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Chicano Park San Diego Mural
A mural at Chicano Park, the country’s largest collection of outdoor murals and recently designated National Historic Landmark
kellinahandbasket: Flickr/Creative Commons

New civil rights monuments across the U.S., mapped

Monuments, parks, and historic homes that expound upon and explain vital chapters of our nation’s history

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A mural at Chicano Park, the country’s largest collection of outdoor murals and recently designated National Historic Landmark
| kellinahandbasket: Flickr/Creative Commons

Spring weather and summer’s approach are powerful reminders that road trip season is approaching. In other words, it’s fast becoming prime time for planning trips to see the nation’s national park system, a summertime staple which has become even more of a draw over the last few years. In 2016, during the centenary of the creation of the NPS, the system tallied 330 million recreational visits, a record-setting year that saw a 7.72 percent increase in visits from the previous year’s total.

While majestic landscapes will always be a huge draw, the NPS has increasingly broadened its scope over the last few years to encompass different aspects of the nation’s history. Monuments to the civil rights struggle and social movements have become a bigger part of the system’s offerings, especially during President Obama’s time in office, when he sought to “build a more inclusive National Park System and ensure that our national parks, monuments and public lands are fully reflective of our nation’s diverse history and culture.” Here’s a map of some of the recently designated monuments and parks that help tell more of the country’s story.

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1. Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument

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1510 5th Ave N
Birmingham, AL 35203

This Alabama city’s pivotal role in the Civil Rights struggle will be showcased by this multifaceted collection of landmarks, which was just dedicated over the weekend. From the A.G. Gaston Motel, a symbol of African-American entrepreneurship and a center of movement activity as well as the 16th Street Baptist Church, the tragic site of a KKK bombing in 1963 that outraged the nation, this collection of sites showcases Birmingham’s important place in history, and grew out of the city’s own efforts to recognize its past and focus on preservation.

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute

2. Belmont-Paul Women's Equality National Monument

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144 Constitution Ave NE
Washington, DC 20002

Named after two key players in the early days of the organization—Alva Belmont, who was a major benefactor of the National Woman's Party, and Alice Paul, who founded the Party and was the chief strategist—the home of the National Woman’s Party, also known as the Sewall-Belmont House, is one of the oldest historic mansions in the capital, located near the Supreme Court and Senate office building. The decision to make this home a National Monument is the culmination of decades of work to preserve the mansion beginning in the early ‘70s, including support from conservationists, elected officials, and community leaders.

3. Reconstruction Era National Monument

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1 Pinckney Blvd
Beaufort, SC 29902

This complex of buildings and museums represent the promises of Reconstruction, the period after the Civil War where freed slaves started realizing their rights and determining their own destiny. This region in the Sea Islands or "Lowcountry" of southeastern South Carolina, liberated by Union forces in late 1861, became the “rehearsal for Reconstruction,” a place where freed blacks began starting up their own businesses, attending school, and starting their own churches, such as the famous Brick Baptist Church. Designated just last year, the park has limited services and is still under development.

4. Freedom Riders National Monument

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AL-21
Anniston, AL

This site honors the bravery and courage of the Freedom Riders, a group of activists who protested segregated transportation in the South. The site in Anniston, Alabama, includes a former Greyhound bus station and the site where the riders were attacked; a mob firebombed the bus and held the door shut to trap everyone inside. The area is still under development, and a non-profit hopes to eventually build a park at the site.

National Park Service

5. Medgar and Myrlie Evers House National Historic Landmark

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2332 Margaret W Alexander Dr
Jackson, MS 39213

Medgers Evers was on the front lines of the Mississippi Civil Rights struggle from 1955 until he was assassinated at his home in 1963. His battles in what was called the “deepest bastion of segregation” made him national leader, and his assassination was a catalyst for the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. After his death, his wife Myrlie took on a more prominent role in the NAACP. This site will be overseen and operated by nearby Tougaloo College.

Medgar and Myrlie Evers House Visit Mississippi: Flickr/Creative Commons

6. Chicano Park National Historic Landmark

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2001 National Ave
San Diego, CA 92113

Once known as part of Barrio Logan, due to its large number of Mexican residents, this 7.9-acre park in San Diego is home to the nation’s largest collection of outdoor murals. The site became a center of art and Latino culture when residents demanded the city stick by its promise to build a park in the area, and activists occupied the land in 1970 until an agreement was made to build a public green space. The overpasses and support pillars have since been decorated with colorful murals and artwork.

Chicano Park Mural in San Diego teddeady: Flickr/Creative Commons

7. Pauli Murray Family Home National Historic Landmark

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906 Carroll St
Durham, NC 27701

An attorney, poet, activist, teacher and Episcopal priest, Pauli Murray was an early civil rights leader and trailblazer, coining the term “Jane Crow” to describe the impact of segregation on women. She even co-authored a judicial decision with future Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, in addition to writing a celebrated autobiography, Proud Shoes. Her 1950 volume on discriminatory laws, States' Laws on Race and Color, was called the “bible of the civil rights movement” by Thurgood Marshall. In 1966, she cofounded the National Organization for Women.

Pauli Murray House Barbara Lau

8. May 4, 1970, Kent State Shootings Site National Historic Landmark

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800 E Summit St
Kent, OH 44240

During a May 4 protest at Kent State University, the Ohio National Guard opened fire on a group of students marching against the Vietnam War, killing four and wounding nine. The tragedy led to student strikes across the country and altered public opinion about the war. The landmarked site consists of 17.4 acres of campus where soldiers, protesters, and observers/sympathizers moved across campus that morning.

Getty Images

9. Pullman National Monument

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11111 S Forrestville Ave
Chicago, IL 60628

Nicknamed "The World's Most Perfect Town" due to its orderly layout, green spaces and clockwork public services, this factory town, built by the railroad car tycoon, is a symbol of the rise of both the country's labor movement and black middle class. Industrialist George M. Pullman purchased 4,000 acres in 1879, with construction of the town beginning the following year utilizing bricks made from Lake Calumet Clay. It was one of the first examples of mass-scale, industrial construction, a process that created a village of 1,000 buildings in just three years. Architect Solon Spencer Beman was proud his row houses provided an above-average standard of living for workers.

Pullman National Monument in Chicago anokarina: Flickr/Creative Commons

10. Stonewall National Monument

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53 Christopher St
New York, NY 10014

The Stonewall riots began at this small bar on Christopher Street in New York CIty’s Greenwich Village on June 28, 1969, and are seen by many as the catalyst for the modern LGBT rights movement. An unplanned response to regular, city-sanctioned harassment by the police turned into a nearly week-long conflict that gained the national media spotlight and helped kickstart a new movement for equality.

Stonewall Inn, New York City Travis Wise: Flickr/Creative Commons

11. César E. Chávez National Monument

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Woodford-Tehachapi Rd
Keene, CA 93531

Known as Nuestra Señora Reina de la Paz, this estate was home to activist Cesar Chavez, considered the country’s most famous Latino activist, who popularized the “Yes We Can” chant (or "¡Si se puede!"). His work on behalf of farm and agricultural workers, via a myriad of protests boycotts and fasts in California and beyond helped increase wages, secure worker’s rights, and led to the formation of the country's first permanent agricultural union, United Farm Workers.

National Park Service

12. Fort Monroe National Monument

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20 Ingalls Rd
Fort Monroe, VA 23651

An island in the Chesapeake Bay, this military installation, named after President James Monroe, played a role throughout the history of the Commonwealth, and was one of the few parts of Virginia that remained in Union control throughout the Civil War. This “Freedom Fortress” became a refuge for slaves and freedom seekers throughout that conflict.

National Park Service

13. Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument

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1120 US-42
Xenia, OH 45385

Born into slavery, Charles Young was a pioneering African-American soldier in the 19th century, graduating from West Point, serving as the first black national park superintendent, and was the highest-ranking black officer in the U.S. Army until he passed away in 1922. Young was a leader among the Buffalo Soldiers, the first regular all-black unit in the U.S. military, that fought the Indian Wars of the later 19th century.

14. Honouliuli National Monument

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Waipahu St
Waipahu, HI 96797

Opened in 1943, the Honouliuli Internment Camp was the largest in Hawaii, and the only one built for long-term internment of Japanese-Americans held in government camps during WWII. While President Obama designated the site a National Monument in 2015, it has yet to open to the public.

15. Harriet Tubman National Historic Park

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180 South St
Auburn, NY 13021

Not to be confused with the new Harriet Tubman park that opened in Maryland’s Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, which tells the story of this pioneering activist, this park in upstate New York was Tubman’s home after the Civil War, and was her base for progressive political organizing around civil rights and women’s rights for decades.

Becker1999: Flickr/Creative Commons

1. Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument

1510 5th Ave N, Birmingham, AL 35203
Birmingham Civil Rights Institute

This Alabama city’s pivotal role in the Civil Rights struggle will be showcased by this multifaceted collection of landmarks, which was just dedicated over the weekend. From the A.G. Gaston Motel, a symbol of African-American entrepreneurship and a center of movement activity as well as the 16th Street Baptist Church, the tragic site of a KKK bombing in 1963 that outraged the nation, this collection of sites showcases Birmingham’s important place in history, and grew out of the city’s own efforts to recognize its past and focus on preservation.

1510 5th Ave N
Birmingham, AL 35203

2. Belmont-Paul Women's Equality National Monument

144 Constitution Ave NE, Washington, DC 20002

Named after two key players in the early days of the organization—Alva Belmont, who was a major benefactor of the National Woman's Party, and Alice Paul, who founded the Party and was the chief strategist—the home of the National Woman’s Party, also known as the Sewall-Belmont House, is one of the oldest historic mansions in the capital, located near the Supreme Court and Senate office building. The decision to make this home a National Monument is the culmination of decades of work to preserve the mansion beginning in the early ‘70s, including support from conservationists, elected officials, and community leaders.

144 Constitution Ave NE
Washington, DC 20002

3. Reconstruction Era National Monument

1 Pinckney Blvd, Beaufort, SC 29902

This complex of buildings and museums represent the promises of Reconstruction, the period after the Civil War where freed slaves started realizing their rights and determining their own destiny. This region in the Sea Islands or "Lowcountry" of southeastern South Carolina, liberated by Union forces in late 1861, became the “rehearsal for Reconstruction,” a place where freed blacks began starting up their own businesses, attending school, and starting their own churches, such as the famous Brick Baptist Church. Designated just last year, the park has limited services and is still under development.

1 Pinckney Blvd
Beaufort, SC 29902

4. Freedom Riders National Monument

AL-21, Anniston, AL
National Park Service

This site honors the bravery and courage of the Freedom Riders, a group of activists who protested segregated transportation in the South. The site in Anniston, Alabama, includes a former Greyhound bus station and the site where the riders were attacked; a mob firebombed the bus and held the door shut to trap everyone inside. The area is still under development, and a non-profit hopes to eventually build a park at the site.

AL-21
Anniston, AL

5. Medgar and Myrlie Evers House National Historic Landmark

2332 Margaret W Alexander Dr, Jackson, MS 39213
Medgar and Myrlie Evers House Visit Mississippi: Flickr/Creative Commons

Medgers Evers was on the front lines of the Mississippi Civil Rights struggle from 1955 until he was assassinated at his home in 1963. His battles in what was called the “deepest bastion of segregation” made him national leader, and his assassination was a catalyst for the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. After his death, his wife Myrlie took on a more prominent role in the NAACP. This site will be overseen and operated by nearby Tougaloo College.

2332 Margaret W Alexander Dr
Jackson, MS 39213

6. Chicano Park National Historic Landmark

2001 National Ave, San Diego, CA 92113
Chicano Park Mural in San Diego teddeady: Flickr/Creative Commons

Once known as part of Barrio Logan, due to its large number of Mexican residents, this 7.9-acre park in San Diego is home to the nation’s largest collection of outdoor murals. The site became a center of art and Latino culture when residents demanded the city stick by its promise to build a park in the area, and activists occupied the land in 1970 until an agreement was made to build a public green space. The overpasses and support pillars have since been decorated with colorful murals and artwork.

2001 National Ave
San Diego, CA 92113

7. Pauli Murray Family Home National Historic Landmark

906 Carroll St, Durham, NC 27701
Pauli Murray House Barbara Lau

An attorney, poet, activist, teacher and Episcopal priest, Pauli Murray was an early civil rights leader and trailblazer, coining the term “Jane Crow” to describe the impact of segregation on women. She even co-authored a judicial decision with future Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, in addition to writing a celebrated autobiography, Proud Shoes. Her 1950 volume on discriminatory laws, States' Laws on Race and Color, was called the “bible of the civil rights movement” by Thurgood Marshall. In 1966, she cofounded the National Organization for Women.

906 Carroll St
Durham, NC 27701

8. May 4, 1970, Kent State Shootings Site National Historic Landmark

800 E Summit St, Kent, OH 44240
Getty Images

During a May 4 protest at Kent State University, the Ohio National Guard opened fire on a group of students marching against the Vietnam War, killing four and wounding nine. The tragedy led to student strikes across the country and altered public opinion about the war. The landmarked site consists of 17.4 acres of campus where soldiers, protesters, and observers/sympathizers moved across campus that morning.

800 E Summit St
Kent, OH 44240

9. Pullman National Monument

11111 S Forrestville Ave, Chicago, IL 60628
Pullman National Monument in Chicago anokarina: Flickr/Creative Commons

Nicknamed "The World's Most Perfect Town" due to its orderly layout, green spaces and clockwork public services, this factory town, built by the railroad car tycoon, is a symbol of the rise of both the country's labor movement and black middle class. Industrialist George M. Pullman purchased 4,000 acres in 1879, with construction of the town beginning the following year utilizing bricks made from Lake Calumet Clay. It was one of the first examples of mass-scale, industrial construction, a process that created a village of 1,000 buildings in just three years. Architect Solon Spencer Beman was proud his row houses provided an above-average standard of living for workers.

11111 S Forrestville Ave
Chicago, IL 60628

10. Stonewall National Monument

53 Christopher St, New York, NY 10014
Stonewall Inn, New York City Travis Wise: Flickr/Creative Commons

The Stonewall riots began at this small bar on Christopher Street in New York CIty’s Greenwich Village on June 28, 1969, and are seen by many as the catalyst for the modern LGBT rights movement. An unplanned response to regular, city-sanctioned harassment by the police turned into a nearly week-long conflict that gained the national media spotlight and helped kickstart a new movement for equality.

53 Christopher St
New York, NY 10014

11. César E. Chávez National Monument

Woodford-Tehachapi Rd, Keene, CA 93531
National Park Service

Known as Nuestra Señora Reina de la Paz, this estate was home to activist Cesar Chavez, considered the country’s most famous Latino activist, who popularized the “Yes We Can” chant (or "¡Si se puede!"). His work on behalf of farm and agricultural workers, via a myriad of protests boycotts and fasts in California and beyond helped increase wages, secure worker’s rights, and led to the formation of the country's first permanent agricultural union, United Farm Workers.

Woodford-Tehachapi Rd
Keene, CA 93531

12. Fort Monroe National Monument

20 Ingalls Rd, Fort Monroe, VA 23651
National Park Service

An island in the Chesapeake Bay, this military installation, named after President James Monroe, played a role throughout the history of the Commonwealth, and was one of the few parts of Virginia that remained in Union control throughout the Civil War. This “Freedom Fortress” became a refuge for slaves and freedom seekers throughout that conflict.

20 Ingalls Rd
Fort Monroe, VA 23651

13. Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument

1120 US-42, Xenia, OH 45385

Born into slavery, Charles Young was a pioneering African-American soldier in the 19th century, graduating from West Point, serving as the first black national park superintendent, and was the highest-ranking black officer in the U.S. Army until he passed away in 1922. Young was a leader among the Buffalo Soldiers, the first regular all-black unit in the U.S. military, that fought the Indian Wars of the later 19th century.

1120 US-42
Xenia, OH 45385

14. Honouliuli National Monument

Waipahu St, Waipahu, HI 96797

Opened in 1943, the Honouliuli Internment Camp was the largest in Hawaii, and the only one built for long-term internment of Japanese-Americans held in government camps during WWII. While President Obama designated the site a National Monument in 2015, it has yet to open to the public.

Waipahu St
Waipahu, HI 96797

15. Harriet Tubman National Historic Park

180 South St, Auburn, NY 13021
Becker1999: Flickr/Creative Commons

Not to be confused with the new Harriet Tubman park that opened in Maryland’s Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, which tells the story of this pioneering activist, this park in upstate New York was Tubman’s home after the Civil War, and was her base for progressive political organizing around civil rights and women’s rights for decades.

180 South St
Auburn, NY 13021