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1964: The Freedom Summer

1964: The Freedom Summer

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1964: The Freedom Summer

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  1. 1964:The Freedom Summer By Sharon D. Wells Windsor Spring Elementary School

  2. 1964: The Freedom Summer • Freedom Summer 1964 was a campaign for black voter registration in the Deep South organized by young people from everywhere whose sacrifices have created a more just society. It was during the Freedom Summer 1964 events that civil rights activists and Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) members James Earl Chaney, Michael Schwerner, and Andrew Goodman were murdered in Mississippi, while working to secure the rights of the poor and black. In their memory, the Chaney Goodman Schwerner Justice Coalition will ride again for freedom and justice.

  3. 1964: The Freedom Summer • Freedom Rides were the acts of courageous individuals who sought to end the segregation of public transportation throughout the South. These individuals boarded buses, planes, and trains headed for the Deep South enduring harassment, beatings, and arrests as they tried to promote equality through non-violent strategies.

  4. American RadioWorks contributing photographer Steve Schapiro covered the Mississippi Summer Project for Life Magazine in 1964. “Oh Freedom Over Me” A slideshow by American RadioWorks.

  5. At the training sessions for Summer Project volunteers in Oxford, Ohio, in June, 1964, staff members with the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) demonstrate techniques of non-violent resistance and self-preservation. 1964: The Freedom Summer

  6. 1964: The Freedom Summer SNCC and CORE staff members lecture the volunteers on conditions in the segregated South.

  7. 1964: The Freedom Summer Bob Moses, leader of SNCC's voter registration efforts in Mississippi from 1960 through 1964 and a key architect of Freedom Summer.

  8. 1964: The Freedom Summer Singing in Oxford.

  9. Mississippi police departments beefed up their forces in preparation for the Summer Project, which state politicians called an invasion by "outside agitators." 1964: The Freedom Summer

  10. 1964: The Freedom Summer • Fanny Lou Chaney, mother of the missing civil right worker James Chaney.

  11. 1964: The Freedom Summer Rita Schwerner, wife of missing civil rights worker Michael Schwerner, waits for news of her husband in Oxford, Ohio.

  12. 1964: The Freedom Summer • Some young Mississippians kill time while state and federal authorities search for the bodies of Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner.

  13. 1964: The Freedom Summer • The car driven by Schwerner, Goodman, and Chaney is found, burned out, near Philadelphia, Mississippi.

  14. 1964: The Freedom Summer The Movement Soldiers On • Civil rights workers discuss strategy in a "freedom house," a Summer Project office.

  15. A civil rights worker makes a call. 1964: The Freedom SummerRegistering the Disfranchised

  16. 1964: The Freedom Summer • Summer Project workers visit black Mississippians to discuss voter registration.

  17. 1964: The Freedom Summer • Most black Mississippians had never met white people who would shake their hands or address them as equals.

  18. 1964: The Freedom Summer • Singing a freedom song together.

  19. 1964: The Freedom Summer • Volunteers taught black Mississippi children in Freedom Schools, special makeshift schools set up for the summer of 1964. Their lessons emphasized African-American history, literature, art -- and political struggle.

  20. 1964: The Freedom Summer • Summer Project volunteers prepare to leave Mississippi at the end of the summer.

  21. 1964: The Freedom Summer • Some of the friendships formed during the Freedom Summer were ephemeral, others lasting for long afterward.

  22. 1964: The Freedom Summer • At the 30th anniversary reunion for Freedom Summer participants in 1994, SNCC veteran Dorie Ladner posed with three girls from Minnesota at a plaque commemorating the murders of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner.

  23. 1964: The Freedom Summer • Bullet holes in the gravestone of James Chaney, 1994.

  24. 1964: The Freedom Summer • Click the link for oral interviews from people that were there. Ronald Crutcher

  25. 1964: The Freedom Summer • Click the link for oral interviews from people that were there. Curtis Ellison

  26.    Phyllis Hoyt 1964: The Freedom Summer • Click the link for oral interviews from people that were there.

  27. Arthur Miller 1964: The Freedom Summer • Click the link for oral interviews from people that were there.

  28. Richard Momeyer 1964: The Freedom Summer • Click the link for oral interviews from people that were there.

  29. 1964: The Freedom Summer • Click the link for oral interviews from people that were there.

  30. 1964: The Freedom Summer Forty-one years ago, the former Western College for Women was the site for Freedom Summer 1964, where nearly 800 volunteers came to prepare for upcoming civil rights efforts.

  31. 1964: The Freedom Summer Edgar Ray Killen, a thirty-eight-year-old, ordained Baptist minister, was the point man in the conspiracy to murder three civil rights workers in Neshoba County, Mississippi on June 21, 1964.  It was Killen ("the Preacher") who Deputy Sheriff Price contacted that Sunday afternoon to get the word out to local klansmen that he was holding for their later disposal three men, including Mickey Schwerner, the much despised "Goatee."

  32. 1964: The Freedom Summer Killen, the owner of a local sawmill and a former unsuccessful candidate for sheriff, was a marginal character until Sam Bowers appointed him "kleagle," or klavern recruiter and organizer, for the Neshoba and Lauderdale County klan.  He zealously performed his duties, as evidenced by the over seventy men who met on June 16 in Meridian to plan a trip to Mount Zion Church in Longdale, where they hoped to find and kill Schwerner.  Instead of encountering Schwerner, they found only local blacks, who the klan badly beat before burning down their church.

  33. 1964: The Freedom Summer After Killen received word from Price that Schwerner and the other two civil rights workers were being held in jail, he travelled to Meridian in Lauderdale County to meet with other klan bigwigs at the Longhorn Drive-In. 

  34. 1964: The Freedom Summer Phone calls were made and recruits signed up for a trip that evening to Neshoba County.  A larger group of Klan met at Akin's Mobile Homes in Meridian, where Killen informed them of the plan he had worked out with Price for the three men's release shortly after dark.  He told klan members participating in the murderous expedition to get rubber gloves. 

  35. 1964: The Freedom Summer A meeting was scheduled near the courthouse in Philadelphia for 8:15.  When  the Meridian klan arrived in Philadelphia, Killen took them on a driveby tour of the jail that held their quarry, then rushed off to establish his alibi by attending a wake for an uncle at the local funeral home.

  36. 1964: The Freedom Summer The FBI was informed of Killen's role in the conspiracy by informant Wallace Miller, Killen's first klan recruit.  Killen was one of nineteen men arrested on December 4, 1964.  At his trial in 1967, Killen created a stir by passing  to his defense attorney a question for a prosecution witness, Reverand Charles Johnson.  

  37. 1964: The Freedom Summer His attorney then asked the question in cross-examination.  Is it true, Killen asked, that Johnson and Michael Schwerner had tried to "get young Negro males to sign statements that they would rape one white woman a week during the hot summer of 1964 here in Mississippi?"   The judge was not amused by the question, and demanded to know where it came from.

  38. 1964: The Freedom Summer The jury was unable to reach a verdict on Killen's guilt.  He was never retried.

  39. 1964: The Freedom Summer Four decades later, justice has been served on the man who facilitated the deaths of three of those volunteers. Edgar Ray Killen, 80, a former Ku Klux Klan member, was recently convicted of manslaughter in the deaths of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner, whose civil rights efforts were cut short on June 21, 1964, in Neshoba County, Miss.

  40. 1964: The Freedom Summer • The men were reported missing that night, and Freedom Summer volunteers in Oxford were notified of the disappearance.

  41. 1964: The Freedom Summer • Rick Momeyer, field secretary for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, had just arrived in Oxford for the second week of civil rights training.

  42. 1964: The Freedom Summer • “From the first meeting, we knew they were missing,” he said. “There weren’t many people who didn’t suppose they were dead.”

  43. 1964: The Freedom Summer • Arthur Miller was a member of the Oxford branch of the Mississippi Freedom Summer Project at the time.

  44. 1964: The Freedom Summer • “I knew exactly what happened to them,” he said regarding news of their disappearance.

  45. 1964: The Freedom Summer • Miller, former president of Oxford’s NAACP, offered mixed reactions to Killen’s trial.

  46. 1964: The Freedom Summer • “They indicted him on three counts of manslaughter. I thought murder would have been a better count,” Miller said. “There’s a lot of people still walking the streets of Mississippi that were involved in it, and I hope they bring some more of them to trial.”

  47. 1964: The Freedom Summer • The bodies of the civil rights workers were found more than a month after the reported disappearance in a remote earthen dam in Mississippi. It was later determined that they had been murdered as a result of a conspiracy between members of the Neshoba County law enforcement and the Ku Klux Klan.

  48. 1964: The Freedom Summer • At the June 21 trial in Philadelphia, Miss. exactly 41 years after the three men were killed, Killen was sentenced to the maximum of 60 years in prison. • “It was a long time coming,” Miller said. “But it was better late than never.”

  49. Bibliography • • •

  50. Bibliography • • •