Skip to main content

Into the Bright Sunshine: Young Hubert Humphrey and the Fight for Civil Rights

Date & Time

Oct. 12, 2023
4:00pm – 5:30pm ET


Online Only
Zoom Webinar


Conventional wisdom says that the Civil Rights Movement essentially began in the 1950s with the Brown v. Board of Education decision and the Montgomery bus boycott. Conventional wisdom also says that Hubert Humphrey betrayed his liberal heritage with his support of the Vietnam War. While both of those statements contain elements of truth, speaker Samuel G. Freedman will be arguing that the young Humphrey played an instrumental role in the proto-Civil Rights Movement of the 1940s, which prepared the political soil for the breakthroughs of later decades. 

Samuel Freedman is the author of ten books, including the newly-released book "Into the Bright Sunshine: Young Hubert Humphrey and the Fight for Civil Rights." Freedman is a professor of journalism at Columbia University and a former columnist for The New York Times. He has been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize (for his 1996 book "The Inheritance: How Three Families and America Moved from Roosevelt to Reagan") and for the National Book Award (for his 1990 book "Small Victories: The Real World of a Teacher, Her Students, and Their High School").

The Washington History Seminar is co-chaired by Eric Arnesen (George Washington University) and Christian Ostermann (Woodrow Wilson Center) and is organized jointly by the American Historical Association and the Woodrow Wilson Center's History and Public Policy Program. It meets weekly during the academic year. The seminar thanks its anonymous individual donors and institutional partner (the George Washington University History Department) for their continued support.


Samuel Freedman

Samuel Freedman

Professor of Journalism, Columbia University


Jane Dailey

Jane Dailey

Professor of American History, the Law School, and the College, University of Chicago
Elizabeth Tandy Shermer

Elizabeth Tandy Shermer

Professor of History, Loyola University Chicago

Hosted By

History and Public Policy Program

The History and Public Policy Program makes public the primary source record of 20th and 21st century international history from repositories around the world, facilitates scholarship based on those records, and uses these materials to provide context for classroom, public, and policy debates on global affairs.  Read more

Thank you for your interest in this event. Please send any feedback or questions to our Events staff.