May 2, 1967. More than two dozen members of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense stage an armed invasion of the California State Assembly, interrupting legislative debate in the second-floor chamber. They denounce a proposed gun control bill and the police, and then Panther chairman Bobby Seale reads from their manifesto:
“The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense believes the time has come for Black people to arm themselves against this terror before it is too late.”
After reading the manifesto, the Panthers leave the chamber. Twenty-six members of the group are quickly arrested four blocks away.
The Panthers were founded in October 1966 in Oakland by the six men pictured. Top left to right: Elbert “Big Man” Howard; Huey P. Newton (Defense Minister), Sherman Forte, Bobby Seale (Chairman). Bottom: Reggie Forte and Little Bobby Hutton (Treasurer). Photos via Wikimedia Commons.