A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
June 30: Freedom
School teachers arrived. The school superintendent announced the first
African-American summer school in memory of local residents.
July 2: The
sheriff told the school superintendent that the community's abandoned
buildings could not be used for freedom school. A cross was burned and
tacks were strewn in the African-American community.
July 3: The
sheriff and superintendent posted a "no trespassing" sign at
the abandoned school. Local citizens moved books and other materials to
an African-American church. Police flashed lights on homes.
July 11: Police
visited local African-Americans who had contact with COFO volunteers and
staff and forced them to sign peace bonds. Police came armed with a warrant
to search for liquor.
July 23: Local
residents planned to start construction of a wooden frame building for
use as a permanent community center staffed by summer project volunteers.
June 26: Hate literature was distributed by local whites.
The notices said, "Beware, good Negro citizens. When we come to get
the agitators, stay away".
June 29: Two
cars owned by volunteers were shot by four whites in a pick-up truck at
1:00 a.m. There were no injuries, but $100 worth of damage to each car
occurred. There were three witnesses to the incident. (The cars' owners
were sleeping two blocks away).
June 29: A
civil rights worker was charged with reckless driving and failure to give
the proper signal. The worker was held overnight and paid a fine.
June 29: The
phone rang and volunteers heard a tape recording of the last 20 seconds
of his previous conversation. Someone goofed!
June 30: Whites
in pick-up truck with guns visible drove past the office several times.
The FBI checked into a June 29th car shooting.
July 2: Two
voter registration canvassers were followed and questioned by men describing
themselves as state officials.
July 2: The
school superintendent threatened all janitors who participated in civil
rights activity. This was also done at the Holiday Inn.
July 2: Local
police stop an African-American girl and five white boys on their way
home. The policeman cursed, threatened, and slapped one boy.
July 6: The
owner's wife pulled a pistol as 15 -25 youngsters tried to integrate the
drive-in. The youngsters ran, but they were soon arrested and put in the
drunk tank by police. Three youths were roughed up by the police.
July 8: Rev.
Robert Beech of National Council of Churches was arrested on false pretenses
after allegedly overdrawing his bank account by $70. Bail was set at $2000
July 8: A bottle
was thrown at a picnic by a passing car. There were no plates on the vehicle.
July 10: A
Rabbi, two volunteers, and two local teenagers were attacked by two men
as they walked in an uninhabited area. The assailants escaped after attacking
the three men. On emerging from the hospital, the Rabbi encouraged Jews
in Mississippi stand up for civil rights and decent behavior regardless
of the risk or leave the state.
July 14: The
State Sovereignty Commission visited the office.
July 16: Two
voter canvassers were stopped by police.
July 16: Police
questioned those who complained about inadequate protection for those
going to Freedom School. The police said they may charge them with threatening
July 18: Kilmer
Estus Keyes, a white fromCollins, turned himself in to local police in
connection with the beating of a Rabbi and two workers the week before.
Keyes was charged with assault and released on $2500 property bond. (He
was eventually fined $500 and given a 90 day suspended sentence).
July 20: A
white volunteer was beaten downtown as he left the bank with two other
freedom school teachers. The assailant hit the volunteer from behind.
No words were exchanged. The volunteers and the attacker were all charged
July 25: The
home of two local MFDP leaders was bombed between 1 and 4 a.m. A broken
whiskey bottle was found that indicated a molotov cocktail-like device
was used. This device was used on the home of Mr. and Mrs. Boyd, MFDP
temporary chairman and secretary.
Aug. 2: In
White America toured Freedom Schools.
Aug. 4: Pete
Seeger conducted folk music workshops in two Freedom Schools. In White
America was at the Freedom Schools.
Aug. 8: Two
men, Clifton Archie Keys and Estus Keys, were tried for the July 10th
beating of Rabbi Arthur Lelyveld of Cleveland, Ohio. The pair pleaded
nolo contendre, waived arraignment, and paid fines of $500 each. They
also received 90 day suspended sentences on condition of good behavior.
The charge was lessened by District Attorney James Finch from assault
and battery with intent to maim to simple assault and battery.
Aug. 12: Mrs.
Dorethea Jackson, a local African-American woman, was arrested the day
before when she would not give her seat to a white woman on the bus. Mrs.
Jackson reportedly was pulled off the bus by a policeman. She asserted
that a knife was planted in her purse. Details on the charges were unknown
at that time.
Aug. 14: Local
African-American citizen, Willie Mae Martin, was rearrested last night
in connection with the charge of resisting arrest and interfering with
a police officer last March. Billy McDonald, another Hattiesburg African-American
resident, and MFDP chairman, Lawrence Guyot, were arrested at same time.
McDonald and Miss Martin were charged with resisting arrest and Guyot
solely for interfering with a police officer. Because of legal misunderstandings,
the three did not know they were scheduled to appear for a hearing to
be held six months after their charge. Miss Martin and McDonald were assigned
$200 bond and 30 days imprisonment, and Guyot was assigned $100 and 30
days. It was doubtful that Guyot would be released before the Democratic
Aug. 14: Freedom
School teacher, Sandra Adickes, was arrested when she attempted to have
six of her students check-out books from the public library labeled "for
whites only". After they were refused applications for library cards,
they sat down at tables to read magazines. A short time later Police Chief
Hugh Herrin walked in and announced the library was being closed. Everyone
was made to leave the library. The mayor Claude F. Pittman later stated
the library was closed for inventory. This was the second time that year
it had closed for inventory. Miss Adickes and her students were followed
by police from the time they left the library. They went to an integrated
lunch counter, where a waitress said she would serve only African-Americans.
Adickes waited outside the lunch counter and was arrested a vagrancy charge.
She was released under $100 bond.
Aug. 17: Four
voter registration workers, 3 white and 1 African-American, were arrested
on vagrancy charges as they left the public library that had refused them
service. Susan Patterson, Ben Achtenburg, Tom Edwards, and Bill Jones
were held on $100 cash bond or $250 property bond.
June 24: The
police and mayor told a summer volunteer he could not live in an African-American
section of town and register voters.
July 29: An
African-American SNCC staff member was chased from a traditionally white
barber shop by a razor-wielding barber who threatened to kill him.
June 26: Beer
cans were tossed at volunteers and car tires were slashed.
June 30: White
teenagers screamed profanities and threw rocks at the office from a passing
June 30: A
SNCC staff worker was jumped by a local white who threatened to shoot
both him and his office with a 12 gauge shotgun.
July l: The
Justice of Peace (and Mayor) had a local farmer arrested on assault and
battery charges in the June 30th incident. Bail was set at $1,000.
July 8: A civil
rights worker was arrested for reckless driving and fined $250.
July 11: An
integrated staff picnic was broken up by police.
July 14: The
Oxford police chief told a civil rights worker he should not come back
to town. The chief threatened to hit the African-American over the head,
especially if he did not speak to others with proper respect. (No major
changes were issued).
July 21: A
$200 bond was levied on a volunteer for failure to have a car inspection
July 24: A
voter registration worker arrested for disturbing the peace at a Holly
Springs Freedom Day event was held on $500 bond. The volunteer was charged
with "using profanity in front of more than two people" the
policeman told potential African-American registrants on the court house
steps. Police insisted that the 40-50 potential registrants walked to
the courthouse steps one by one, eight feet apart, and have a police escort
from the steps to the registrar's office. Approximately 55 helmeted highway
patrolmen and 35 helmeted local police were stationed at the courthouse
for Freedom Day. Their presence in such numbers prompted cancellation
of planned integrated picketing of the courthouse.
July 27: Precinct
and county meetings were held.
July 28: Police
cars surrounding the school where a MFDP precinct meeting was being held
were themselves surrounded by approximately 200 African-American MFDP
participants singing freedom songs. Participants gathered around cars
as they left school late at night. Police recorded license plates of every
car at the school stopped about 70 drivers to check licenses and arrested
five on various traffic charges. The school superintendent said he would
burn or tear down the school if meetings continued to be held there.
Aug. 1: Wayne
Yancy, a 21 year-old volunteer from Chicago, was killed in a head-on collision.
He was a passenger in a car driven by SNCC worker, Charles Scales. Both
men were African-Americans. A highway patrol officer claimed Scales passed
another car near the hill crest, crossed the yellow line and hit an oncoming
car. He was charged with manslaughter and hospitalized with injuries.
An SNCC staffer and summer volunteer nurse who tried to visit him were
ejected from the hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.
Aug. 24: Local
African-American sharecropper, Mr. J .T. Dean, was kicked off his land
for no apparent reason. This was the latest in a series of economic actions
taken against Dean since he applied to register to vote during Marshall
County Freedom Day on August 15th. On August 16th Dean's credit was cut-off.
He was told by the land owner he was no longer needed to work the land.
His water supply was also cut-off. Howard Jones, a local African-American
citizen, who made an application to register during Holly Springs Freedom
Day on July 24 was told at the courthouse that his test had not yet been
graded. At that time, none of more than 200 local African-American citizens
who took voter registration test that summer had been notified as to whether
or not he or she passed.
June 26: Two
staffers were detained for illegal parking and not having a Mississippi
permit. One was arrested and bond was set at $60.
July 16: Of
those arrested in Drew on July 15th, 10 women were held at the county
jail and 15 men were held at the county farm nearby. The superintendent
of the farm told a lawyer he could not guarantee the safety of those at
the farm. The FBI was advised regarding the situation.
Aug. 14: Local
white resident, Joe Hopkins, drove to Freedom School while classes were
in session and questioned a volunteer about the presence of a New York
reporter and Attorney, Andrew Goldman. The resident fumbled with a rifle
and drove off. Earlier Hopkins told the African-American family living
next door to the Freedom School site that civil rights workers had better
get out of there. He threatened to blow up the Freedom school site and
other white men threatend to "shoot up the place" that night.
Local police stated they would patrol the area all night.
Aug. 17: Approximately
25 white citizens, some of whom were reportedly White Citizens' Council
members, attended that night's performance of In White America.
Eight to 10 helmeted police arrived in two cars and said there would be
no trouble. The play featured an integrated cast of 8. It described the
oppressions and victories of an African-American in his own country.
June 25: Two
volunteers working with a local African-American handing out literature
for a voter registration rally were taken to a gas station bus stop by
four white men who told them: "If you speak in town tonight, you'll
never leave here".
June 26: The
FBI arrested three local residents for the June 25th incident. Two were
released on $2,000 bail and one on $1,000.
July 3: Police
questioned two volunteers about a robbery and said the volunteers were
the only ones in the vicinity. No charges were filed.
July 6: Local
police and the sheriff held a civil rights worker incommunicado triggering
a wide search by federal authorities and SNCC.
July 12: A
local woman was attacked by two white boys while baby-sitting. Both her
arms were cut.
July 28: The
voter registration house was broken into during the night. The front porch
supports were broken, leaving a badly sagging roof. The door was half
torn-off and all the windows were broken. Posters urging citizens to vote
for Fannie Lou Hamer in the Democratic primary were ripped off the walls.
Volunteers had received several threatening phone calls about the house
and voter registration activities there.
Aug. 21: Perry's
Chapel burned to the ground. The wood frame building was deemed to be
out of the jurisdiction of the Itta Bena fire department.
June 23: Shots
were fired at the home of Rev. R.L.T. Smith. A white man escaped on foot
and was reportedly picked up by a city truck. (Smith's home was then put
under 24-hour guard).
June 23: A
civil rights worker was held for eight hours after receiving $5 change
for a $20 bill.
June 23: A
white car fired a shot at Henderson's cafe. African-Americans pursued
the vehicle. Three shots were fired, hitting one African-American in the
June 25: Two
separate volunteer arrests were made on minor traffic charges. Seven were
questioned in one case and charges were dropped in the other. (A law student
presented his own case).
June 26: A
CORE field secretary was beaten at Hinds County jail while being held
as a federal prisoner. This was the third beating of a civil rights worker
at the same jail in two months and the second of a prisoner accussed of
June 27: Two
phone threats were received.
June 28: A
civil rights worker was held 8 ½ hours without charges being made.
He was stopped for no reason while driving near the COFO office.
June 28: One
white volunteer was kicked from behind and punched upon arriving at the
local train station from Oxford.
June 30: A
car circled the office with a gun pointed out of the window. A teenager
leaned out and threatened an African-American with the gun.
June 30: A
volunteer was charged with reckless driving and fined $34. (He moved from
one traffic lane to another in an integrated car).
July 3: A lot
of phone harassment occurred. The WATS line went dead then rang, a technical
July 5: The
NAACP integrated local hotels without major incident. Individuals integrated
many other places on their own.
July 5: A local
woman's leg was cut by a bottle thrown at the COFO office.
July 6: A voter
registration group was harassed by police who said a "One man, one
vote" sticker had been found on a city car. They threatened arrest
for trespassing if anyone would sign the charge.
July 6: The
McCraven Hill Missionary Baptist Church was damaged by a kerosene fire.
The church had no ties to the civil rights movement.
July 6: An
African-American youth was punched by a white person who fled in a truck.
July 10: J.
Edgar Hoover opened the Jackson FBI office, the first statewide center
since 1946. Hoover cited efficiency as the reason. He said 153 agents
were then in the state. He also said the FBI could give civil rights workers
no protection (beyond reports based on complaints and directions for investigation
from civil rights division of Justice Department).
July 12: Half
a body was found in Mississippi and was identified as Charles Moore, a
former Alcorn A&M student. The second half of the body was found in
the river. (In mid April more than 700 students, all African-Americans,
were summarily dismissed from Alcorn after a nonviolent general grievance
July 12: White
teenagers slashed an African-American woman's tires and spit in the face
of a volunteer after the integrated group ate at the drive in.
July 12: An
elderly man attacked an African-American woman at the Greyhound coffee
shop. She was treated for a cut head and hand and was charged with disturbing
the peace. She was released on $50 bond. The assailant escaped.
July 22: A
volunteer was beaten with billy clubs by two whites at a major downtown
intersection. The police officer who returned the beaten volunteer and
two colleagues to the COFO office indicated that a complaint had been
filled out and a pick-up call had been issued for any cars matching the
July 23: Surprisingly,
the police court acquitted three local youths on public drunk charges.
The three youths were arrested on July 21 in Club 400 at Doodleville.
July 24: MFDP
held precinct meetings
July 27: Aaron
Henry, Ed King, and Mrs. Victoria Gray replied publicly to Sen. Douglas'
(D III.) "conciliatory suggestion" that no Mississippians were
to be seated at the convention or the delegation be half Dixiecrat, half
Aug. 1: County
meetings were held.
Aug. 2: There
was a report of a local African-American man badly beaten after being
arrested for an accident.
Aug. 3: A local
African-American volunteer was arrested for vagrancy in front of the drugstore
near his home. He had an SNCC button on his shirt and reportedly did not
have his draft card with him. He was held on $225 property bond.
Aug. 4: After
being refused service at a small cafe, a local volunteer was chased by
a white man in a pick-up truck who fired two shots at him.
Aug. 6: Approximately
300 delegates from precinct meetings and county conventions attended the
first State Convention of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. Alternates
and observers brought the total attendance to 1,000. A slate of 68 delegates
and alternates was elected to represent Mississippi at the National Democratic
Convention. Hattiesburg housewife, Mrs. Victoria Gray, was elected National
Committeewoman, and Rev. Ed King, a white chaplain of Mississippi's private
interracial Tougaloo College, was elected National Committeeman. Dr. Aaron
Henry, Clarksdale pharmacist and president of the state NAACP, was named
permanent chairman of the MFDP Convention and chairman of National Convention
delegation. After the convention, the newly elected State Executive Committee
named Pass Christian resident, Laurence Guyot, as chairman and Hattiesburg
resident, Mrs. Peggy J. Connor, as secretary of the party. Mrs. Fannie
Lou Hamer, a candidate for Congress in Mississippi's 2nd District, was
named vice chairman of the delegation, and Mrs. Annie Devine of Canton
was appointed secretary. The address of keynoter, Miss Ella J. Baker,
who was currently coordinator of the Washington office of the MFDP, received
a standing ovation and sparked spontaneous marching and a freedom song
in the hall. Among resolutions adopted were a statement of loyalty to
National Democratic Party platform & candidates.
Aug. 5: A community
concert was given by Pete Seeger.
Aug. 7: A.
Phillip Randolf, president of the American Negro Labor Council and longtime
head of Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, addressed a mass meeting
of students and parents of Jackson Freedom Schools that opened that week.
Aug. 7: SNCC
staffer, Ivanhoe Donaldson, was arrested for having an improper driver's
license. He was not in the car at the time of his arrest. There were four
integrated cars in front of the house at which he was picked up. Bond
was set at $50
Aug. 7: White
volunteer, Mary Zeno, and local African-American volunteer, Rommie Drain,
were chased by white men with pistols in their belts as they canvassed
for voter registration.
Aug. 7: Freedom
School coordinator, Tom Wahman, was arrested and fined $17 for failing
to yield to the proper lane.
Aug. 8: New
York pathologist, David M. Spain, M.D., reported after the post mortem
examination of body of James Chaney that Chaney's jaw was shattered, his
the left shoulder and upper arm beaten to a pulp, his right forearm was
broken completely across at several points, and his skull bones were broken
and pushed in toward the brain. Under the circumstances, these injuries
could only be the result of an extremely severe beating with either a
blunt instrument or chain. The other fractures of the skull and ribs were
the result of bullet wounds. It was impossible to determine whether Chaney
died from the beating before the bullet wounds were inflicted.
Aug. 15: Between
10:30 p.m. and 12:30 a.m., a voter registration worker was beaten over
the head with a baseball bat outside the COFO office. A carload of voter
registration workers was shot at 8 to 10 times. Four simultaneous cross-burnings
occurred, and a local student was shot by a white man. White volunteer,
Philip Hacker, was working on a pick-up truck across the street from COFO
office as three other workers (two African-Americans and one white) sat
in the car behind him lighting his work with headlights. Another car double
parked beside the car and truck. A young white man wearing Bermuda shorts
went up to Hacker, hit him on the back of the head with a bat, and continued
to hit him after he fell to the street. At 10:45 Hacker was taken from
the office to Baptist Hospital, still bleeding around his head. At 11:00
crosses were burning: at Lynch street. and Terry road approximately three
blocks from COFO office, at Sun-n-Sands Hotel, where many SNCC Summer
Project lawyers, doctors, ministers, and national press correspondents
stayed, at Millsaps College, and at Valley road and Hwy. 80, the site
of a soon-to-be integrated public school. One white summer volunteer and
four local African-American voter registration workers were shot at 8
to 10 times by two white men in car as they drove through Jackson. Civil
rights workers stopped when they saw the parked police car. As soon as
an Oldsmobile containing the attackers came close, the police drove off.
The investigating plain-clothes-man found 5 bullets in the car. Willie
Gynes was shot in the leg by a white man in a car passing by a location
hosting a dance for teens. Gynes was admitted to the emergency ward of
Aug. 18: A
17 year-old African-American from Columbus formally announced plans to
seek a state charter for Mississippi Young Democrat Club. Melvin L. Whitfield
assumed the presidency of the new Young Democratic group at their August
10th convention in Meridian, which included representatives from about
25 Mississippi communities. He represented the body, along with 9 other
Mississippi officers, at a meeting of the National Committee of Young
Democratic Clubs of America August 21- 23 in Atlantic City. The group,
all African-Americans, learned that the existing Young Democratic organization
in Mississippi had never been granted a charter by a national body.
Aug. 22: As
two Freedom School teachers, one white and one African-American, walked
along the street a car with two white passengers doubled back, drove by
slowly, and took their picture.
July 18: Two
summer volunteers were arrested for willful trespassing while discussing
voter registration on the front porch of two African-American women. No
complaint was made by the women, however.
July 4: Police
barely prevented a large racial clash after two African-Americans and
two whites were injured in an attempt to integrate the drive-in. Police
failed to respond to calls for help from injured African-Americans.
July 5: A civil
rights worker who witnessed and reported the July 4th incident was arrested.
Police say he had 4-6 months left to serve on a previous sentence.
July 5: Two
volunteers were questioned by police who stopped their integrated car
as it left Sunday school. Charges were dropped against the driver, but
the passenger was arrested on a vagrancy charge. She left her pocketbook
in the car at the police station and received a 10-day suspended sentence.
July 11: Four
young American-Americans were injured during and after attempts to integrate
Kress' lunch counter where African-Americans had eaten earlier.
July 11: The
local NAACP president received two death threats for July 19th.
July 14: A
gas bomb was thrown at a local African-American's home.
July 16: A
canvassing volunteer was accosted by two white boys who accused him of
not being from Mississippi. The boys knocked materials from the volunteer's
hand and ran.
July 21: Rights
workers believed the second ousting of summer project workers from a rented
office that summer was due to intimidation of local African-American realtors
by white persons opposed to the Freedom Summer Project.
July 30: Precinct
and county meetings were held.
Aug. 15: One
volunteer and three local African-American voter registration workers
were beaten after sitting down for service at the theoretically integrated
Kress' department store lunch counter. Ten whites approached as Levelle
Keys, James House, Larry McGill and Ben Hartfield were being served. Two
of the whites beat the group with baseball bats. Hartfield was knocked
unconscious. A woman pulled a pistol on McGill. His mother yelled "Don't
kill my son" to the woman. For this remark, McGill's assailant reportedly
filed assault charges against his mother. SNCC staffer, Fred Richardson,
entered the store earlier and was asked to leave, because he had a camera.
Richardson was outside Kress' when the incident occurred and was beaten
by whites who gathered at the scene when he called police. His camera
was taken by one of his attackers. Police arrived and warrants were sworn
out against several of the attackers.
Aug. 16: White
volunteer, David Goodyear, was beaten unconscious at a gas station and
his companion, Linnelle Barrett, was kicked and stepped upon. They were
outside their car when two white men approached and asked if they were
civil rights workers. When they replied "yes," several whites
milling around closed in and began beating them. Police came in three
cars immediately after being notified. Within an hour after the incident,
police picked up the assailants' car based on license tag identification.
The gas station attendant closed the station and left before police arrived.
Two of Goodyear's teeth were loosened.
Aug. 17: Anthony
Lynn was hit twice by a passing white citizen as he stood on a street
corner. Lynn was with a local African-American citizen whom he had just
accompanied to the courthouse to take a voter registration test. Lynn
called the police and pointed out his assailant. The assailant denied
everything and police had both parties file affidavits.
Aug. 22: A
going away picnic given by local African-Americans for three white voter
registration workers was broken up by an estimated 15 white men who beat
one volunteer with sticks and chains and shot at two others. As the group
sat around a private lake on an African-American owned farm, six white
men approached and asked if the group knew "Dixie". When one
student began to play the song a white man grabbed his guitar and threw
it in the lake. About 9 other white men came out of the bushes surrounding
the lake. White volunteer, Willard Hayden, saw at least two weapons among
the men: a club and a chain. He was struck in the head with a weapon,
and he and local voter registration worker, Robert Morgan, plunged into
the lake to get back to the farmhouse. Shots, probably from a pistol,
were fired at them. White volunteer, David Gelfand, was severely beaten
by the white assailants. He sustained sprained - possibly broken - wrists,
and bruises and lacerations of the back. His assailant had been tentatively
identified as R.V. Lee, the man who was to stand trial that Friday for
beating Anthony Lynn in front of the Laurel Courthouse the Monday before.
July 21: A
volunteer was hit repeatedly by a white man while waiting outside the
courthouse to take part in the voter registration campaign.
Aug. 12: In
White America was produced in town.
Aug. 4: A LCDC
attorney received head injuries, including a large gash over one eye,
when he was thrown against a police car by the city marshal. The attorney
was arrested for "obstructing officer in performance of duties"
and held on $200 bail. He had gone to Marks to check the detention of
a voter registration worker when he saw the marshal had stopped a car
filled with civil rights workers. He went over to investigate and the
Aug. 10: An
elderly, African-American man was shot to death in a gas station that
morning. Although reports vary, it seemed the man had ordered gas and
either had forgotten his billfold and could not pay, or received more
gas than he had ordered and refused to pay for the extra. The gas station
attendant began to beat him. A local policeman shot and killed the unarmed
July 27: A
precinct meeting was held in Moon Lake Baptist Church. The owner of the
plantation across the street threatened to burn the church if any more
civil rights meetings were held there. (2,399 African-Americans out of
a total population of 3,576 went to the meeting).
June 21: The
homes of two civil rights workers planning to house summer volunteers
were bombed. One was damaged extensively. Seven dynamite sticks were left
on the lawn of a third home with no civil rights ties.
July 8: The
SNCC Freedom House was bombed, injuring two. Despite numerous requests
by Congressmen, attorneys, pastors (and a personal visit with the mayor
who also headed the White Citizens' Council), no local police were seen
in the area prior to the bombing. Fifteen FBI agents, several packing
pistols, showed up during the day. 150 local citizens attended a rally
that same night.
July 15: The
Freedom School enrolled 35 persons.
July 17: Mount
Zion Hill Baptist Church in Pike County was bombed or burned to the ground.
The pastor of this church let the Freedom Summer Project use his McComb
Church, St. Mary's.
July 20: A
SNCC field secretary was hit on the side of the head by a white man as
both stopped for a red light at the intersection of two state roads and
a federal highway.
July 21: Freedom
School enrollment reached 75 in the core area.
July 22: Mt.
Vernon Missionary Baptist Church, organized more than 80 years before,
was found burned. The FBI, sheriff, and police uncovered no clues. The
fire was officially listed as being of undetermined origin. Neither the
pastor nor his church was in any way affiliated with the civil rights
July 24: Amite
County's Rose Hill Church burned the previous night. The owner of a local
African-American club near the Freedom House was arrested and beaten.
July 26: Two
bombs were thrown at the home of a local civil rights leader. As the first
bomb was thrown the leader's wife fired a gun. When a car's lights were
seen approaching again, her husband ran outside but was knocked to the
ground by a second explosion before he had time to fire. About 50 people
attended a voter registration meeting at the home that day.
July 27: A
white volunteer was arrested for failure to yield as he drove a group
of local African-American children for voter registration canvassing and
leaflet distribution for an MFDP precinct meeting. He was fined $16.50.
Aug. 1: A production
of In White America was held at the Freedom School.
Aug. 4: Pete
Seeger held folk music workshops at the McComb Freedom School that morning
following an evening concert the night before.
Aug. 5: Two
teenage African-American boys, who attended the McComb Freedom School,
received harassing phone calls from two white girls. The boys were arrested
and were sentenced to a year in jail each under Mississippi's recent phone
Aug. 14: The
supermarket across the street from the church site of the McComb Freedom
School was bombed before 1 a.m. today. All the windows were shattered
and the walls and roof were damaged. The blast left a large hole in the
ground and almost knocked down a voter registration worker in the Freedom
House two blocks away. Immediately after the explosion white SNCC staffer,
Mendy Samstein, ran outside and jumped into his car. He followed the car
of the suspect until he could record the license plate number. He had
seen the car before and found it listed on the McComb SNCC's "suspicious
car" list. Law student, Clint Hopson, was arrested for interfering
with an officer as he worked his way through the crowd at the bomb site
and spoke with one of the officers there. He was released on $52.50 bail.
Local voter registration worker Roy Lee was arrested when he returned
to the scene of bombing and was charged with inciting to riot, threatening
the life of a policeman, cursing, and disorderly conduct. He was held
on $900 bond. McComb SNCC spokesmen stated he was arrested for no apparent
Aug. 16: The
McComb office was raided at 1:30 a.m. by 24 policemen in five cars, representing
city police, sheriffs and deputies, and highway patrol. Warrants were
issued for illegal liquor. None was found, but the officers spent a good
deal of time reading letters and literature found in the office. The workers
had just returned from an evening of canvassing bars and restaurants in
the McComb area, announcing rallies and Freedom Days. These were planned
in response to a period of increased violence and harassment by the local,
Aug. 18: After
a series of bombings and intimidation, the first Southwest Mississippi
Freedom Day was peacefully conducted. Twenty-five potential African-American
registrants went to the courthouse and 23 of them were permitted to take
the test. The registrar processed one applicant every 45 minutes. Police
and FBI agents were at the Pike County courthouse in Magnolia throughout
the day. (Of Pike County's 35,063 African-American voting age citizens,
207 (3%) registered, as contrasted to 9,989 registered whites representing
82.1%). Over 200 local African-American citizens attended a mass meeting
the night before to protest terrorist activities against African-American
citizens and voter registration workers in the area.
Aug. 18: An
attempted house burning was reported by the SNCC spokesmen today. At 1:30
a.m. local African-American resident, Vera Brown, whose daughter was active
in the civil rights movement, woke up to the smell of smoke. A gasoline
filled jar was found smoking under the house. The conflagration was smothered
with little damage. Mrs. Brown planned to attempt to register as part
of Freedom Day.
Aug. 18: As
white volunteer, Marshall Ganz, drove back from Pike County courthouse
in Magnolia to transport potential African-American registrants, he was
followed by four men in an unmarked pick-up truck. When he stopped at
a red light, one man quickly got out of the truck and ran at him. Ganz
quickly drove off and the truck followed him back to McComb. The truck's
passenger threw a bottle that narrowly missed the window of Ganz' car.
Aug. 19: Three
potential African-American registrants in front of Pike County courthouse
in Magnolia were told they would be arrested if they did not move. The
three sat in the car for 30 minutes. Ten minutes later white volunteer,
Dave Gerber, was arrested for speeding en route from the courthouse to
McComb. Bond was set at $22.50.
Aug. 22: Local
voter registration worker, Percy McGhee, was arrested for loitering inside
the courthouse. McGhee was held on $60 bail. A McComb police officer pulled
a gun on SNCC staff member, Seephus Hugh, who went to post bond for McGhee.
Four more workers went to the jail and successfully bonded out McGhee.
Aug. 23: A
local, white citizen was held for 3 hours last night by five heavily armed,
hooded men. He was described by a McComb SNCC spokesmen as living in an
African-American neighborhood and having many African-American friends.
June 21: Three
civil rights workers went missing after a short trip to Philadelphia.
June 24: One
bomb threat was recorded.
July 2: A white,
teenage girl threw a bottle at a civil rights group outside the church
and cut the leg of a local African-American girl.
July 3: A volunteer's
car went through a green light and hit a local station wagon. The volunteer
was charged with running a light and reckless driving. Bond was set at
July 23: A
hearing continued to July 30th for an omnibus suit filed against the Ku
Klux Klan, Sheriff Rainey, Deputy Sheriff Price, the White Citizens' Council,
and others in an attempt to enjoin acts of violence on the part of the
defendants and the classes of officials and citizens they represent. This
hearing was the first of its kind in Mississippi.
July 24: The
MFDP held precinct meetings.
July 30: The
Mount Moriah Baptist Church, an African-American church located in a completely
white neighborhood, was burned to the ground last night. Although many
homes were located close to the site, the fire department was not notified
until it was too late to halt the fire.
July 30: A
county meeting was held.
July 31: A
white, summer volunteer was arrested for reckless driving and speeding.
He was not informed of the charges until after being held at the police
station under arrest. At the police station he was asked whether he was
sure what his race was, and he was hit on the hand when he reached for
the ticket to see what charges were being placed against him.
Aug. 4: A community
concert by Pete Seeger was held in support of the Mississippi Summer Project.
Four people were refused service at a supposedly integrated Dairy Queen.
A bus driver refused to pick up a person wearing a CORE shirt.
Aug. 7: Over
200 persons gathered at four churches to take part in a memorial procession
for slain civil rights worker, James Chaney. Walking in silence, two abreast,
the mourners joined approximately 400 others for a memorial service at
First Union Church. The procession and service were followed by the private
burial of Chaney in Meridian. Immediately following the service the Free
Southern Theater production of In White America was presented at
the church in conjunction with a Freedom School convention that began
the night before.
Aug. 8: Approximately
150 outstanding students from throughout the state gathered for the Freedom
School Convention. Resolutions brought by student delegates from their
community Freedom Schools were divided into four groups: Foreign Relations,
Medical Care, Education, and Public Accommodations and workshops were
held in each area. Seeds of Freedom, a Holly Springs Freedom
School production based on the life and death of Medgar Evers, was performed
during the evening, as was the Free Southern Theater production of In
Aug. 15: Two
local African-American voter registration volunteers, Sam Brown and David
McClinton, and SNCC staffer, Preston Ponder, were fired upon today while
driving on Hwy 11 in Jasper Co. The shot hit and cracked the front window
of their car as they returned from investigating a beating of a school
teacher and her mother several weeks before .
Aug. 19: A
church burning was reported in Collinsville.
Aug. 19: Local
African-American voter registration worker, Sam Brown, was arrested on
charges of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. He was released on
July 26: A
SNCC car was burned outside a home hosting white volunteers.
July 26: A
volunteer was accosted at the store by two whites who asked where he lived.
He pointed to the community center. They went to their car, and each man
took a pistol from the trunk and put it pistol in his belt. They came
back and told the volunteer they would find out what was going on when
they came back.
Aug. 9: Shortly
after midnight a bomb was thrown in the road approximately 40 yards from
the new Freedom Center. The bomb was thrown from a passing car by whites,
and it left a hole approximately one foot deep and 5 or 6 feet wide in
road. There were no injuries.
June 23: The
Knights of Pythias Hall was firebombed. The arson attempt occurred on
the side of the building. The damage was slight. The building was used
for voter rallies.
June 23: Two
summer volunteers were picked up as they left the café and were
relaxing on a private lawn. They were taken by police to the Pascagoula
jail at 85 m.p.h. without lights. The volunteers were held in protective
custody overnight, then released.
July 6: An
African-American woman was shot twice at a voter rally while singing "We
Shall Overcome". Three African-Americans were arrested when they
pursued the car that the shots were believed to have originated. The car
was not searched.
July 9: Five
African-Americans were fired from their jobs for attending a rally. A
woman was fired from work for housing two Summer Project volunteers.
July 10: Howard
Kirschenbaum, the only volunteer to leave the Mississippi Summer Project
because of arrests and harassment, returned with $2000 in gifts from New
July 23: A
volunteer was arrested for improper turning and released on $40 bond.
July 23: At
a mass meeting the night before, $33 was collected for a woman who lost
her job two weeks before for housing COFO volunteers. Several people pledged
to give $50 a week indefinitely to help pay the hospital expenses of a
local resident who received back and side wounds when shots were fired
into a voter registration meeting on July 6.
Aug. 1: County
meetings were held.
Aug. 4: Approximately
62 people were arrested during a voter registration meeting held on the
front lawn of the SNCC office. Five of the arrests were of civil rights
workers and the rest were local African-American citizens. The meeting
had been in process for 15 minutes when an assistant deputy sheriff gave
the group five minutes to disperse. The group stayed. Within minutes 18
helmeted policemen with guns, bayonets, and clubs surrounded them. Fifteen
minutes later a prison bus drove up. A total of 40 officers accumulated.
Those at the meeting were put in the bus and taken to jail. They were
held for breach of the peace on $300 cash or $600 property bond each.
Aug. 24: African-American
citizens decided to boycott the nearby laundromat after a young African-American
girl was arrested for attempting to wash her clothes in the "white
section" of the establishment. A petition was presented to the laundry's
owner the next morning by boycotting citizens demanding that discrimination
Aug. 25: The
owner of the local laundromat refused to desegregate facilities when presented
with a petition by local, African-American citizens. He reportedly stated
that he realized African-Americans constituted 80% of his business, but
that whites would refuse to wash there if the partition was removed. He
reportedly told the African-Americans that "Communists are behind
this whole thing," and that "Negroes and whites had a good relationship
in Moss Point until a few months ago when COFO workers came in".
(On Aug. 26, six African-Americans were arrested for urging fellow citizens
not to patronize the laundromat).
Aug. 25: Seven
young African-American members of the Mississippi Student Union were arrested
today for allegedly chasing a white salesman out of town. The man shot
at the students. Although Henry Martin, Wendel Ishman, Herbert Battle,
Oliver Know, James McKay, Walter Ricket, and Gary Dillen were being held
in jail, no charges were placed against them.
July 12: Jerusalem
Baptist and Bethel Methodist Churches were burned to the ground. The home
of an African-American contractor in Natchez was firebombed.
July 21: Within
45 minutes after 3 SNCC workers arrived in the area to set up a Summer
Project office, one was arrested for failure to stop at a stop sign. The
police chief told him that the police knew of their movements in detail.
The police continued to follow the workers.
July 22: A
local, African-American was taken into police custody while walking along
the street with two SNCC field secretaries.
July 22: The
mayor told the SNCC field secretary that most of the nationally publicized
shipment of arms to white terrorist groups in the area had been done in
Adams County, as opposed to the city. Police continued to follow the SNCC
workers every minute.
Aug. 2: A passing
car fired shots at Archie Curtis's Funeral Home. Curtis was beaten the
February before by hooded men on a desolate road outside the city. He
was lured to the spot by an unidentified caller who told him a woman was
dying of a heart attack. Earlier, Curtis had participated in a voting
Aug. 5: Mt.
Pilgrim Baptist church in Finwick [?] was burned the night before.
Aug. 14: A
tavern next door to the Freedom House was bombed. The owners of the tavern,
an integrated couple, lived in the home attached to it. The tavern was
owned by Jake Fisherman and Evangeline Thronton. He was white, and she
was African-American. A Natchez SNCC spokesmen reported that police were
circulating through a crowd of several hundred spectators, stating that
the wrong place had been bombed. Firemen told one of the voter registration
workers there "those outside agitators are in that house. The bomb
was set for that house. They're here to stir up trouble. George Greene
rents that place". Greene was a 20 year-old SNCC staff member working
Aug. 18: A
five gallon can of gasoline, a bomb-like apparatus, was found under Blue
Moon bar. The bar belonged to Jake Fisher, whose brother's bar was bombed
in Louisiana over that weekend.
Aug. 19: The
owner of a house rented by SNCC workers had indicated he did not want
to rent it to civil rights workers for fear of bombing. The company holding
the house's insurance indicated it did not want to continue the policy
on the house.
Oak Ridge (near
Aug. 12: Three
people who had supported MFDP were beaten and shot at last night by men
in robes with hoods. Henry Ollins, his wife Lucy, and their next-door
neighbor, Thomas Hick, were attacked by three carloads of men. The attackers
broke the doors of both houses and fired a high-powered rifle at Hick's
house. Both Mr. and Mrs. Ollins were beaten; she sustained a damaged hip,
while he suffered a rather severe beating, according to the Vicksburg
hospital. Hick managed to grab hold of one of the men, and delivered him
to the sheriff.
June 30: Police
found the body of a white man that was so badly mangled by a hit-and-run
driver that no identification could be made at that time. (The incident
was later found to have no civil rights tie).
Springs (near Gulfport):
Aug. 12: Two
local, African-American men were shot at in two separate incidents. A
19 year-old city employee, Calvin Galloway, was cutting the grass near
the beach when three white men drove by and fired pistols. The second
incident involved Barney Brooks, a man of about 50 years of age. His attackers
may have been the same as those of Galloway. Neither was hit by the shots.
Aug. 13: A
report was made of the third shooting in 24 hours at local African-American
citizens. None were hit. Also the previous night three white women in
a pick-up truck attempted to run over a local African-American woman.
July 19: An
Ole Miss student, who had contacts at Rust College, had his seat covers
slashed while the car was parked outside the faculty home. A threatening
note was left on the car. He had been harassed before but could not get
the administration to act upon it.
June 16: Mt.
Zion Baptist Church burned to the ground. The fire started soon after
an African-American mass meeting had adjourned. Three African-Americans
were beaten by whites. The church was also a Freedom School site.
June 23: A
missing car was found burned, but there was no sign of the three civil
rights workers who had been using it. The car was on a list circulated
statewide by the Canton White Citizens' Council.
June 25: A
southern newsman's car was deliberately rammed by a local citizen. The
newsman received two tickets.
June 27: A
local, African-American contact had a bottle thrown through the window
of his home. A threatening note was found attached to the bottle.
July 17: A
Columbia law student and writer was beaten with a chain by two middle-aged,
white men in the early afternoon.
Aug. 16: A
memorial service was held for civil rights workers, James Chaney, Michael
Schwerner, and Andrew Goodman, who were slain June 21st after inspecting
the burned church site of a Freedom School.
Aug. 18: Shortly
before 11 p.m. on August 15th a car stopped across the street from the
Freedom School headquarters. The driver kept a single-barrel shotgun pointed
at the office for about 5 minutes and left, only to return again. When
two Freedom School teachers filed a warrant about the incident with the
district attorney, the official put on it that the party was a COFO worker
who made $9.64 a week, "lives off people in community, and has no
other visible means of support". Freedom School coordinator, Ralph
Featherstone, refused to sign the affidavit with this addition. His companion,
volunteer Walter Kaufman, did sign the complaint. The name of the man
with the gun was known and action on the case was awaited. On August 16th
a rumor spread that the office and motel where civil rights workers ate
would be bombed. By August 17th the rumor was widespread. A woman at the
motel was threatened and told civil rights workers she could not feed
them anymore. The FBI watched the office all night, but local police took
no action. That morning Deputy Sheriff Price, the officer who arrested
James Chaney, Michael Schwerner, and Andrew Goodman, came to the office
and took films of all the Mississippi Summer Project workers. He came
by three times. He was, reportedly, questioning local African-Americans
about the workers' activities. A local African-American citizen was beaten
by a white man when he went into a store with an African-American girl.
The Philadelphia staff reports the man could be taken for a white man
and was probably thought to be a Mississippi Summer Project worker. He
came to the Freedom Summer office after leaving the doctor's office. He
was frightened and refused to contact local police. The FBI was contacted,
and the man was questioned for about half an hour. One agent was, reportedly,
Aug. 19: Evers
Motel, headquarters of the Neshoba Co. mobile Freedom School experienced
increased harassment and intimidation. Between 8:55 and 9:15 p.m. two
carloads and one truck of white men with rifles parked outside the headquarters
on the outskirts of Philadelphia. Deputy Price was observed smiling as
one carload of whites told him, "We're gonna get the job done tonight".
Carloads of whites parked and occupants milled about in front of the office
while other cars cruised the area. Threatening phone calls were received
at approximate intervals of 5 minutes stating "Your time is up".
The calls continued until 4 a.m. The new office had opened August 14 with
Aug. 20: Neshoba
Co. law enforcement had used a questionable building lease to try to evict
COFO workers from their newly-opened office. At about 11 a.m. Deputy Cecil
Price, Sheriff Rainey, and District Attorney Walter Jones, presented an
eviction notice indicating that the six COFO workers in the office would
be arrested if they did not leave the premises by 1 p.m. The law officers
claimed the building lease was invalid and that the old tenants still
held the lease. Police frequently appeared at the office from about 1
to 4 p.m. with warrants for the arrest of the workers on trespassing charges.
The former occupant of the building came to the office late that afternoon
and agreed to terminate his hold on the building and to have all his property
moved out within five days. COFO workers indicated their determination
to stay in Philadelphia despite legal or other types of pressure. A local
African-American woman told one of civil rights workers that morning:
"If you leave us now, they'll kill us. They'll pile our bodies one
on top of the other". Additional staff was moved into Philadelphia
by late afternoon, and more would be sent as soon as needed, "to
keep our pledge to the local people," a Jackson office spokesman
said. That day's legal harassment had followed several tense hours the
night before as the Philadelphia office was surrounded by carloads of
armed whites. Following the eviction notice local African-American citizens
came to the office and provided dinner for the civil rights workers.
July 6: Methodist
and Baptist churches were burned to the ground.
June 23: Look
and Time magazine reporters covering the voter rally at Williams'
Chapel were chased out of town by a car at speeds up to 85 m.p.h. Early
the next morning nine African-American homes and cars were hit by bottles
thrown from a similar car.
June 25: Williams'
Chapel was firebombed. The damage was slight. Eight plastic bags with
gasoline were later found outside the building.
June 28: The
mayor tells a visiting Methodist chaplain (white) that he cannot attend
services at the white Methodist church since, he "... came here to
live with Negroes, so you can go to church with them, too". He did
attend church with three civil rights volunteers.
June 30: A
man lost his job for housing white volunteers.
July 5: A local
segregationist visits the COFO office and had a very friendly argument
with civil rights workers. Police asked him to leave. He refused and was
charged with disorderly conduct and fined.
July 8: A civil
rights volunteer was bodily ejected from the county circuit clerk's office
for accompanying a local woman to voter registration.
July 20: Two
civil rights workers were ordered out of a local cafe. The doors were
locked with people still inside.
July 24: An
African-American woman was ordered off the bus when she sat down next
to a white man. All but two passengers got off the bus.
July 24: A
rabbi and Summer Project volunteer were ejected from the office of a Drew
City Attorney where they had gone to attend a meeting of the parents of
children detained and then released July 15th.
July 25: A
rock smashed the windshield of a local African-American's car. He was
housing civil rights workers.
July 29: A
plantation worker was fired for being a freedom registrant and attending
two voter registration rallies. (This type of incident occurred often,
but it was seldom reported in detail).
July 31: Precinct
meetings were held.
Aug. 1: County
meetings were held.
Aug. 11: Mrs.
Fannie Lou Hamer, a candidate for Congress, who suffered a brutal beating
in County jail in Winona for her voter registration activities, was again
threatened. One of the men involved in her earlier beating had been passing
her home in a pick-up truck, and he pointed her out to his companions.
Mrs. Hamer, who suffered a permanent back injury from her earlier beating,
stated she felt the man "...is up to something drastic".
Aug. 12: Students
at a local African-American school were promoting voter registeration
among teachers. Only one was registered. They also emphasized the need
for improved conditions at the school, and that the government should
help finance the school's operations. Previously, the students raised
money for the school by having "field days" when students went
out in the field and picked cotton.
Aug. 12: Mrs.
Hamer received a death threat over the telephone.
Aug. 13: Joseph
Smith, a 19 year-old white summer project volunteer, was arrested in Drew
on charges of conduct tending to incite a breach of peace while passing
the high school campus.
Aug. 14: A
local attorney informed voter registration workers that any white volunteer
staying overnight in the African-American section of Drew would be arrested.
Aug. 17: Three
local African-American youths were picked up by police and held for half
an hour for distributing announcements of that night's production of In
July 7: Stores
refused to cash a civil rights volunteer's travelers check.
July 7: Police
asked all volunteers to register. Only four did not.
July 11: A
local African-American was offered $400 by five whites to bomb the SNCC
Freedom House and $40 for a list of residents' home addresses.
July 31: Three
white volunteers were made to leave an African-American high school cafeteria
where they had been invited to a fundraising supper. They were warmly
received by students and a supervising teacher, but were told by the principal
they had to, first, secure the permission of the superintendent to enter
the school. One volunteer called this an "excellent demonstration
of the fact that not only Negroes but whites also are not
free in Mississippi".
Aug. 4: African-American
schools were closed indefinitely following a student boycott. This was
triggered by an African-American principal's request that three white
volunteers leave the cafeteria where they were invited for a school fundraising
dinner the Friday before. Students declared a boycott of the cafeteria
and asked the Student Union to assemble their grievances. The students
then called a general boycott of the schools that was supported by 75
percent of students. The Student Union claimed that the boycott resulted
"because of the inadequate education we're getting". They demanded
up-to-date texts, workshops, laboratories. They also demanded a well-stocked
library with African-American history materials and that the school offer
foriegn languages and other courses needed for college entrance. The principal
relayed these requests to the white school superintendent then notified
students schools would be closed. Heavily armed sheriff's deputies in
helmets soon arrived on the scene.
Aug. 5: Thirty-five
parents organized an association to meet with the school board and high
school faculty. In addition to the students' demands which led to a boycott
and the closing of schools, parents would take action against the inadequate
school lunch program and the mechanics of desegregation in the school
Aug. 8: Two
cross burnings were reported on the nights of August 6th and 7th. Both
were apparently intended to frighten local families involved in civil
Aug. 18: Three
African-American members of the Shaw Mississippi Student Union entered
the town library and successfully registered for library cards. When Eddie
Short, James Johnson Jr., and Willie Wright left, they were followed by
four police officers and watched by a number of bystanders.
Aug. 20: Herman
Perry, an African-American cotton farmer, was elected president of the
Bolivar Improvement Association at a mass meeting Wednesday night. More
than 100 people attended. The BIA planned to organize African-American
farmers and others for community planning and improvement. With widespread
African-American unemployment and poverty in the area, the group hoped
to become eligible for federal aid. To avoid complete economic dependence
the group needed some kind of industry to employ African-Americans. The
BIA grew out of a Freedom School class in politics. Mass meeting were
scheduled for the next evening in Shaw to make plans for a school boycott
and integration of public schools.
July 3: The
"Greasy Spoon," an African-American grocery and teen spot, was
bombed and sustained minor damage.
July 18: The
police chief followed two volunteers to various stops in African-American
cafes and delivered a lengthy "anti-agitator speech" directed
at local African-Americans talking to volunteers.
June 16: African-Americans
attempted to attend the Democratic Party precinct conventions for the
first time in the century. Results varied. Two African-Americans and two
whites were elected in Jackson.
June 23: African-Americans
tried to attend the Democratic Party county conventions. Thier participation
was systematically discouraged.
Aug. 8: Four
members of a local family, the first African-American family to attempt
to register to vote from this county in several decades, had been steadily
harassed since they attempted to register the previous week. On Tuesday
night two truckloads of whites with guns came by at 6 p.m., 10 p.m., and
3 a.m. The motorists shouted obscenities and threat. The family was afraid
to go to work in the fields. The county registrar was currently under
a court injunction to determine the qualification of African-American
registrants by the same standards as whites, not to limit African-American
registrants to coming in one at a time, and not to use the constitutional
interpretation section of the registration form. Approximately 70 percent
of the county's population was African-American. SNCC voter registration
activity began two weeks prior to this.
June 30: Two
carloads of highway patrolmen closely watched one civil rights volunteer
for four hours.
July 22: The
driver of a car carrying the man who attacked a civil rights volunteer
yesterday was reportedly arrested.
July 23: A
SNCC staff member was followed out of Jackson and arrested by police on
a speeding charge.
July 3: En
route to Canton, four female civil rights workers were chased by two carloads
of whites. They decided to stop in Jackson for safety.
Aug. 23: Voter
registration headquarters were the object of arson early that morning.
The damage was moderate. Workers arrived at the office to find the attic
gutted, the windows broken, and the door burned. Neighbors reported the
fire department had put the fire out at about 3 a.m. City investigators
said there was evidence of arson. Tupelo had been the scene of MFDP organizing
involving 20 to 30 local workers, as well as three staff workers. The
office was opened six weeks before this incident.
June 17: A
summer project volunteer was arrested for driving while intoxicated. He
was not allowed a phone call and was held overnight. He was acquitted
at trial the next day.
June 27: The
office received a threatening telephone call.
June 30: An
African-American woman was threatened for registering to vote.
July 2: Several
whites chased and shot at an African-American on a motorcycle.
July 7: White
boys threw a bottle and broke the windshield of a car waiting to pick
up a freedom school student.
July 8: A bomb
threat was recorded.
July 9: Freedom
school students were stoned en route to class.
July 10: Four
civil rights workers were chased by two cars, one of which carried a man
brandishing a revolver.
July 11: An
amateur bomb was thrown through the window of an African-American cafe.
July 14: The
milkman's assistant lost his job, because he attended the Freedom School.
July 14: A
SNCC team confirmed the burning of Bovina Community Center on July 7th.
July 16: A
white man came to the door of a home where a volunteer was staying. He
had a pistol showing in its holster and asked to see the owner of the
house. At another home that was housing workers, a car suspicously circled
the block for 10-15 minutes.
July 28: Precinct
meetings were held on MFDP Clarksdale. Also a MFDP county meeting was
Aug. 1: A MFDP
county meeting was held at the Courthouse. It was the first MFDP meeting
to be held in a government building.
Aug. 18: A
bottle was hurled through the window of a barbershop owned by Mr. Eddie
Thomas, a Warren County MFDP delegate.
Aug. 4: The
FBI announces that two of three bodies found near Philadelphia the night
before had been identified as Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner. (The
third was subsequently identified as James Chaney).
Aug. 17: White
volunteer, Tim Morrison, was arrested for having a faulty driver's license
and fined $18.
July 9: A folk
singer was arrested for reckless driving and paid a quick fine.
July 17: Three
African-American men in their late teens or early twenties were arrested
for looking at a white girl.
Aug. 18: Two
local African-American citizens filed applications for cards at a local
library without incident. Police talked with the two and later contacted
the mother of one.
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