The Arlington Historical Society (AHS) will host Civil Rights-era legend Joan Mulholland at its next public program on Thursday, October 9.

Joan Mulholland participated in more than fifty sit-ins and protests by the time she was 23 years old. She was a Freedom Rider, a participant in the Jackson Woolworth Sit-in, and helped plan and organize the March on Washington in 1963.

For her actions she was disowned by her family, attacked, shot at, cursed at, put on death row and hunted down by the Ku Klux Klan for execution. Her path has crossed with some of the biggest names in the Civil Rights Movement: Martin Luther King, Medgar Evers, Fannie Lou Hamer, Robert F. Kennedy, John Lewis, Diane Nash, John Salter, and Harry Belafonte, to name a few. In addition, she has met such luminaries of that period like Joan Baez, Marlon Brando, Bob Dylan, Jesse Owens, Jackie Robinson and Pete Seeger.

During the October 9 program, Mulholland will show and discuss clips from her son Loki’s film, An Ordinary Hero. She will talk about growing up in Arlington’s Buckingham neighborhood and participating in an Arlington sit-in and the Freedom Rides. She will end with a clip about the grave of Medgar Evers in Arlington National Cemetery and discuss the Civil Rights Movement’s legacy.

Mulholland has appeared in several books including Growing up in Mississippi, Breach of Peace, and We Shall Not Be Moved. She has appeared on television and news programs like Oprah and CBS Nightly News. And her story and experiences were highlighted award-winning documentaries including An Ordinary Hero, PBS’s Freedom Riders, Standing on My Sister’s Shoulders, and the groundbreaking film Eyes on the Prize.

Mulholland has received numerous awards and recognition for her work in the Civil Rights Movement. Most recently she was recognized, along with other women Freedom Riders, by President Barack Obama, received Delta Sigma Theta, Inc.’s Annual Award of Honor, and the Anti-Defamation League Annual Heroes Against Hate Award.

The hour-long program will begin at 7:00pm at Arlington Central Library Auditorium (1015 N. Quincy Street). A question-and-answer session will follow. The program is free and open to the public. For additional Central Library information, please contact 703-228-5990.

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