Movement Leaders

Paul Rivet addresses a congress of the French Socialist 
Party on July 2, 1948.

The Museum Director Who Defied the Nazis

For years, Paul Rivet opposed the ideology fueling Hitler's rise. Then he helped French fighters take the battle underground

Look at those good doggos.

How Dog Parks Took Over the Urban Landscape

Birthed from the counterculture of the ’60s, the pet playground has witnessed a major shift in how Americans relate to their canines

Ernesto Guevara cruises by an image of his father on a building in Havana's Plaza of the Revolution, one of the larges public squares in the world.

Roaring Through Cuba With Che Guevara's Son

What's Ernesto Guevara, son of the world's most recognizable revolutionary, doing on a Harley Davidson? Leading a whirlwind tour around his native island

The type of socialism that took root in Oklahoma was unique—it allowed private farms and invoked evangelical Christianity.

When the Socialist Revolution Came to Oklahoma—and Was Crushed

Inside the little-known story of the Green Corn Rebellion, which blazed through the Sooner State a century ago

Mary Mildred Williams again takes center stage in Jessie Morgan-Owens’ new book Girl in Black and White.

The Enslaved Girl Who Became America's First Poster Child

In 1855, Mary Mildred Williams energized the abolitionist movement

March for Our Lives student activists. Top row: David Hogg, Jammal Lemy, Samantha Deitsch, Bradley Thornton, Daniel Williams, Jaclyn Corin; Middle row: Kyrah Simon, Sofie Whitney, Ryan Deitsch, Delaney Tarr, Diego Pfeiffer, Emma González, Brendan Duff; Bottom row: Matt Deitsch, Kirsten McConnell, Kaylyn Pipitone, Cameron Kasky, Chris Grady, Dylan Baierlein

The March for Our Lives Activists Showed Us How to Find Meaning in Tragedy

After the massacre at a Florida high school, these brave students provided a way forward

The co-founders of the Alianza Nacional de Campesinas, Mily Treviño-Sauceda and Mónica Ramírez (foreground), stand with members of Líderes Campesinas on a farm in Oxnard, California.

The Time's Up Initiative Built Upon the Work Done by These Labor Activists

How the leaders of a farmworkers' alliance reached across cultural divides to fight sexual harassment

Trade union workers participate in a mass demonstration at the Place de la Republique, Paris, May. 24, 1968

Fifty Years Later, France Is Still Debating the Legacy of Its 1968 Protests

In an activist era, millions of French students and workers demanded radical change

Members of Puerto Rico's Concilio Taíno Guatu-Ma-cu a Boriken presented a dance ceremony to invite the public to recover the collective spirituality of their Native ancestors.

Bringing Taíno Peoples Back Into History

A traveling Smithsonian exhibition explores the legacy of Indigenous peoples in the Greater Antilles and their contemporary heritage movement

Benjamin Lay said he was “illiterate,” but his antislavery arguments were erudite. This portrait, commissioned by Lay’s friend Benjamin Franklin, shows him with a book.

The "Quaker Comet" Was the Greatest Abolitionist You've Never Heard Of

Overlooked by historians, Benjamin Lay was one of the nation's first radicals to argue for an end to slavery

Mahatma Gandhi, center, confers with leaders of the All-India Congress Party, Aug. 1942

The Speech That Brought India to the Brink of Independence

Although the 1942 'Quit India' movement was hardly peaceful, Gandhi's 'Do or Die' address inspired a nation to unify against its British colonizers

At the National Women's Conference in Houston, Texas, 20,000  women convened to debate the issues that affected them. Here, Congresswoman Bella Abzug (D-N.Y.), wearing her trademark hat, and Betty Friedan (left, in red coat).

The 1977 Conference on Women's Rights That Split America in Two

Feminism and the conservative movement clashed over issues such as abortion and LGBTQ rights

Anti-immigrant cartoon showing two men labeled "Irish Wiskey" and "Lager Bier," carrying a ballot box.

How the 19th-Century Know Nothing Party Reshaped American Politics

From xenophobia to conspiracy theories, the Know Nothing party launched a nativist movement whose effects are still felt today

The descendants of abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison donated ten items to the National Museum of African American History and Culture this month.

The Descendants of Abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison Donate Family Heirlooms

Objects belonging to the anti-slavery advocate spent a century collecting dust in an attic. Now they're on their way to the African-American history museum


How Cesar Chavez Changed the World

The farmworker’s initiative improved lives in America’s fields, and beyond

Journalist Mona Eltahawy isn't finished fighting Egyptian oppression.

Mona Eltahawy on Egypt’s Next Revolution

The Egyptian-American activist speaks out on the dangers women still face in a changing Mideast

Ludd, drawn here in 1812, was the fictitious leader of numerous real protests.

What the Luddites Really Fought Against

The label now has many meanings, but when the group protested 200 years ago, technology wasn't really the enemy

Rare Halo Display: A Portrait of Eunice Kennedy Shriver.

Eunice Kennedy Shriver Portrait Unveiled

At the National Portrait Gallery, artist David Lenz pays tribute to a champion for the intellectually disabled

After a mob attacked a bus with protesters in Alabama in 1961, hundreds more joined the cause.

The Freedom Riders, Then and Now

Fighting racial segregation in the South, these activists were beaten and arrested. Where are they now, nearly fifty years later?

Born in northeastern Cambodia, Somaly Mam's life story offers bleak insight into the ravages of poverty.

One Woman's Journey to Save Child Slaves

Former child prostitute Somaly Mam has made it her mission to rescue victims of sex slavery throughout the world

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