John Gager, Freedom Rider, Nov. 9

2014 nov gager mug shot

John Gager, one of the Freedom Riders who took a Trai2014 nov gager currentlways bus to Mississippi during the summer of 1961, will speak at Princeton United Methodist church on Sunday, November 9, at an 8 a.m. breakfast in the Fellowship Hall.

Gager participated in the civil disobedience protests against discriminatory Jim Crow laws and was arrested and jailed. “By pushing the boundaries, the civil-rights protests opened up space where people could think and act differently. The greatest changes come about not through changes in law, but in attitude,” said Gager in an interview with Princeton Alumni Weekly.

He retired in 2006 as the William H. Danforth Professor of Religion after 38 years on the Princeton University faculty.

This program will complement the traveling exhibit, “Risking Everything: A Freedom Summer,” which will be at the John Witherspoon Learning Commons, 217 Walnut Lane, from November 16 to 23 and at the Carl A. Fields Center from November 25 to December 5.

This exhibit is cosponsored by the Princeton Public Library and Not in Our Town. It launches with civil rights activist Bob Moses speaking about the 1965 Freedom Riders on Sunday, November 16, at 2 p.m. at the JW Middle School Auditorium. Other events include a panel discussion led by Ted Fetter on Thursday, November 20, at 7 p.m. at the Princeton Public Library and a film at the Garden Theatre on Sunday, November 23, at 1 p.m.

Anyone in the community may attend to attend to learn more about this groundbreaking period of our fairly recent history in the USA.  A donation of $5 is requested. The church is located on Nassau at Vandeventer: use the red door.  RSVP at 609 924-2613 by 12 noon on Friday, November 7 or email UMM@princetonumc.org.

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