In 1920, America was reeling from a post-World War I fear that the Communist Revolution that had taken place in Russia would spread to the United States. As is often the case when fear outweighs rational debate, civil liberties paid the price.
The ACLU evolved over the next 90 years from a small group of idealists committed to protecting Americans’ civil liberties into one of the nation’s premier defender of the rights enshrined in the U.S. Constitution. The ACLU today continues to fight government abuse and to vigorously defend individual freedoms, often standing up for these rights even when the cause is unpopular and when nobody else will. While not everyone agrees with us on every issue, Americans have come to count on the ACLU for its unwavering dedication to principle.
While it would be impossible to present the ACLU’s rich history in its entirety, this exhibit highlights the important work of the organization across a broad spectrum of issues and illustrates the major contributions the ACLU has made to improve the lives of all Americans.