Open Wounds: The 50-Year Legacy of the Attica Prison Uprising

On exhibit September 1, 2021–January 28, 2022

2nd Floor Conference Room, Rundel Memorial Building

In September 1971, incarcerated men the Attica State Correctional Facility found themselves in a standoff against New York State over deplorable and dehumanizing conditions in the prison. Inmates took 42 prison staff as hostages in an attempt to force reform. Gov. Nelson Rockefeller refused to participate in negotiations and ordered law enforcement to retake the prison by force. In a violent and blood conclusion, 39 people—including nine hostages—were killed by police gunfire. Investigations and settlement proceedings went on for decades, and many questions about what exactly happened and why remain unanswered today. This exhibit, developed by the New York State Museum, explores the four-day standoff, its aftermath, and its relevancy today.

Supplemental “Local Connections” content curated by Chris Christopher, Gary Craig, and Christine L. Ridarsky and produced by the Central Library of Rochester & Monroe County.

Presented by the Local History & Genealogy Division. For information, call 585-428-8370.