This Day in History

July 15, 1978: The Longest Walk

Time Periods: Post-Civil Rights Era: 1975 - 2000
Themes: Native American

“The Longest Walk was intended to symbolize the forced removal of American Indians from their homelands and to draw attention to the continuing problems of Indian people and their communities. The event was also intended to expose and challenge the backlash movement against Indian treaty rights that was gaining strength around the country and in Congress. This backlash could be seen in the growing number of bills before Congress to abrogate Indian treaties and restrict Indian rights.” — in American Indian Activism: Alcatraz to the Longest Walk 

Lehman Brightman and others in the Longest Walk.

The Longest Walk, a transcontinental trek for Native American justice, which had begun with a few hundred departing Alcatraz Island, California, ended on July 15, 1978, when they arrived in Washington, D.C. accompanied by 30,000 marchers.