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15 photos of people protesting at the White House and what they accomplished (or didn't).

Sure, a lot has happened inside. But here's a look at what's happened outside.

On Oct. 13, 1792, workers laid the cornerstone of what was to become the White House.

Over the next eight years, the two-story house at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. in Washington, D.C., took shape. On Nov. 1, 1800, President John Adams and his wife, Abigail, moved into what was then known as the Presidential Mansion.

Over the next 223 years, the building underwent major renovations — it was famously nearly destroyed by fire in 1814 — and has been the setting for countless historic moments in American history. But outside the dining halls with their lavish furnishings, conference rooms, and Oval Office lies another setting for democracy: the White House outer gates.


Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images.

Few places serve as natural gathering points for U.S. citizens who wish to partake in their First Amendment right to peaceably assemble quite like the White House.

And through the years, citizens have used that right to assemble and protest for and against issues like the environment, foreign policy, the military, the economy, and human rights.

Here's what 15 of those protests looked like.

1. March 4, 1917: Suffragettes take part in a silent protest for the right to vote.

Though the 19th Amendment itself wouldn't be passed and ratified for three more years, women were making their voices heard — or, in this case, not heard.

Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images.

2. Sept. 9, 1992: Tennis star Arthur Ashe protests the American treatment of Haitian immigrants.

Ashe, along with 94 others, was arrested at the protest. The question was why Haitians seeking asylum in the U.S. were being treated differently than those from other countries. While relations between the countries have improved over time, asylum seekers continue to run into many of the same problems.

Photo by RENAUD GIROUX/AFP/Getty Images.

3. June 4, 1998: an AIDS protest featuring the open casket of Steve Michael, the founder of ACT UP Washington, D.C.

On May 25, 1998, ACT UP Washington, D.C., founder Steve Michael died as the result of AIDS. On June 4, activists protested outside the White House, calling on President Bill Clinton to make good on his campaign promise of addressing AIDS. Michael's open casket was on display for the world to see. President Clinton was not able to live up to the promise of finding a cure for AIDS.

Photo by Jamal A. Wilson/AFP/Getty Images.

4. Feb. 14, 2005: a call on President George W. Bush to sign the Kyoto Protocol.

Seven years after the creation of the Kyoto Protocol, the U.S. remained one of the only countries not to agree to its standards for greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental markers. It's been over 10 years since that protest, and the U.S. never agreed to those guidelines.

Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images.

5. Sept. 8, 2005: Protesters push back on the White House's response to Hurricane Katrina.

The protest, organized by MoveOn PAC, criticized the Bush administration's handling of the rescue and cleanup efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. 10 years later, New Orleans is still recovering from the historic storm.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

6. Nov. 3, 2006: Children of undocumented immigrants ask President Bush not to deport their parents.

Many of these children were split from their parents when their parents were deported. Though Bush made an effort to pass comprehensive immigration reform, it stalled. Efforts since then have not gone very well either.

Photo by Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images.

7. Oct. 5, 2009: Protesters demand President Barack Obama pull troops out of Afghanistan and Iraq.

Protesters called on Obama to make good on campaign promises to end the wars. In December 2011, President Obama announced that the war in Iraq was officially over. And in Afghanistan, combat operations officially ended in December 2014. However, the regions remain extremely unstable, and U.S. presence remains.

Photo by Tim Sloan/AFP/Getty Images.

8. Jan. 11, 2010: Protesters mark the eighth anniversary of the opening of the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.

Nearly a year after President Obama ordered Guantanamo Bay closed, it remained very much in use. And it is still open.

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images.

9. May 11, 2010: Environmental activists respond to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

22 days after the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, protesters stood outside the White House gates, calling on the president to end offshore drilling. On May 27, the Department of the Interior enacted a six-month moratorium on drilling in the area. It has since resumed.

Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images.

10. Nov. 15, 2010: Protesters chain themselves to the fence to end the military's ban on gay and lesbian service members.

On Sept. 20, 2011, the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy barring gay, lesbian, and bisexual people from serving in the military came to an end with the backing of President Obama. However, transgender individuals are still barred from open service.

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images.

11. Aug. 22, 2011: Protesters urge the president to say no to the Keystone XL pipeline.

On Feb. 24, 2015, President Obama vetoed a bill to authorize the construction of the pipeline, citing "consideration of issues that could bear on our national interest — including our security, safety, and environment."

The Senate was unable to override his veto.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

12. Oct. 29, 2011: The Occupy movement makes its way to D.C., calling for higher taxes on top earners.

President Obama agreed to a one-year extension of the Bush-era tax cuts. At the beginning of 2013, however, many of those cuts expired, resulting in a tax increase for many. Still, it wasn't the "Robin Hood"-type tax Occupy protesters hoped for.

Photo by Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images.

13. Aug. 29, 2013: Anti-war protesters protest military intervention in Syria.

Days later, President Obama announced that he had asked Congress to approve airstrikes against the Assad regime. A year later, the president launched strikes against ISIS.

Photo by Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images.

14. Nov. 24, 2014: Protesters react to the grand jury decision regarding Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

A St. Louis County grand jury opted against indicting Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. In August, Wilson shot and killed Michael Brown. This is just one of the several events that sparked the Black Lives Matter movement.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

By its very nature, protest is disruptive. It's our right as Americans to exercise that option.

Protests aren't necessarily clean, convenient, or quiet. All that has changed is the many ways people are able to get their messages out to the world. In decades past, protesters relied on the media alone to make their message heard beyond those in attendance. With the rise of social media over the past half decade or so, it has become easier to connect, share stories, and spread political messages all over the world.

Some will take to the White House gates; others may do their part in the digital realm. What matters is that people still care, and people are still passionate.

Images courtesy of Letters of Love
True

When Grace Berbig was 7 years old, her mom was diagnosed with leukemia, a cancer of the body’s blood-forming tissues. Being so young, Grace didn’t know what cancer was or why her mother was suddenly living in the hospital. But she did know this: that while her mom was in the hospital, she would always be assured that her family was thinking of her, supporting her and loving her every step of her journey.

Nearly every day, Grace and her two younger sisters would hand-make cards and fill them with drawings and messages of love, which their mother would hang all over the walls of her hospital room. These cherished letters brought immeasurable peace and joy to their mom during her sickness. Sadly, when Grace was just 10 years old, her mother lost her battle with cancer.“

Image courtesy of Letters of Love

Losing my mom put the world in a completely different perspective for me,” Grace says. “I realized that you never know when someone could leave you, so you have to love the people you love with your whole heart, every day.”

Grace’s father was instrumental in helping in the healing process of his daughters. “I distinctly remember my dad constantly reminding my two little sisters, Bella and Sophie, and I that happiness is a choice, and it was now our job to turn this heartbreaking event in our life into something positive.”

When she got to high school, Grace became involved in the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and a handful of other organizations. But she never felt like she was doing enough.

“I wanted to create an opportunity for people to help beyond donating money, and one that anyone could be a part of, no matter their financial status.”

In October 2018, Grace started Letters of Love, a club at her high school in Long Lake, Minnesota, to emotionally support children battling cancer and other serious illnesses through letter-writing and craft-making.


Image courtesy of Letters of Love

Much to her surprise, more than 100 students showed up for the first club meeting. From then on, Letters of Love grew so fast that during her senior year in high school, Grace had to start a GoFundMe to help cover the cost of card-making materials.

Speaking about her nonprofit today, Grace says, “I can’t find enough words to explain how blessed I feel to have this organization. Beyond the amount of kids and families we are able to support, it allows me to feel so much closer and more connected to my mom.”

Since its inception, Letters of Love has grown to more than 25 clubs with more than 1,000 members providing emotional support to more than 60,000 patients in children’s hospitals around the world. And in the process it has become a full-time job for Grace.

“I do everything from training volunteers and club ambassadors, paying bills, designing merchandise, preparing financial predictions and overviews, applying for grants, to going through each and every card ensuring they are appropriate to send out to hospitals.”

Image courtesy of Letters of Love

In addition to running Letters of Love, Grace and her small team must also contend with the emotions inherent in their line of work.

“There have been many, many tears cried,” she says. “Working to support children who are battling cancer and other serious and sometimes chronic illnesses can absolutely be extremely difficult mentally. I feel so blessed to be an organization that focuses solely on bringing joy to these children, though. We do everything we can to simply put a smile on their face, and ensure they know that they are so loved, so strong, and so supported by people all around the world.”

Image courtesy of Letters of Love

Letters of Love has been particularly instrumental in offering emotional support to children who have been unable to see friends and family due to COVID-19. A video campaign in the summer of 2021 even saw members of the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings and the NHL’s Minnesota Wild offer short videos of hope and encouragement to affected children.

Grace is currently taking a gap year before she starts college so she can focus on growing Letters of Love as well as to work on various related projects, including the publication of a children’s book.

“The goal of the book is to teach children the immense impact that small acts of kindness can have, how to treat their peers who may be diagnosed with disabilities or illness, and how they are never too young to change the world,” she says.

Since she was 10, Grace has kept memories of her mother close to her, as a source of love and inspiration in her life and in the work she does with Letters of Love.

Image courtesy of Grace Berbig

“When I lost my mom, I felt like a section of my heart went with her, so ever since, I have been filling that piece with love and compassion towards others. Her smile and joy were infectious, and I try to mirror that in myself and touch people’s hearts as she did.”

For more information visit Letters of Love.

Please donate to Grace’s GoFundMe and help Letters of Love to expand, publish a children’s book and continue to reach more children in hospitals around the world.

Ronny Tertnes' "liquid sculptures" are otherworldly.

Human beings have sculpted artwork out of all kinds of materials throughout history, from clay to concrete to bronze. Some sculpt with water in the form of ice, but what if you could create sculptures with small drops of liquid?

Norwegian artist Ronny Tertnes does just that. His "liquid sculptures" look like something from another planet or another dimension, while at the same time are entirely recognizable as water droplets.

I mean, check this out:


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Images courtesy of AFutureSuperhero and Friends and Balance Dance Project
True

The day was scorching hot, but the weather wasn’t going to stop a Star Wars Stormtrooper from handing out school supplies to a long line of eager children. “You guys don’t have anything illegal back there - any droids or anything?” the Stormtrooper asks, making sure he was safe from enemies before handing over a colorful backpack to a smiling boy.

The man inside the costume is Yuri Williams, founder of AFutureSuperhero And Friends, a Los Angeles nonprofit that uplifts and inspires marginalized people with small acts of kindness.

Yuri’s organization is one of four inaugural grant winners from the Upworthy Kindness Fund, a joint initiative between Upworthy and GoFundMe that celebrates kindness and everyday actions inspired by the best of humanity. This year, the Upworthy Kindness Fund is giving $100,000 to grassroots changemakers across the world.

To apply, campaign organizers simply tell Upworthy how their kindness project is making a difference. Between now and the end of 2021, each accepted individual or organization will receive $500 towards an existing GoFundMe and a shout-out on Upworthy.

Meet the first four winners:

1: Balance Dance Project: This studio aims to bring accessible dance to all in the Sacramento, CA area. Lead fundraiser Miranda Macias says many dancers spend hours a day at Balance practicing contemporary, lyrical, hip-hop, and ballet. Balance started a GoFundMe to raise money to cover tuition for dancers from low-income communities, buy dance team uniforms, and update its facility. The $500 contribution from the Kindness Fund nudged Balance closer to its $5,000 goal.

2: Citizens of the World Mar Vista Robotics Team: In Los Angeles, middle school teacher James Pike is introducing his students to the field of robotics via a Lego-building team dedicated to solving real-world problems.

James started a GoFundMe to crowdfund supplies for his students’ team ahead of the First Lego League, a school-against-school matchup that includes robotics competitions. The team, James explained, needed help to cover half the cost of the pricey $4,000 robotics kit. Thanks to help from the Upworthy Kindness Fund and the generosity of the Citizens of the World Middle School community, the team exceeded its initial fundraising goal.

Citizens of the World Mar Vista Robotics Team video update youtu.be

3: Black Fluidity Tattoo Club: Kiara Mills and Tann Parker want to fix a big problem in the tattoo industry: there are too few Black tattoo artists. To tackle the issue, the duo founded the Black Fluidity Tattoo Club to inspire and support Black tattooers. While the Brooklyn organization is open to any Black person, Kiara and Tann specifically want to encourage dark-skinned artists to train in an affirming space among people with similar identities.

To make room for newcomers, the club recently moved into a larger studio with a third station for apprentices or guest artists. Unlike a traditional fundraiser that supports the organization exclusively, Black Fluidity Tattoo Club will distribute proceeds from GoFundMe directly to emerging Black tattoo artists who are starting their own businesses. The small grants, supported in part with a $500 contribution from the Upworthy Kindness Fund, will go towards artists’ equipment, supplies, furnishings, and other start-up costs.

4: AFutureSuperhero And Friends’ “Hope For The Holidays”: Founder Yuri Williams is fundraising for a holiday trip to spread cheer to people in need across all fifty states.

Along with collaborator Rodney Smith Jr., Yuri will be handing out gifts to children, adults, and animals dressed as a Star Wars’ Stormtrooper, Spiderman, Deadpool, and other movie or comic book characters. Starting this month, the crew will be visiting children with disabilities or serious illnesses, bringing leashes and toys to animal shelters for people taking home a new pet, and spreading blessings to unhoused people—all while in superhero costume. This will be the third time Yuri and his nonprofit have taken this journey.

AFutureSuperhero started a GoFundMe in July to cover the cost of gifts as well as travel expenses like hotels and rental cars. To help the nonprofit reach its $15,000 goal, the Upworthy Kindness Fund contributed $500 towards this good cause.

Think you qualify for the fund? Tell us how you’re bringing kindness to your community. Grants will be awarded on a rolling basis from now through the end of 2021. For questions and more information, please check out our FAQ's and the Kindness Toolkit for resources on how to start your own kindness fundraiser.

The scarf, a simple accessory that some find an essential fashion piece. Both fashionable and function with the warmth they provide, scarves can be a valuable gift for any occasion or person. Here, we've selected our best selling scarves from our store. At Upworthy Market, when you purchase a product, you directly support the artisans who craft their own products, so with every purchase, you're doing good. These scarves are not only unique, but they are hand-made by local artisans and all under $30.

1. Fair Trade Woven Dark Gray Alpaca Blend Scarf

Celinda Jaco selects a cozy blend of Andean alpaca for this handsome men's scarf. Classic in style, it features fine stripes of white and black woven through the dark grey textile. Hand-tied fringe completes a distinguished design.

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We all need a break from the less pleasant parts of life, and cheering ourselves up with simple, happy things is a tried and true way to push those endorphins and lift our mood for a bit.

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