Tag Archives: images

Extensive collection of D.C. and national alternative periodicals now posted

28 Jun
Quicksilver Times (almost) complete collection: 1969-72

Missing only one issue of the Quicksilver Times.

We took advantage of the coronavirus lock-down to scan and collect many alternative publications that are now posted on our website under the periodicals section.

This should be of interest to current activists who want to connect with past activism of the pre-Internet era, researchers and radical and local D.C. area history buffs.

Local publications on our site (and links to some off-site) include large collections of local alternative newspapers like the Quicksilver Times (missing only one issue, 1969-72) and Washington Free Press (1967-69).

We also have a complete set of the vintage Washington Area Spark and its successor On The Move (1971-75).

There are off-site links to good collections of the local LGBTQ publications Washington Blade (1969-94) and The Furies (1972-73) and the local D.C. women’s movement’s Off Our Backs (1970-76).

We have also added an extensive collection of alternative GI newspapers that published in the greater Washington, D.C. area.

We have excellent collections of the national Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) periodicals (1963-69), including The Bulletin (nearly complete), and complete collections of New Left Notes, Fire and CAW and a link to a good collection of Radical America (1967-90).

The Black Panther Party Newspaper: 1967-76

The most extensive collection of The Black Panther on the Net.

We have perhaps the most complete collection of The Black Panther newspaper (1967-76) on the Internet as well as copies of Right-On! and Babylon–newspapers published by the section of the Panthers that was expelled from the group in 1971.

We have also linked to an extensive collection of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) newsletters (1960-66).

The periodicals are organized by either being local or national/international and then by subject. This is a work in progress, so check back as we add new publications and issues to our online collection.

New documents

We’ve also added dozens of flyers, broadsides, brochures and other documents to our online collection this year. Strengths of the collection include civil rights and black liberation from the 1930s – 1970s, student activism and antiwar protests (1965-73).

Blog posts this year

We’ve published two new blog posts this year—one examining the D.C. black liberation movement from the 1950s through the 1970s as seen from the perspective of the life of Reginald Booker, an activist with CORE, leader of the Emergency Committee on the Transportation Crisis, leader of the federal and D.C. government anti-discrimination coalition GUARD and a leader of the Black United Front.

The other takes a deep dive into the labor movement by examining the local transit union from 1973-80 by looking at union leadership as portrayed by ATU Local 689 president George Davis, the pros and cons of illegal strikes and the formation of rank-and-file caucuses in advancing workers’ interests.

Accessing our online image collection

Last, but not least is our main focus—photographs and images of social justice, antiwar, labor, civil rights and black liberation, anti-imperialism and a dozen other categories. We now have over 4,500 images in our collection.

Each image contains a detailed description of the image and its backstory and is grouped into albums of related images.

Browse our images for what’s interesting to you:

Rights and usage

We’re often contacted about the use of photographs posted on the Spark site. Please check the rights usage located below the image on the right side (if you are using a desktop or laptop) and the image’s source located at the end of the image description.

We hold the rights to about 500 of our 4500 images, another 1,500 or so are public domain or their use is permitted for non-commercial use. The rights to the rest are held by others that you will need to contact for permission to publish and fees, if any. If you are seeking low/no cost non-commercial use of images labeled “all rights reserved,” pay particular attention to the D.C. Library Washington Star Collection. Permission to pubIsh these images is usually free for non-profit use. If you have trouble finding an image or determining the rights, please contact us and we’ll try to help at Washington_area_spark@yahoo.com.

A Million & Counting…

15 Feb

[Update January 2019: We are now over four million photo views and have added some additional finding aids. Camera Roll – by date of the event or creation of the image; Photo Album Guide – by subject; and Individual people by last name.]

One million photo views and counting on our Flickr site. We’re frankly surprised at the interest in the history of the struggle for social and economic justice in the greater Washington, D.C. area.

Each photo has a short description. Groups of related photos are organized into albums. Each album–sometimes a specific event and sometimes a group of related images–have a longer description that puts the images in context. We also publish this blog for a deep dive look behind selected images.

You can see our photo stream organized by date the image was uploaded or check out individual albums. Check out our in-depth blog posts that are organized by the decade (on right of this page or simply scroll down).

Some of our most popular photo albums are:

Blacks, Whites Protest Job Losses: 1930 No. 2D.C. Protests Against Unemployment:

The first nationwide response to the Great Depression occurred March 6, 1930, including a picket line at the White House in Washington, D.C. Looking for more unemployment protests? 1935, 1937, 1940, 1973, 1977.

Harassment at Arlington, Virginia Sit-In: 1960

1960s Civil Rights Protests in the D.C. Area:

District of Columbia public accommodations were largely integrated in the mid 1950s but the surrounding suburbs remained bastions of segregation. Arlington, Rockville, Bowie, Glen Echo, Bethesda, College Park, Silver Spring were but a few of the towns that saw sit-ins, pickets and arrests demanding equality. Read a brief biography of one of these pioneers, Dion Diamond.

Klan Protests Black Minister In Camp Springs MD: 1966The Fight Against the Klan and Nazis in the D.C. area:

The Ku Klux Klan was active throughout the 1960s opposing civil rights and antiwar efforts (one person’s experience). So too was the American Nazi Party. See photos of confrontation in Arlington, Glen Echo, Mt. Ranier, Camp Springs, Frederick and Rising Sun.

March for Capital Transit Jobs: 1943 (Photo 16)The Washington, D.C. Area Transit Union:

Interest has been high in the struggle to desegregate Washington’s transit system (background story), women streetcar and bus operators during World War II (background story), and in strikes conducted by member of the Amalgamated Transit Union in 1974 and 1978. As the 100th anniversary of ATU Local 689 approaches, check back in the coming year as we post images from early efforts in 19th century to form a union and strikes in 1916, 1917, 1945, 1951 and 1955.

Increasingly Viewed

Negro Congress Pickets Bilbo: 1946

Civil Rights Struggles before 1960: 

Little known today, they helped lay the groundwork for the mass demonstrations, boycotts, sit-ins, pickets and other forms of protest that broke down the worst aspects of segregation in our area: 1922 Anti-Lynching Protest (background story), 1933 March for Scottsboro (background story), 1936 Police Brutality Protests (background story), 1940 Gone with the Wind pickets, 1941 Police Brutality Protest (background story), Integration of D.C. Theaters (background story), The Fight for Fair Employment, The Fight Against the Poll Tax, 1946 Protests Against Sen.Bilbo, 1946 Anti-Lynching Protests, the effort to Free Willie McGee and the Martinsville 7, Mary Church Terrell, the Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom, among others.

U of MD Ignites: 1970 # 1

Anti-Vietnam War Demonstrations:

The movement against the Vietnam War involved hundreds of thousands of people across the country. Check out the first mass marches on D.C in 1965, The march on the Pentagon in 1967, The Counter-Inaugural in 1969 (background story), University of Md protests in 1970 (background story), 1971, 1972, Mayday protests to shut down the government in 1971 – May 1, May 2, May 3, May 4, May 5, a 1972 march on the Pentagon and 1972 rally downtown, the 1973 Counter-Inaugural and the last demonstration against the Vietnam War in D.C. in 1975. See earlier 1941 and 1958 antiwar protests.


We felt there was historical gap between the internet era and the print era in the struggles for social justice.

We started by publishing photos and negatives that had been improperly stored from the 1972-1975 Montgomery Spark, Washington Area Spark and On The Move tabloid newspapers.  We followed up by researching images available from various sources including the Library of Congress, the D.C. Public Library, the National Archives and auctioned photographs. And occasionally we publish longer blog posts that give a more detailed look.

See all the images in albums or in the order they were posted.