House Rose Garden in 1977. From left are, Vice President Walter Mondale; Sam Brown, director of ACTION; Carter; and Mary King, deputy director of ACTION. About 25 percent of SNCC's members were white, including King, who applied her leadership experience from the SNCC to the feminist movement.
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Daisy Bates of Little Rock, Ark., visited Memphis, Tenn., in August 1959 with Lt. George W. Lee, a prominent Memphis civic leader and author. Bates acted as adviser to the nine black students who integrated Little Rock's Central High School in 1957. She died in 1999.
On that sweltering August day in 1963, almost a quarter-million people thronged the National Mall, from the Washington Monument to the columned marble box that is the Lincoln Memorial. The crowning moment, of course, was Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" speech.
Next month, a scientific committee sponsored by the United Nations will put out its latest assessment of climate change. The report is expected to underscore yet again that climate change is a serious problem and human beings are largely responsible.