Ben van Meerendonk / AHF, Collective IISG, Amsterdam

Fifty years ago, our nation’s capital was in flames. Outrage over the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. erupted in a wave of rioting that left neighborhoods across Washington so damaged they wouldn’t recover for decades.

Despite their grief, King’s allies continued to press forward with a major initiative he’d helped launch — a Poor People’s Campaign. Their goal: to build a multi-racial movement, led by poor people, to fight the poverty and racism that plagued the nation as well as the militarism that had led to a deadly war in Vietnam.

They organized caravans from across the country to converge in Washington in June 1968, where they erected a shanty town on the National Mall known as “Resurrection City.” Their efforts shamed Congress into improving some federal anti-poverty programs, but the campaign wasn’t able to sustain momentum in the midst of a national struggle to recover from King’s murder.

Read the full article at Inside Sources.

John Cavanah directs the Institute for Policy Studies.

Get more news like this, directly in your inbox.

Subscribe to our newsletter.