Tag Archives: KKK murders

KKK Murders Chaney Goodman Schwerner

KKK Murders Chaney Goodman Schwerner

Growing up as Americans, we were taught to expect liberty and justice for all. Like many things that we absorb, we later learned that that expectation is a goal, but not necessarily a reality.

James E. Chaney, 21, Andrew Goodman, 21, and Michael Schwerner, 24, believed that an active involvement in the civil rights movement was more important than simply calling for change. The three men were in Mississippi as part of the Freedom Summer project to help register the disenfranchised black voters.

On June 20, 1964, The NY Times reported that “Night riders struck Neshoba County in north-central Mississippi Tuesday when a Negro church was surrounded by armed white men, most of them masked. Three Negroes attending a church board meeting were beaten and were chased away. A short time later the church went up in flames.”

KKK Murders Chaney Goodman Schwerner

KKK Killings

On June 21,  Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner went to investigate the burning.

Police arrested them on speeding charges, incarcerated them for several hours, and then released them after dark into the hands of the Ku Klux Klan, who murdered them near Philadelphia, Mississippi.

 

June 23, 1964: the Neshoba Democrat reported that: “The car driven by three integrationists who disappeared after being arrested last Sunday night here has been found by Federal Bureau of Investigation officers about 13 miles from Philadelphia, in the northeast corner of Neshoba County. The car, a 1963 or 1964 Ford station wagon, was located in heavy sweetgum growth on Highway 21, about 100 feet from the Bogue Chitto creek and about 100 feet off the highway. The station wagon had been burned.”

June 29, 1964: the FBI issued poster of missing workers.

KKK Murders Chaney Goodman Schwerner

Chaney Goodman Schwerner murdered

July – August 1964

July 12, 1964: while looking for the bodies of  the three missing civil rights workers  searchers discover the disarticulated lower torso of Charles Moore in the river south of Tallulah, Louisiana. Moore’s body was identified by the draft card he had in his possession at the time of his death.

August 4, 1964 six weeks into a federal investigation backed by President Johnson, Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner’s bodies were found in an earthen dam.

 

Chaney Goodman Schwerner murdered

Arrests

December 4, 1964: FBI agents arrested 19 Mississippi men on federal conspiracy charges in connection with the slayings.

December 18, 1964: eighteen of the 21 Mississippians implicated in the murder were arraigned before a US commissioner in Meridan, MS.

Defendant Lawrence Rainey, Neshoba county sheriff, said, “Hey, let’s have some Red Man” –and bit off a cheek-filling plug. His deputy (and co-defendant) Cecil Price smiled and other defendants and spectators laughed.

 

KKK Murders Chaney Goodman Schwerner

Racist Judge Cox

KKK Murders Chaney Goodman Schwerner

February 24, 1965: Federal Judge William Harold Cox, an ardent segregationist, threw out the indictments against all conspirators other than Rainey and Price on the ground that the other seventeen were not acting “under color of state law.”

KKK Murders Chaney Goodman Schwerner

The Andrew Goodman Foundation

KKK Murders Chaney Goodman Schwerner

In 1966, Robert and Carolyn Goodman, Andrew’s parents, started The Andrew Goodman Foundation to carry on the spirit and purpose of their son’s life.

Their mission statement is: “We are witness to the rise of a diverse and connected new citizenry, one that can forever transform our society and our world for the better. Our ability to spark their passion — today — will result in change, tomorrow. Through Vote Everywhere, a national movement of student leaders and university administrators, we partner with America’s colleges and universities to create dynamic hubs of student participation.”

KKK Murders Chaney Goodman Schwerner

Cox overruled

March 28, 1966: in U. S. vs. Price et al, the Supreme Court overruled Federal Judge Cox and reinstated the indictments.

October 7, 1967: trial in the case of United States versus Cecil Price et al. began in the Meridian courtroom of Judge William Cox.  Chief Prosecutor John Doar and other government attorneys had reason to be concerned about Cox.  Cox, appointed as an effort to appease powerful Judiciary Committee Chairman (and former roommate of Cox at Ole Miss) Senator James Eastland, had been a constant source of problems for Justice Department lawyers (especially John Doar) who were seeking to enforce civil rights laws in Mississippi.  In one incident, Judge Cox referred to a group of African Americans set to testify in a voting rights case as “a bunch of chimpanzees.”

A jury of seven white men and five white women, ranging in ages from 34 to 67, was selected. Defense attorneys exercised peremptory challenges against all seventeen potential black jurors.  A white man, who admitted under questioning by Robert Hauberg, the U.S. Attorney for Mississippi, that he had been a member of the KKK “a couple of years ago,” was challenged for cause.  Judge Cox denied the challenge.

KKK Murders Chaney Goodman Schwerner

Convictions

October 20, 1967: the all-white jury convicted seven conspirators [Cecil Price, Samuel Bowers, Alton Wayne Roberts, Jimmy Snowden, Billy Wayne Posey, Horace Barnett, and Jimmy Arledge]  and acquitted eight others.

For three men, including Edgar Rice Killen, the trial ended in a hung jury, with the jurors deadlocked 11–1 in favor of conviction. The lone holdout said that she could not convict a preacher. The prosecution decided not to retry Killen and he was released. None of the men found guilty would serve more than six years in prison.

December 29, 1967: Judge Cox imposed sentences.  Roberts and Bowers got ten years, Posey and Price got six years, and the other three convicted defendants got four.  Cox said of his sentences, “They killed one nigger, one Jew, and a white man– I gave them all what I thought they deserved.”

KKK Murders Chaney Goodman Schwerner

Movie 

KKK Murders Chaney Goodman Schwerner

December 2, 1988: release of Mississippi Burning film. Chris Gerolmo wrote the story and Alan Parker directed it. It was loosely based on FBI’s investigation of the Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner murders.

A Wikipedia entry states: “Following its release, Mississippi Burning became embroiled in controversy over its fictionalization of events; it was heavily criticized by African-American activists who were involved in the Civil Rights Movement, as well as the families of Goodman, Chaney and Schwerner. Coretta Scott King, widow of Martin Luther King, Jr., boycotted the film, stating, “How long will we have to wait before Hollywood finds the courage and the integrity to tell the stories of some of the many thousands of black men, women and children who put their lives on the line for equality?” Myrlie Evers-Williams, the wife of slain civil rights activist Medgar Evers, said of the film, “It was unfortunate that it was so narrow in scope that it did not show one black role model that today’s youth who look at the movie could remember.”

KKK Murders Chaney Goodman Schwerner

Price dies

May 6, 2001: Cecil R. Price, who as a deputy sheriff arrested the three civil rights workers and was eventually found guilty of delivering them into the hands of their killers, died  in Jackson, Miss. He was 63.

The cause was a recent skull fracture that Price, a truck driver, suffered when he fell from a lift at an equipment rental store in Philadelphia, Miss. He died at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, the same hospital where in 1964 he helped to transport the bodies of the three victims for autopsies. (NYT article)

KKK Murders Chaney Goodman Schwerner

Killen re-tried

January 6, 2005: the State of Mississippi charged Killen (now 79-years-old) with the murders.  Police arrested Killen at his home following a grand jury session, according to Neshoba County Sheriff Larry Myers.  Convicted Klan conspirator Billy Wayne Posey expressed anger at Killen’s arrest: “After 40 years to come back and do something like this is ridiculous…like a nightmare.”  Carolyn Goodman, the 89-year-old mother of victim Andrew Goodman was pleased with the news.  She hoped the killers would someday be “behind bars and think about what they’ve done.” (NYT article)

June 21, 2005: a jury found Edgar Ray Killen, an 80-year-old former Ku Klux Klansman, guilty of manslaughter 41 years to the day of the murders. (NYT article)

June 23, 2005: Edgar Ray Killen was sentenced to 60 years in prison. (NYT article)

August 12, 2005: Judge Marcus Gordon of Circuit Court granted bail to Edgar Ray Killen pending an appeal. The release raised the possibility that Killen, 80 and in poor health, wouldl die a free man after serving barely six weeks of his sentence. Gordon said he he had little choice but to set bond while Mr. Killen appealed his conviction since the state had not proved that Mr. Killen, who uses a wheelchair, was a flight risk or threat. (NYT article)

September 9, 2005: judge Marcus Gordon sent Killen back to prison saying Killen had deceived the court about his health when he asked to be released on bond. The hearing was called after Mr. Killen, who was granted bail after testifying that he was confined to a wheelchair, was seen up and walking by sheriff’s deputies. (NYT article)

KKK Murders Chaney Goodman Schwerner

Story continues

July 14, 2006: Mississippi Circuit Court judge Marcus D. Gordon refused to let Killen out of prison while he appealed his conviction. Killen, 81, had asked to be freed on bond because of poor health. (NYT article)

April 13, 2007: the Mississippi Supreme Court upheld the manslaughter convictions of Edgar Ray Killen.

In his appeal, Killen had argued that in the 1960s he would not have been convicted by a jury of his peers of any crime under the evidence presented in 2005. (NYT article)

August 13, 2009: 73-year-old Billy Wayne Posey died.  In a 2000 statement, Posey had told investigators there were “a lot of persons involved in the murders that did not go to jail.”

He did not name those people. (NMissCommentator article)

KKK Murders Chaney Goodman Schwerner

Killen continues to appeal

February 25, 2010: Killen filed a federal lawsuit seeking millions of dollars in damages and a declaration that the FBI violated his rights  when it allegedly used a gangster during its investigation. Killen claimed the FBI conspired to suppress his rights to “defend his society and culture.” (NYT article)

October 15, 2013: the U.S. Supreme Court said it would consider arguments from  Killen who  said he was denied constitutional rights in his Mississippi trial, the same argument he had made in 2012. The Mississippi attorney general’s office said that it had notified the Supreme Court that no response to Killen’s petition would be filed.

November 4, 2013: the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a Killen’s appeal. The decision meant that the justices would not review lower-court rulings that had found no violations of Killen’s constitutional rights during his trial in Mississippi.

KKK Murders Chaney Goodman Schwerner

Supreme Court denial

January 4, 2014: Edgar Ray Killen, convicted in 2005 for the 1964 slayings of three civil rights workers in Mississippi, asked the U.S. Supreme Court to look again at his motion for a new trial.

January 13, 2014: the U.S. Supreme Court denied the rehearing request. The justices issued the order without comment.

November 10, 2014: President Barack Obama announced 19 recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, including James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner.

He presented those awards on November 24 to family members of the three men. In his remarks, the President said:

From activists who fought for change to artists who explored the furthest reaches of our imagination; from scientists who kept America on the cutting edge to public servants who help write new chapters in our American story, these citizens have made extraordinary contributions to our country and the world,” he said.

Here is the link to the video of the presentation. Slide up to the 21 minute 40 second mark to hear President Obama’s remarks on the three murdered civil rights workers and to 29:20 for the actual presentations:

KKK Murders Chaney Goodman Schwerner

Killen interviewed

December 22, 2014: the Associated Press interviewed Edgar Ray Killen inside the Mississippi State Penitentiary, his first interview since his 2005 conviction. He refused to discuss the “Freedom Summer” slayings. He said he remained a segregationist who does not believe in race equality but contends he bears no ill will toward blacks.

Killen had first contacted an AP reporter 18 months ago. In his first letter on March 3, 2013, he made clear that no conversation with a reporter would result in a confession.

“That is not where I am coming from after 50 years of silence,” Killen wrote. “I have never discussed the 1964 case with anyone — an attorney, the FBI, local law nor friend — and those who say so are lying.” (The Times-Picayunne article)

KKK Murders Chaney Goodman Schwerner

Story ends

May 26, 2016: retired Circuit Judge Marcus D. Gordon died. Gordon had sentenced Edgar Ray Killen to life in prison in 2005 Gordon had retired on March 4, 2016, from the Eighth District Circuit Court. (NYT obit)

June 21, 2016: Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood announced an end to the active federal and state investigation into the 1964 killings.

There’s nothing else that can be done,” he said in a news conference. “The FBI, my office and other law enforcement agencies have spent decades chasing leads, searching for evidence and fighting for justice for the three young men who were senselessly murdered on June 21, 1964,” he said. “It has been a thorough and complete investigation. I am convinced that during the last 52 years, investigators have done everything possible under the law to find those responsible and hold them accountable; however, We have determined that there is no likelihood of any additional convictions. Absent any new information presented to the FBI or my office, this case will be closed.”  (Clarion-Ledger article and video)

KKK Murders Chaney Goodman Schwerner

Killer dies in prison

January 11, 2018: Edgar Ray Killen, the former Klansman who was sentenced to a 60-year prison term in 2005 for arranging the murders of three young civil rights workers outside Philadelphia, Miss., in 1964 during the Freedom Summer drive to register Southern black voters, died in prison in Parchman, Miss. He was 92. (BBC news article)

KKK Murders Chaney Goodman Schwerner

 

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Emmett Louis Till

Emmett Louis Till

Emmylou Harris…”My Name Is Emmett Till”

In the mid-20th century, most Americans worried about atomic weapons.

Today the fear of terrorism has replaced our fear of an atomic apocalypse…mostly.

We consider terrorists  foreigners.  Of course there have been example of domestic terrorism and throughout American history a whole class of Americans were under the constant fear of domestic terrorists, vigilante injustice, lynching.

Emmett Louis Till Emmett Louis Till

The story of Emmett Till is one of the better known examples of the thousands of black Americans who were mistreated, tortured, and killed by domestic terrorists.

There are many articles and books about Emmett Till and the horrors that surround his final moments. This piece is simply a chronological listing of his final days and the decades of injustice that followed.

Reverend George Lee

Emmett Louis Till

On May 7, 1955 the Reverend George Lee, a grocery owner and NAACP field worker in Belzoni, Mississippi, was shot and killed at point blank range while driving in his car after trying to vote. At his funeral, Lee’s widow ordered his casket be opened to show the effects of shotgun pellets to the face—a rebuttal to the official version that Lee died in a car accident. Shortly before his death Lee had preached, “Pray not for your mom and pop—they’ve gone to heaven. Pray you can make it through this hell.”  (see May 31)

Moses Wright

Emmett Louis Till

In early August 1955 Emmett Till’s great uncle Moses Wright had traveled from Mississippi to Chicago to visit family. At the end of his stay, Wright planned to take Till’s cousin, Wheeler Parker, back to Mississippi with him to visit relatives. Emmett learned of these plans he begged his mother to let him go along. Initially, Mamie Till said no. She wanted to take a road trip to Omaha, Nebraska and attempted to lure Till to join her with the promise of open-road driving lessons. But Till desperately wanted to spend time with his cousins in Mississippi. She gave permission.

Emmett Till

Emmett Louis Till

August 19, 1955: Till’s mother gave Emmett his late father’s signet ring, engraved with the initials L.T.  Louis Till had died in 1945 while a private in Europe during World War II.

August 20, 1955: Mamie Till drove her son to the 63rd Street station in Chicago. They kissed goodbye and Till boarded a southbound train headed for Mississippi.

August 21, 1965: Till arrived in Money, Mississippi to stay at the home of his great uncle Moses Wright.

Bryant’s Grocery

Emmett Louis Till

August 24, 1955: Emmett Till and a group of teenagers entered Bryant’s Grocery and Meat Market in Money, Mississippi to buy refreshments after a long day picking cotton in the hot afternoon sun. Till purchased bubble gum, and some of the kids with him would later report that he either whistled at, flirted with, or touched the hand of the store’s white female clerk—and wife of the owner—Carolyn Bryant.

Emmitt Till murdered

August 28, 1955: at approximately 2:30 AM Roy Bryant, Carolyn’s husband, and his half brother J.W. Milam kidnapped Emmett Till from Moses Wright’s home. They then brutally beat, dragged him to the bank of the Tallahatchie River, shot him in the head, tied him with barbed wire to a large metal fan, and shoved his mutilated body into the water.

Moses Wright reported Till’s disappearance to the local authorities.

August 29, 1955:  authorities arrested J. W. Milam and Roy Bryant on kidnapping charges. They are jailed in Greenwood, Mississippi and held without bond.

August 31, 1955: Emmett Till’s decomposed corpse was pulled from Mississippi’s Tallahatchie River. Moses Wright identifies the body from a ring with the initials L.T.

September 1, 1955: Mississippi Governor Hugh White ordered  local officials to “fully prosecute” Milam and Bryant.

Emmett Till’s return to Chicago

Emmett Louis Till

September 2, 1955: in Chicago, Mamie Till arrived at the Illinois Central Terminal to receive Emmett’s casket. Family and media surround her. She collapsed when she saw the casket.

September 3, 1955: as mentioned above, in May the widow of Reverend George Lee had decided to have an open casket for her  husband.

Mamie Till decided to do the same. “Let the people see what they did to my boy!”

Thousands waited in line to see Emmett’s brutally beaten body.

Emmett Louis Till

September 6, 1955: Emmett Till was buried at Burr Oak Cemetery.

Indictment for murder and trial

September 7, 1955: A Tallahatchie County grand jury indicted Roy Bryant and J. W. Milam for the murder and kidnapping of Emmett Till. Conviction on either charge could carry the death penalty. They both plead innocent and remain in jail until the start of the trial.

September 19, 1955: the murder trial (only) began in Sumner, Mississippi, the county seat of Tallahatchie County. Jury selection began. Law banned any blacks and all women from serving. The 12-man jury consisted of nine farmers, two carpenters and one insurance agent.

Mamie Till departed from Chicago’s Midway Airport to attend the trial.

September 20, 1955: Judge Curtis Swango recessed the court to allow more witnesses to be found. It was the first time in Mississippi history that local law enforcement, local NAACP leaders, and black and white reporters had teamed up. They try to locate sharecroppers who saw Milam’s truck and overheard Emmett being beaten.

September 21, 1955: Moses Wright accused the two white men in open court, an unthinkable thing to do in that place at that time. While on the witness stand, he stood up and pointed his finger at Milam and Bryant, and accused them of coming to his house and kidnapping Emmett.

September 22, 1955: the defense began presenting its witnesses. Carolyn Bryant testified outside the presence of the jury. Sheriff Strider testified that he thought the body pulled out of the river had been there “from ten to fifteen days,” far too long to be that of Till. An embalmer testified that the body was “bloated beyond recognition.”

Emmett Louis Till

September 23, 1955: after a 67-minute deliberation, the jury acquitted Milam and Bryant. One juror told a reporter that they wouldn’t have taken so long if they hadn’t stopped to drink pop. Roy Bryant and J. W. Milam stood before photographers, lighted up cigars, and kissed their wives in celebration.

Kidnapping charges dropped

Moses Wright and Willie Reed, another poor black Mississippian who testified, left Mississippi. Once there, Reed collapsed and suffered a nervous breakdown. (Reed, see July 18, 2013 below)

September 30, 1955: Milam and Bryant were released on bond. for the pending kidnapping charges.

November 9, 1955: returning to Mississippi one last time, Moses Wright and Willie Reed testified before a LeFlore County grand jury in Greenwood, Mississippi. The grand jury refused to indict Milam or Bryant for kidnapping. The two men go free.

The Shocking Story of Approved Killing in Mississippi”

Emmett Louis Till

January 24, 1956: an article by William Bradford Huie in Look magazine appears. It is titled, “The Shocking Story of Approved Killing in Mississippi.” Protected by double-jeopardy,  Milam and Bryant admit to the murder.

They detailed how they beat Till with a gun, shot him and threw his body in the Tallahatchie River with a heavy cotton-gin fan attached with barbed wire to his neck to weigh him down. The two killers were paid a reported $4,000 for their participation in the article.

January 22, 1957: Huie wrote another article for Look magazine, “What’s Happened to the Emmett Till Killers?” Huie wrote that “Milam does not regret the killing, though it has brought him nothing but trouble.” Blacks have stopped frequenting stores owned by the Milam and Bryant families and put them out of business. Bryant takes up welding for income, and the community ostracized both men.

E. Frederic Morrow

Emmett Louis Till

E. Frederic Morrow moved to the White House on July 10, 1955. He  was an aide to President Dwight D. Eisenhower and as such he became the first African-American to serve in that capacity. His autobiography vividly describes his difficulties in trying to persuade the administration to take a strong stand on civil rights. Morrow, for example, tried unsuccessfully to get President Eisenhower to issue a statement regarding Emmett Till’s murder.

Morrow did, however, finally convince Eisenhower to meet with civil rights leaders in the White House, a meeting that occurred on June 23, 1958.

Deaths

December 31, 1980: J. W. Milam died in Mississippi of cancer.

September 1, 1994: Roy Bryant Sr., 63, died at the Baptist Hospital in Jackson, Mississippi of cancer.

January 6, 2003: Mamie Till Mobley died of heart failure, at age 81. Her death came just two weeks before The Murder of Emmett Till was to premiere nationally on PBS.

Cold Case Closed

February 23, 2007:  in 2006 after a “cold case” investigation, Federal authorities had decided not to prosecute anyone, saying the statute of limitations for federal charges had run out. The Department of Justice said that the Mississippi authorities represented the last, best hope of bringing someone to justice.

On this date, a grand jury refused to bring any new charges.  District Attorney Joyce Chiles had sought a manslaughter charge against Carolyn Bryant Donham, who was suspected of pointing out Till to her husband to punish the him for his “disrespect.”

The grand jury issued a “no bill,” meaning it had found insufficient evidence.

 

Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act of 2007

October 7, 2008: introduced in 2007, President Bush signed the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act of 2007.  It tasked the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and the FBI with reviewing, investigating and assessing for prosecutive merit more than 100 unsolved civil rights era homicides.

Lil Wayne

February 13, 2013: Airickca Gordon-Taylor, director of the Mamie Till Mobley Memorial Foundation (founded in 2009), requested that Lil Wayne remove Emmett Till’s name from his verse on Future’s “Karate Chop.” Gordon-Taylor calls Wayne’s use of Till’s name “disappointing, dishonorable, and outright disrespectful to our family.”

Guesting on “Karate Chop,” a single by Atlanta rapper Future, Lil Wayne contributed the third verse of the remix, which began:

Pop a lot of pain pills

‘Bout to put rims on my skateboard wheels

Beat that p—y up like Emmett Till

February 18, 2013: Epic Records Chairman Antonio “L.A.” Reid apologized to the Till family and said that his label was working to remove from circulation a remix of the track “Karate Chop.”

Willie Reed dies

July 18, 2013: Willie Reed died. He had had changed his name to Willie Louis after the murder trial and moved to Chicago. Louis, one of the last living witnesses for the prosecution in the Till case, died in Oak Lawn, Ill., a Chicago suburb. He was 76.

Emmett Till Civil Rights Crimes Reauthorization Act of 2016

December 16, 2016: President Obama signed the Emmett Till Civil Rights Crimes Reauthorization Act of 2016. The Act allowed the Department of Justice and the FBI to reopen unsolved civil rights crimes.committed before 1980. The legislation is an expansion of a previous bill of a similar name signed into law in 2008.

Simeon Wright dies

September 4, 2017: Simeon Wright died, Emmett Till’s cousin and the boy who was with Emmett whenRoy Bryant and his half brother, J. W. Milam kidnapped Emmett.

It was Simeon Wright who donated a sample of his DNA to helping federal prosecutors prove that the disfigured body was actually that of his cousin. Bryand and Milam had claimed there was no proof that the body was Till’s.

Wright died  in Countryside, Ill., a Chicago suburb. He was 74. His family said the cause was complications of bone cancer. [NYT article]

22,433 days days later

Carolyn Bryant Donham admits lying

January 27, 2017: in a Vanity Fair magazine article, Duke University professor Timothy B. Tyson reported that Carolyn Bryant Donham (the woman who accused Till of inappropriate behavior) told Tyson that the story she and others told about Emmett Till was false.

Tyson wrote that Donham had said of her long-ago allegations—that Emmett grabbed her and was menacing and sexually crude toward her–“that part is not true.”

Tyson also wrote a book, The Blood of Emmett Till, about the murder.

Historic signs vandalized

July 26 Peace Love Art Activism

June 21, 2018: in 2007, eight Emmett Till historic signs were erected in northwest Mississippi, including at the spot on the river where fishermen in 1955 discovered Emmett’s mutilated corpse tethered to a cotton-gin fan.

A year later, vandals tore down the sign on the riverbed. It was replaced. But then bullets were fired into that marker — more than 100 rounds over several years.

On this date, a new sign was erected.

22,964 days later

July 11, 2018: the U.S. Department of Justice announced that it had reopened its investigation into the Till murder.

A report, sent to Congress in March, said it had received “new information” on the slaying.

35 days later

July 26, 2018: 35 days after its replacement, vandals again shot at the historic sign indicating the place where Emmett Till’s body was found. [NYT article]

 

Emmett Louis Till, Emmett Louis Till, Emmett Louis Till, Emmett Louis Till, Emmett Louis Till, Emmett Louis Till, Emmett Louis Till, Emmett Louis Till, Emmett Louis Till, Emmett Louis Till, 

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September 9 Peace Love Art Activism

September 9 Peace Love Art Activism

BLACK HISTORY

Slave Revolts

September 9 Peace Love Activism

September 9, 1739: early on the morning of the 9th, a Sunday, about twenty slaves gathered near the Stono River in St. Paul’s Parish, less than twenty miles from Charlestown. SC. The slaves went to a shop that sold firearms and ammunition, armed themselves, then killed the two shopkeepers who were manning the shop. From there the band walked to the house of a Mr. Godfrey, where they burned the house and killed Godfrey and his son and daughter. They headed south. It was not yet dawn when they reached Wallace’s Tavern. Because the innkeeper at the tavern was kind to his slaves, his life was spared. The white inhabitants of the next six or so houses they reach were not so lucky — all were killed. The slaves belonging to Thomas Rose successfully hid their master, but they were forced to join the rebellion. (They would later be rewarded. See Report re. Stono Rebellion Slave-Catchers.) Other slaves willingly joined the rebellion. By eleven in the morning, the group was about 50 strong. The few whites whom they now encountered were chased and killed, though one individual, Lieutenant Governor Bull, eluded the rebels and rode to spread the alarm.

The slaves stopped in a large field late that afternoon, just before reaching the Edisto River. They had marched over ten miles and killed between twenty and twenty-five whites.

Around four in the afternoon, somewhere between twenty and 100 whites had set out in armed pursuit. When they approached the rebels, the slaves fired two shots. The whites returned fire, bringing down fourteen of the slaves. By dusk, about thirty slaves were dead and at least thirty had escaped. Most were captured over the next month, then executed; the rest were captured over the following six months — all except one who remained a fugitive for three years. [PBS article] (BH, see May 10, 1740; SR, see March and April 1741)

Dr. Ossian Sweet

September 9, 1925: Dr. Ossian Sweet, an African-American, bought a house in an all-white neighborhood in Detroit and moved in with his family. On this day, a white mob attacked the house, throwing stones and breaking upstairs windows. Dr. Sweet had asked nine other men to be in the house for protection, and some of them brought guns. Guns were fired at the mob, killing one man and wounding another. Sweet and his friends were arrested and tried for murder. The first trial ended in a hung jury. When Henry Sweet, Ossian’s brother, was acquitted in the second trial, the prosecutor dismissed the charges against the other defendants.

The trial involved two famous or soon-to-be-famous individuals. The judge was Frank Murphy, who later became Governor of Michigan, U.S. Attorney General, and a Supreme Court Justice (January 18, 1940). The defense attorney was Clarence Darrow, who had just finished handling the famous Scopes “Monkey Trial” that had begun on July 10, 1925. [JSTOR article] (see February 7, 1926)

Voting Rights
Civil Rights Act of 1957

September 9, 1957: the the Civil Rights Act of 1957 was enacted. It was a voting rights bill and the first civil rights legislation enacted by the US Congress since Reconstruction. The bill passed the House with a vote of 285 to 126 (Republicans 167 yea – 19 nay, Democrats 118 yea -107 nay) and the Senate 72 to 18 (Republicans 43-0 yea, Democrats 29 yea -18 nay) [see Civil Rights Digital Library article]

Agricultural Workers Association

In 1960:  Dolores Huerta co-founded the Agricultural Workers Association to set up voter registration drives and pressed local governments for housing improvements. [UTexas article] (Chavez, see see March 31, 1962; Voting Rights, see May 6)

School Desegregation, Tennessee

September 9 Peace Love Activism

September 9, 1957: in September 1957 the public schools of Nashville, Tennessee, implemented a “stairstep plan” that began with a select group of first-graders and added one grade a year until all twelve grades were desegregated. Nineteen black first-graders enrolled in eight previously all-white schools. Organized white protesters, led by NJ segregationist John Kasper, appeared at most of the schools, but there was no violence.

On September 9, the night after desegregation began, a dynamite explosion destroyed a wing of Hattie Cotton Elementary School, where one black child had enrolled.. A local Klansman surrendered to the FBI a few days later and he told Nashville police that he and Kasper had hidden dynamite in an abandoned house the night before the Hattie Cotton attack and that the explosives had gone missing. There was not enough evidence to hold any suspects. [Tennessean article] (BH, see Sept 17; SD, see Sept 23)

Church Burning

September 9, 1962: terrorists burned two African-American churches used by the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee for voter registration meetings in Sasser, Ga. (BH, see Sept 12; CB, see Dec 14)

School desegregation, Alabama

September 9, 1963: segregationist Governor George Wallace of Alabama angrily defended the “rights of whites” on this day, arguing that the presence of African-American students in public schools would be “disruptive.” He issued an executive order barring African-American students from all-white public schools in Birmingham, Tuskegee, and Mobile, Alabama. (see Sept 10)

School Desegregation, Virginia

September 9, 1964: public schools in Prince Edward County, Virginia, reopened after being closed for five years by officials attempting to prevent court-ordered racial desegregation.[Virginia History article] (BH, see Sept 11; SD, see May 13, 1966)

School desegregation, Michigan

September 9, 1971: police arrested Robert Miles and the four other Klansmen for the August 30, 1971 bus bombing. (SD, see March 14, 1972; Miles, see April 1973)

Attica Prison Riot

September 9, 1971: prisoners in the New York State Attica Correctional Facility began a rebellion with about 1,000 prisoners seizing 42 prison employees as hostages. The prisoners’ grievances included many items of basic human decency: an end to serious overcrowding (the prison was built to hold 1,200 inmates but then held 2,225); being allowed only one shower per week; one roll of toilet paper per person per month. After four days of negotiation, New York officials had agreed to 28 of the inmates’ 42 demands, but refused to grant amnesty to the rebelling prisoners. [2016 NY Post article] (see Sept 13)

Murders of Chaney, Goodman,  and Schwerner

September 9, 2005: judge Marcus Gordon sent Edgar Ray Killen, the former Klansman convicted of the 1964 killing of three civil rights workers in Mississippi, back to prison saying Killen had deceived the court about his health when he asked to be released on bond. The hearing was called after Mr. Killen, who was granted bail after testifying that he was confined to a wheelchair, was seen up and walking by sheriff’s deputies. (BH, see Sept 28; see Murders for expanded story]

Dee/Moore Murders

September 9, 2008: a panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the kidnapping conviction of James Seale. (BH, see Oct 7; D/M Murders, see June 5, 2009)

Trayvon Martin Shooting

September 9, 2013: police questioned George Zimmerman after his wife, Shellie, reported that he had punched her father and threatened them with a gun. Afterward, Shellie Zimmerman and her father declined to press charges and Ms. Zimmerman later said she had not seen a gun. The police said they still had not decided whether to press charges against Mr. Zimmerman. (see Oct 29)

Botham Shem Jean

September 9, 2018: Dallas police officer Amber Guyger was indicted on a manslaughter charge re the shooting death of Jean. (B & S, see Sept 13; BSJ, see Nov 30)

September 9 Peace Love Art Activism

Immigration History & US Labor History

September 9, 1885: U.S. troops escorted the surviving Chinese back into the town where many of them returned to work. Eventually the Union Pacific fired 45 of the white miners for their roles in the September 2 massacre, but no effective legal action was ever taken against any of the participants. (LH, see April 25, 1886; IH, see February 25, 1886)

September 9 Peace Love Art Activism

Vietnam

September 9, 1945: the advanced guard of 150,000-man Nationalist Chinese occupation army marched into Hanoi. On their way they evicted Viet Minh committees from power and replaced them with members of the anticommunist Nationalist Party. After Allied troops landed to disarm Japanese forces, the British went into southern Indochina below the 16th parallel. The now-liberated-France’s Charles de Gaulle, ordered French soldiers to re-establish colonial rule. The British allowed the French to dislodge the Viet Minh from Saigon, triggering war below the 16th parallel. (see Sept 24)

September 9 Peace Love Art Activism

INDEPENDENCE DAYS

North Korea

September 9 Peace Love Activism

September 9, 1948:  Day of the Foundation of the Republic North Korea. (see December 24, 1951)

Dissolution of the USSR, Tajikistan

September 9 Peace Love Activism

September 9, 1991: Tajikistan declared its independence from the Soviet Union. (see Sept 21)

September 9 Peace Love Art Activism

September 9 Music et al

Roots of Rock & Fear of Rock

September 9, 1956: Elvis Presley made his first appearance on the The Ed Sullivan Show.  Actor Charles Laughton hosted as Sullivan himself had recently been in a very serious car accident that left him in the hospital.

Elvis was not on location in New York for the broadcast since he was in Los Angeles for the filming of Love Me Tender. When it came time for Elvis’ appearance, Laughton introduced him and then cut to the stage in Hollywood with Elvis.

Elvis appeared with large, artistic guitars as decoration. Wearing a plaid jacket and holding his guitar, Elvis thanked Mr. Laughton and then said, “This is probably the greatest honor that I’ve ever had in my life.” Elvis then sang, “Don’t Be Cruel” with his four back-up singers (the Jordanaires) followed by “Love Me Tender,” which was the not-yet-released title track from his new movie.

Although the cameras stayed mostly from the waist up on Elvis’ first set on the show, the second set he appeared the camera widened out and the TV audience was able to see Elvis’ gyrations. Elvis sang “Ready Teddy” and then ended with a portion of “Hound Dog.”

Elvis’ appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show was a major success. Over 60 million people, both young and old, watched the show and many people believe it helped bridge the generation gap for Elvis’ acceptance into the mainstream. (Elvis, see July 6, 1957; RoR, see February 5, 1957)

ElvisEd

Fear of Rock

In 1958: the Mutual Broadcasting System (radio) dropped all rock from its network music programs, calling it “distorted, monotonous, noisy music.”

To coincide with the ban, the network changed the title of its 21 hours of music programming from “Top 50” to “Pop 50.” Songs removed from play included “Splish Splash” by Bobby Darin and Elvis Presley’s “Hard Headed Woman.” (Rock is Dead source) (see January 12, 1958)

The Road to Bethel

September 9, 1969: the New York Times ran article that described the likely breakup of the Woodstock Ventures partners. Michael Lang and Artie Kornfeld agree to a buyout of $31,750 each. (see Chronology for expanded story)

Imagine

September 9 Peace Love art Activism

September 9, 1971: John Lennon’s second solo album, Imagine, released. The follow-up to  John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band was a critical and commercial success and was Lennon’s peak as a solo artist. [Rolling Stone review] (see Dec 10)

September 9 Peace Love Art Activism

Fair Housing

September 9, 1965: President Johnson signed legislation establishing the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. [NYT article] (see January 18, 1966)

September 9 Peace Love Art Activism

Consumer Protection

September 9, 1966: President Lyndon Johnson signed the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act into law. Immediately afterward, he signed the Highway Safety Act. The two bills made the federal government responsible for setting and enforcing safety standards for cars and roads. Unsafe highways, Johnson argued, were a menace to public health: “In this century,” Johnson said before he signed the bills, “more than 1,500,000 of our fellow citizens have died on our streets and highways; nearly three times as many Americans as we have lost in all our wars.” It was a genuine crisis, and one that the automakers had proven themselves unwilling or unable to resolve. “Safety is no luxury item,” the President declared, “no optional extra; it must be a normal cost of doing business.” [text of remarks] (see May 29, 1968)

September 9 Peace Love Art Activism

Vietnam

Chicago 8

September 9, 1968: a Federal grand jury was impaneled to consider criminal charges against anyone who had organized the Chicago protests at the Democratic Convention. President Johnson’s Attorney General, Ramsey Clark, discouraged an indictment, believing that the violence during the convention was primarily caused by actions of the Chicago police. [2008 Chicago Tribune article]  (Vietnam, see Sept 29; Chi8, see March 20, 1969)

Daniel Ellsberg/Pentagon Papers

September 9, 1971: The White House “plumbers” unit – named for their orders to plug leaks in the administration – burglarized a psychiatrist’s office to find files on Daniel Ellsberg, the former defense analyst who leaked the Pentagon Papers. (see Watergate for expanded story; next Vietnam, see Oct 29; see DE/PP for expanded story)

September 9 Peace Love Art Activism

LGBTQ

Matlovich_time_cover

September 9, 1980: a Federal district judge, ruling that the military had confusing standards for dealing with homosexual service personnel, ordered the Air Force to reinstate Leonard Matlovich five years after he was dismissed from the service for admitting his homosexuality. The Air Force offered Matlovich a financial settlement instead.  Matlovich accepted. [Matlovich site] (LGBTQ, see July 3, 1981; Matlovich, see June 22, 1988)

September 9 Peace Love Art Activism

AIDS

September 9, 1983: CDC identified all major routes of HIV transmission—and ruled out transmission by casual contact, food, water, air, or environmental surfaces. [CDC timeline for HIV] (see Dec 6)

September 9 Peace Love Art Activism

Jack Kevorkian

September 9, 1993: hours after a judge ordered him to stand trial in Thomas Hyde’s death, Kevorkian is present at the death of cancer patient Donald O’Keefe, 73, in Redford Township, Michigan. (see Kevorkian for expanded story)

September 9 Peace Love Art Activism

Irish Troubles

September 9, 1997:  Sinn Fein, the Irish Republican Army’s political ally, formally renounced violence as it took its place in talks on Northern Ireland’s future. (see Troubles for expanded story)

September 9 Peace Love Art Activism

CLINTON IMPEACHMENT

September 9, 1998: independent Counsel Ken Starr submitted his report and 18 boxes of supporting documents to the House of Representatives. (see Clinton for expanded story)

September 9 Peace Love Art Activism

Sexual Abuse of Children

September 9, 2003: in the largest known payout by a U.S. diocese to settle molestation charges, the Boston Archdiocese agreed to pay $85 million to settle more than 500 lawsuits from people who claim priests abused them. Victims will receive awards ranging from $80,000 to $300,000. David Clohessy, national director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, says of the deal, “For many victims, some kind of official, public acknowledgment that ‘We were harmed’ can be a real step toward healing.” [NYT article] (see Nov 21)

September 9 Peace Love Art Activism

Hurricane Katrina

September 9, 2005: U.S. Army Lieutenant General Russel L. Honoré and New Orleans Director of Homeland Security Terry Ebbert announced a “zero access” policy with regards to the media, in order to prevent members of the media from reporting on the recovery of dead bodies in New Orleans. CNN filed a lawsuit, then obtained a temporary restraining order to prevent government agencies from interfering with news coverage of recovery efforts. (see Katrina for expanded story)

September 9 Peace Love Art Activism

Iraq War II

September 9, 2008: President Bush announced that about 8,000 US troops would be withdrawn from Iraq by February – with 4,500 being sent to Afghanistan. (see Nov 27)

Terry Jones

September 9, 2010:  Jones said, “As of right now, we are not convinced that backing down is the right thing.” That evening, President Obama calls Koran burning a “stunt,” and urges Jones not to go through with his plans. In a press conference with Musri, Jones says he will cancel the Koran burning event. During the conference Jones claims an agreement has been reached with Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf to move the mosque near Ground Zero and that a meeting has been planned with Jones and Imam Rauf on Sept. 11. Later reports quote Jones as saying, “We felt that that would be a sign that God would want us to do it…The American people do not want the mosque there and, of course, Muslims do not want us to burn the Quran.” Jones also states he is against any other groups burning Korans.

After Jones’s announcement, AP reported that Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf said no agreement had been reached to move the mosque and the plans to build the mosque near Ground Zero would go forward as planned. Musri also says there was no agreement to move the mosque and that the only agreement reached was for Jones to meet with the imam overseeing the mosque on Sept. 11. Jones insists Musri promised him the mosque would be moved and that he would be “very, very disappointed” if it was not. (see Sept 10)

September 9 Peace Love Art Activism

FREE SPEECH & Colin Kaepernick

September 9, 2016: Denver Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall took a knee during the national anthem at the NFL regular season opener.

Marshall became the first player to take a knee or sit during the anthem prior to a regular season game. He was a college teammate of Kaepernick at the University of Nevada. Like Kaepernick, Marshall said it was about social change.

“I’m not against the military. I’m not against the police or America,” Marshall said, according to the Denver Post. “I’m against social injustice. [NFL article] (FS & CK, see Sept 11)

September 9 Peace Love Art Activism
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