History re-tweets itself: Brown v. Board at 60 on Twitter


McClatchy Washington Bureau

What if today’s real-time social media existed during a key moment in American history?

National Park Service may provide the answer when it takes to Twitter to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s landmark Brown v. Board of Education school desegregation decision.

The Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site in Topeka, Kan., will conduct a re-enactment of the decision and the national reaction to it via Twitter on May 17 and May 18 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Twitter users can follow the re-enactment using the hashtag #Brown1954. The May 17 feed will center on the heart of the decision, starting with speculation among Supreme Court clerks and culminating with excerpts from Chief Justice Earl Warren’s reading of the Brown decision.

The following day’s feed will center on reactions – from citizens to the news media to organizations – from around the country. Brown v. Board historical site officials have created Twitter accounts for key ‘characters’ who’ll tweet out what they said in 1954.

Those figures include Warren (@SC_CJ_EWarren54), pro-segregationist Gov. Herman Talmadge of Georgia (@GovTalmadge54), Mississippi’s Jackson Daily News (@Jackson_Daily54) and The New York Times (@NY_Times54).

All the content in the re-enactment will come from direct quotes pulled from primary sources but will be lightly ‘translated’ so it can fit Twitter’s 140-character per-tweet platform, Brown v. Board historical site officials said.

The historical site’s official feed - @BRVB_NHS – will re-tweet abridged versions of the re-enactment on both days.

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