MichaelSchwerner, Andrew Goodman, and James Chaney had only just begun working on the Freedom Summer campaign to register black Mississippians to vote when they suddenly disappeared.
Schwerner and Goodman were two Jewish men from New York—they had been there less than a week—and Chaney was a local black activist. They had just finished investigating the bombing of a nearby church when theywere taken into custody under false pretenses, and never again seen by their fellow volunteers.The disappearance of these three men sparked national outrage, and the FBI converged on Mississippi to investigate. They discovered that on June 21, 1964, immediately upon being released from custody, the young activists had been brutally beaten and murdered by a Ku Klux Klan lynch mob. The FBI’s investigation led to the first successful federal prosecution of a civil rights case in Mississippi.
the anniversary of the day we lost these brave defenders of civil rights. Here are two things you can do to commemorate this day:
The work of civil rights activists to protect this right did not stop when Freedom Summer ended, or even with the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. As long as there are legislators fighting to keep our most vulnerable populations away from the polls, our work and our struggle continues.
Join your voice with your fellow champions of civil and human rights. Take just one minute to do these things:
Pledge to exercise your hard-won right to vote in November.
Share this graphic to honor the ongoing fight for voting rights.
Lorraine C. Miller