Old Press Photo Shows 21-year-old Bernie Sanders Arrested in Anti-segregation Rally

Taken while Bernie Sanders was a student at the University of Chicago, photo could bolster presidential candidate's civil rights credentials at a crucial time.

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Video footage of Bernie Sanders being arrested.Credit: Chicago Tribune/'63 Boycott and Kartemquin Films

A 1963 photograph from the Chicago Tribune archives showing a man being arrested at a Chicago civil rights demonstration is U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, his campaign has confirmed. "Bernie identified it himself," the paper quoted Sanders campaign official Tad Devine as saying.

The find in the newspaper archives could serve to buttress the candidate's civil rights credentials at a time when he is seeking to cultivate black voters. Earlier this month, at an event at which a political action committee endorsed Sanders' opponent, Hillary Clinton, Congressman John Lewis of Georgia initially seemed to question the extent of Sanders' involvement in the civil rights movement.

CNN reported Lewis as saying: "I never saw him. I never met him," and adding: "I was chair of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee for three years, from 1963 to 1966. I was involved with the sit-ins, the Freedom Rides, the March on Washington, the march from Selma to Montgomery and directed [the] voter education project for six years. But I met Hillary Clinton. I met President [Bill] Clinton."

Two days later, Lewis backtracked, saying: "The fact that I did not meet him in the movement does not mean I doubted that Sen. Sanders participated, neither was I attempting to disparage his activism."

Sanders, a 21-year-old University of Chicago student in 1963, was photographed at a south side Chicago demonstration over segregated schools in the area, where there was a practice of sending Black students to mobile classrooms in trailers rather than to neighborhood white schools, the Tribune reported. Sanders was charged and convicted of resisting arrest and fined $25, the newspaper said, adding: "At the University of Chicago, he was a leader of the Congress of Racial Equality, a major civil rights group. News accounts from the time had Sanders leading protests over racial inequality."

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