The Liberty and Justice for All: ACLU of Missouri 1920-2020 exhibition commemorated the 100th anniversary of the official founding of the ACLU in Missouri (ACLU-MO) and coincided with National ALCU centennial exhibitions and programs. The ACLU-MO archives are a part of the library’s permanent collection and are a testament to the long, intertwined history of our organizations dating back to 1906. This exhibition was organized by Miranda Rectenwald, local history curator for Washington University Libraries.
In 2017, the Washington University Libraries’ Julian Edison Department of Special Collections and the ACLU of Missouri began preparation for the ACLU’s centennial in 2020. This work culminated in January 2020 with an event and exhibition at Olin Library. Over 200 people gathered to celebrate the vital work done by the ACLU of Missouri to defend the rights enshrined in our U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights.
The exhibition offered a window into the vast work done by the ACLU of Missouri over the past 100 years, including fights to protect free speech, early efforts for LGBTQ+ rights, and more. The struggle to end police brutality and to close inhumane jails is a thread that runs throughout the exhibit, beginning with cases from the 1930s to the present day.
Learn more about the exhibition and the collection at ACLU-MO@100 and by listening to the podcast episode The Intertwined History—and Future—of St. Louis and the 100-Year-Old ACLU featured on St. Louis on the Air in July of 2020.