Growing up in Mississippi, there is always the danger of becoming too accustomed and too inured to our tortured past. If we don't remind ourselves from time to time, we will forget the sacrifices, failures, and successes of those who came before us. Here are three such memorable men.
Michael Schwerner was born in New York City. In his CORE application, he said, "I have an emotional need to offer my services in the South." He was 24 years old when he was murdered by the Ku Klux Klan in Mississippi.
James Chaney was born in Meridian, Mississippi. The eldest of five, he "was described as shy in public, but a cutup in his home." He was 21 years old when he was murdered by the Ku Klux Klan in Mississippi.
Andrew Goodman was also born in New York City. Though interested in drama, he decided that focusing on politics in school would be more rewarding. He was 20 years old when he was murdered by the Ku Klux Klan in Mississippi.
Their bodies, missing since June 21, 1964, were eventually found near Philadelphia, Mississippi, on August 4, 1964. In 2005, Edgar Ray Killen was found guilty of three counts of manslaughter.
Drop by your public library or the Mississippi Library Commission and check them out. They'll bring the Civil Rights movement to life for you and they're well worth the read.