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Tania Dall / Eyewitness News
Email: tdall@wwltv.com | Twitter: @taniadall

New Orleans, La. -- The New Orleans City Council is declaring this weekend 'Civil Rights Sunday.' The designation marks the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act.

On Saturday a special photo exhibit was unveiled in the French Quarter to commemorate the historic event.

'There are a lot of people in some of these photographs who I know, or knew many of them who have passed away,' said Henry Julien. Back in 1964, Julien was in high school taking part in sit-ins and marches fighting for equality.

Photos from that page in history line the walls of the National Park Service's Visitor Information Center in the French Quarter --- a tribute to a turbulent time.

'It brings back a lot of memories. Good memories and also some painful memories of what people had to go through to endure and get to where we are today,' said Julien.

A newly formed New Orleans group called Liberty 64 is organizing nine-days of events to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The photo exhibit unveiled on Saturday is one of them. Organizers say its a way for those who lived through the civil rights moment and future generations --- to not forget the past.

'While people were taking advantage of the opportunities they were forgetting the history and there was never a celebration of the signing of the Civil Rights Act,' said Liberty 64 Founder, Dionne Butler.

'I just think about all the people I knew in the pictures,' said Felicia Kahn who helped with voter registration drives and fought for integration. She was a part of those historic events leading up to President Lyndon B. Johnson's signing of the Civil Rights Act.

Looking back now Kahn believes civil rights activists didn't fully grasp the long reach of their actions. 'I guess we didn't realize what we were doing when we were doing it. We were deep in the area of community relations, human relations,' said Kahn.

50-year-old memories for some, brought back to life in pictures. A poignant reminder to us all. 'We've made a lot of progress but we still have a long way to go,' said Julien.

This Wednesday marks the official 50th anniversary of Civil Rights Act being signed into law.

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