Now & Then
Now & Then
Jan 25, 2022
When Americans Can't Turn Away
Play • 48 min

What kinds of events have inspired Americans to become activists? On this episode of Now & Then, “When Americans Can’t Turn Away,” Heather Cox Richardson and Joanne Freeman highlight moments where everyday people have spoken up to defend their rights and those of their neighbors. Heather and Joanne look at the catalyzing effects of the 1779 Battle of New Haven, John Quincy Adams’s 1840s crusade against the Gag Rule, and the 1946 blinding of Black World War II veteran Isaac Woodard. What does it take for Americans to suspend their everyday lives to support a cause? Why is activism important in a democracy? And what can past moments of political engagement tell us about the current push for voting rights activism?

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