General

Glen Echo Park is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Dentzel carousel this year with a series of lectures. First in the series is “Ain’t No Back to a Merry-Go-Round: The Carousel Sit-in that Sparked a Summer of Protest.”

In 1960, three years before the March on Washington, a group of Howard University students went for a ride on Glen Echo Amusement Park’s carousel. Since the turn of the century, Glen Echo Amusement Park had been the metro area’s premiere recreation destination. But the park was whites only, and the Black students were arrested. This sit-in on the carousel set off nine weeks of pickets and arrests, most remarkable because the Howard students were immediately joined by the neighboring, predominantly white community of Bannockburn, home to many union organizers and progressive civil servants. Never before had a white community collaborated with a Black student group, and never before had the American Nazi Party counter-protested publicly.

This story and its ramifications is the subject of Emmy Award winning filmmaker Ilana Trachtman’s documentary-in-progress, “Ain’t No Back to a Merry-Go-Round.”

Join us as Trachtman introduces us to a few of the remarkable, “ordinary” individuals who stood up to injustice. She will share scenes from the film in progress, discuss the relevance of this unprecedented collaboration, and invite questions.

The Carousel 100th Anniversary lecture series is produced in collaboration with Montgomery History. Each lecture will last from 30-40 minutes, with a Q&A session at the end. The lectures will be presented on Zoom and registration is required. The recorded lectures will also be available on YouTube.

To register, click here.