Jump to content
The Education Forum

Emmett Till


John Dolva
 Share

Recommended Posts

:::::::::::::::::

@

July 25, 1941 – Emmett Louis Till is born in Chicago.

May 17, 1954

– In Brown v. Board of Education, the U.S. Supreme Court

rules unanimously that school segregation is unconstitutional. The decision

provokes intense hostility among many in the South, creating a poisonous

racial atmosphere.

August 1955

– Emmett Till, 14, travels from Chicago to Money,

Mississippi, to spend the summer with his cousins.

August 24, 1955

– While visiting Bryant's Grocery and Meat Market in

Money, Emmett Till allegedly insults Carolyn Bryant, a white woman.

August 28, 1955

– Till is abducted by two white men and murdered.

August 31, 1955

– Till's mutilated body is found in the Tallahatchie River.

September 19, 1955

– The trial of Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam begins in

Sumner, Mississippi.

September 23, 1955

– Bryant and Milam are acquitted.

December 1955

– African Americans begin a boycott of the segregated

city bus system in Montgomery, Alabama.

May 1956

– A rally is held in New York City's Madison Square Garden by

a newly founded group called In Friendship. The group is founded largely

in response to the Till murder and raises money to support the victims of

racial violence.

August 1957

– Congress passes the Civil Rights Act of 1957, which

includes a provision for federal investigations of civil rights violations, a

provision that many observers credit to the impact of the Emmett Till case.

On the same day, Martin Luther King, Jr., decides on the name of the new

organization he and other ministers had founded – the Southern Christian

Leadership Conference (SCLC).

May 28, 1963

– The NAACP begins to hold sit-ins at Woolworth lunch

counters. That night, a Molotov cocktail is thrown at Medgar Evers's

house.

June 7, 1963

– At an NAACP meeting in Jackson, Mississippi, Evers says,

“I love my children and I love my wife. And I would die, and die gladly, if

that would make a better life for them.”

June 12, 1963

– President John F. Kennedy gives a stirring civil rights

speech on television. As Medgar Evers returns home after hearing it, he is

killed by a rifle shot.

June 19, 1963

– Shortly after Byron de la Beckwith is arrested, Evers is

buried with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery. For two

days previously, his body had been carried across the land by a funeral

train.

June 22, 1963

– Kennedy meets at the White House first with Roy Wilkins

of the NAACP and then with Martin Luther King, Jr.

August 28, 1963

– During the civil rights march on Washington, Martin

Luther King, Jr. delivers his “I have a dream” speech.

................Kennedy murdered

February 7, 1964

– The Beckwith trial ends in a mistrial. A second trial

also failed to convict.

July 2, 1964 – The Civil Rights Bill of 1964 is signed by President Lyndon

Johnson, John Kennedy's successor. It abolishes discrimination in public

accommodations and employment.

July 1965

– President Johnson signs the Voting Rights Act, which ensure

voting rights to African Americans, thus fulfilling one of Medgar Evers's

missions.

............

1989 – The Byron de la Beckwith case is reopened.

1991 – July 25, On Emmett Till's 50th birthday, Mayor Richard M. Daley

proclaims “Emmett Till Day” in Chicago. Part of 71st Street is honorarily

named “Emmett Till Road.”

1994 – Beckwith is found guilty and sentenced to life in prison.

.............

Emmett Till*

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Alvin Sykes came late to the saga of Emmett Till, but the Kansas City human rights activist has as much as anyone to do with the reopening of the investigation into the 1955 murder.

Without Sykes' persistence and network of connections, it's unlikely that the case would have gotten the renewed attention of federal and Mississippi authorities, say those who have worked closely with him during a quarter-century-long quest to resolve unpunished civil rights crimes.

"He is tenacious as a bulldog, and he doesn't know the meaning of 'no,'" said Don Burger, a retired racial conflict mediator for the U.S. Justice Department.

Burger, of Waukee, Iowa, joined with Sykes in founding the Emmett Till Justice Campaign, which successfully lobbied the Justice Department to put the FBI back on the hunt in 2004.

Until a few years ago, however, Sykes knew only the basic details of the black 14-year-old's brutal death, which is credited with helping to catalyze the civil rights movement.

Sykes felt the case first tug at him in 1981, after he had persuaded the Justice Department to investigate and successfully prosecute a hate crime for which the perpetrator had been acquitted in a Missouri state court.

The victim was Steven Harvey, a 27-year-old black jazz saxophonist, who was beaten to death in 1980 with a baseball bat by a white ex-Marine. Harvey's widow, Rhea, told Sykes it was the second hate crime in her family. The first was Emmett Till, to whom Rhea Harvey was distantly related.

Till's name, however, didn't attract Sykes' full attention until December 2002, when an article in a black-oriented Kansas City weekly newspaper detailed the books and films being done about the case. He read about Mamie Till Mobley, Emmett's mother, who had been trying since 1956 to get the case reopened. That was also the year Sykes was born.

"Like it was, wow, this woman has spent the equivalent of my lifetime pursuing this one thing," said Sykes.

Sykes contacted Mobley and talked her into chairing the Emmett Till Justice Campaign. Mobley died two days after giving the effort her blessing.

Sykes has made the cause his passion ever since, with help from Burger and others, such as filmmaker Keith Beauchamp. Beauchamp's documentary, "The Untold Story of Emmett Till," contends that there were other people, some still living, who were involved in Till's murder other than the two white men, Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam, who were acquitted by an all-white Tallahatchie County jury.

As with the Steven Harvey murder, Sykes had to persuade the Justice Department that it had jurisdiction to look into the case, even if they would have to rely on state officials to prosecute it. His research turned up two precedents - a federal investigation during the 1970s into the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy, and the Clinton administration's re-examination in the late 1990s of the 1968 assassination of Martin Luther King.

"If it was good enough for Kennedy, and it was good enough for King, it was good enough for Emmett Till," Sykes said.

Sykes is one of the more unlikely characters in the latest chapter of the Till murder and its aftermath.

Sykes was taken at the age of 8 days from his 14-year-old biological mother and placed with a 48-year-old unmarried domestic worker. At 12, he got his first taste of the civil rights movement, snitching on vandals who were setting fires around his Kansas City neighborhood in the aftermath of the King assassination. Fearing in part for his safety, his adoptive mother shipped Sykes off to Boys Town, a home for troubled and neglected children in Nebraska.

At 16, back in Kansas City, Sykes dropped out of school and starting teaching and training himself on the intricacies of the law. Raised Catholic, he became a Buddhist at 18.

He developed a passion for helping crime victims, having himself experienced that sense of helplessness at a young age. When he was 11, Sykes said, he was sexually assaulted twice by a man and woman who lived across the street. They were never charged.

"I did not know there were people you could go to for help," Sykes said.

His grasp of the nuances of civil rights laws is unparalleled, according to Burger, the retired Justice Department mediator.

"He can stand on his own with the most gifted lawyers from Yale and Harvard," Burger said.

Sykes does his work without a vehicle (a visual impairment in one eye keeps him from driving) or much income.

Technically, as president of the Emmett Till Justice Campaign, he is supposed to receive a salary of $27,500 a year, but the organization hasn't had the money to pay it.

Sykes believes his biggest contribution to the Till investigation was getting federal and state prosecutors to talk. A pivotal meeting occurred in Oxford in February 2004, where Joyce Chiles, the district attorney for Leflore, Sunflower and Washington counties, agreed to request the Justice Department's help in the investigation. That allowed the FBI not only to get involved but to add the possibility of prosecution to its digging.

"Joyce Chiles made this a real investigation with real consequences," Sykes said.

Sykes' powers of persuasion extends beyond the Till case.

He planted the seed in the mind of Sen. Jim Talent, R-Mo., to create an office within the Department of Justice to investigate and prosecute unsolved murders from the civil rights era.

That legislation has 22 bipartisan co-sponsors, including both of Mississippi's Republican senators, Thad Cochran and Trent Lott. Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., is one of the lead sponsors in a companion measure that is expected to be introduced in the House next month.

Sykes also came up with the legislation's nickname - the "Till bill."

Sykes said he has no preconceived notions about whether anyone still living collaborated in the murder of Till.

"You will never get from me names of people who were allegedly involved. We want a complete and fair investigation," he said.

He said the evidence could just as likely exonerate aged suspects as it could show reason to prosecute.

"There may be people out there who have been falsely accused."

To those in Mississippi who question the wisdom of resurrecting the racially sensitive case, Sykes cites the example of the June conviction by a Neshoba County jury of Edgar Ray Killen for his involvement in the 1964 slaying of three civil rights workers. That successful state prosecution of the former Klansman has removed, according to Sykes, the stigma that had clung for 41 years to Philadelphia, Miss., site of the infamous crime.

"Already around the world, Philadelphia means something different than it did a month ago," Sykes said during a July interview. "You see it as a beacon of hope for truth and justice."

He said the only way that Mississippi can move out of the long shadow of Emmett Till's death is by bringing to light the full truth of what happened 50 years ago.

"There are more people in Mississippi in the end who will feel better about this coming to a conclusion one way or another rather than to just hang there and fester."

* http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=...id=104621&rfi=6

# http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Civil_Rights_Movement

@ https://www.choicesvideo.net/guidebooks/WAV/Heroes1.pdf

POLITICAL ASSASSINATION

@ : "Jim Crow” laws created a legally inferior status in the South for African Americans, who were denied equal justice and social services. In addition, African Americans suffered sporadic and vicious outbreaks of “lynch law” — people would seize suspected criminals (many of them innocent) and murder them, often after terrible tortures. Sometimes the “crime” for which a black person was murdered hardly qualified for that term. Such was the case of Emmett Till. Because he had allegedly insulted a white woman on a summer day in 1955, two white men assumed they had license to kill him. If they thought they would get away with it, they were correct, because they were never convicted. But if they thought Emmett Till would be forgotten, they couldn't have been more wrong.

Medgar Evers, as field secretary for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), was at the forefront of the movement to get blacks to register to vote. This made him a prime target for segregationists. His murder in 1963 was the first racial killing to garner national attention since the killing of Till eight years before. After his death, an interesting shift in vocabulary signaled an important change in perception. His murder was not referred to as a “lynching,” but a “political assassination,” a recognition that violence against blacks had become something that had to be taken much more seriously and that it had deep political implications. Had Emmett Till and Medgar Evers met their deaths 50 years earlier, their names would probably have been forgotten. But times were changing in America, and their murders ignited a spirit of protest that would not die."

:::::::::::::::::::::::::

Comment; Could Sykes be the man to help relaunch an investigation?

"Sykes' powers of persuasion extends beyond the Till case.

He planted the seed in the mind of Sen. Jim Talent, R-Mo., to create an office within the Department of Justice to investigate and prosecute unsolved murders from the civil rights era."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 55
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

My views on where to look for solutions are clear to members. I see this new bill as an avenue to reopen Kennedy's murder. To my mind the connection to civil rights and the murder of Kennedy should encourage Sykes and Talent to at least consider it.

................................................................................

...............

http://dodd.senate.gov/press/Releases/05/0705_b.htm

July 5, 2005

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senators Jim Talent (R-Mo.) and Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) today announced strong support for their Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act (S. 1369) with 22 bipartisan cosponsors, including Dodd and Talent, already backing the legislation. The bill seeks to create an office within the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate and prosecute Civil Rights-era murders. Talent and Dodd formally introduced the bill last Friday and continue to gather support for the legislation.

The Talent-Dodd plan is co-sponsored by: U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Hillary Rodham Clinton (D- N.Y.), Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), Norm Coleman (R-Minn.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Mike DeWine (R-Ohio), Elizabeth Dole (R-N.C.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), John Kerry (D-Mass.), Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), Mary Landrieu (D-La.), Trent Lott (R-Miss.), Mel Martinez (R-Fla), Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Gordon Smith (R-Ore.), Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and John Sununu (R-N.H.).

“I think the reason we’ve seen this kind of support right away is due to the power of the idea,” said Sen. Talent. “When you talk to people about this legislation, they immediately understand the need to create an office to investigate and prosecute these unsolved murders. We need to aggressively investigate current Civil Rights cases, but we should also dedicate separate resources to investigate Civil Rights-era murders like the Emmett Till case which leaders like Alvin Sykes have been pushing for all these years. We need to unearth the truth and do justice because there can not be healing without the truth.”

“This legislation has gained strong bipartisan support because it seeks to right the wrongs of the past and bring to justice people who perpetrated heinous crimes predicated on racial hatred.” said Sen. Dodd. “I commend my colleagues in joining Senator Talent and I in pushing for this legislation to be passed. It cannot bring back and make whole those who suffered and died at the hands of racists. But it can at least reaffirm our Nation’s commitment to seek the truth and make equal justice a reality.”

“Both federal and state governments have a responsibility to take whatever steps are necessary to thoroughly investigate these murders,” said Alvin Sykes, President of the Emmett Till Justice Campaign, Inc., who helped inspire the idea for the legislation.

“The Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act, heroically sponsored by Senators Jim Talent and Chris Dodd, is critical to the success of this important justice-seeking goal.”

The Talent-Dodd proposal would create the Unsolved Crimes Section, an office within the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice to focus specifically on unsolved Civil Rights-era murders. The bill would authorize up to $5 million annually for the new Section.

The Unsolved Crimes Section will be responsible for investigating and prosecuting pre-1970 cases that resulted in death and still remain unsolved in coordination with state and local law enforcement officials. The Section Chief would be responsible for prosecuting these cases and would be required to report to Congress and the American people on their actions.

If a crime other than murder is discovered during the course of an investigation it will be referred to the appropriate law enforcement officials. The Section would report its findings to Congress annually on September 30, the end of the federal fiscal year.

Key Components of the Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act:

• NEW OFFICE FOCUSED ON UNSOLVED CIVIL RIGHTS MURDERS – The Unsolved Crimes Section will specifically target “cold case” murders from the Civil Rights-era. The bill would authorize up to $5 million annually for the new office.

• SEEKING THE TRUTH – Through aggressive investigation, prosecution and reporting, the new Unsolved Crimes Section will shed light on the unsolved deaths from the civil rights era, allowing victims’ families to rest easier knowing the truth.

• PROSECUTE CRIMINALS – The mission of the Unsolved Crimes Section is to aggressively investigate and prosecute criminals in coordination with state and local law enforcement officials.

• REFERAL OF OTHER UNSOLVED CIVIL RIGHTS VIOLATIONS – If during the course of an investigation a crime other than murder is discovered, it will be promptly referred to the Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice.

• ACCOUNTABILITY TO CONGRESS – The Unsolved Crimes Section Chief will provide a report on its activities to Congress annually on September 30, the end of the federal fiscal year.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Most interesting and it looks like a great law for regular civil rights cases as well.

Great post, John!

Thank you Tim.

........................................

(as soon as I find again the site I got the following from I'll add it to the post.)

" Bob Moses

Late one night in October, 1961, I flew from Atlanta to Jackson, Mississippi, with Bob Moses. We didn’t sit together during the silent one hour flight, nor did we make eye contact at the empty airport. Not that it wasn’t legal. You simply wouldn’t take the chance.

The next day, with my late friend Paul Potter of the National Student Association (NSA), I rented a car and drove two hours south from Jackson to McComb, a staunchly-segregated town of 12,000, not far from Mississippi’s southern border. There we arranged to meet Bob Moses by pulling up to a gas station parking lot with our lights out, changing cars, lying low in the back seats, and finally being smuggled into a basement room with blankets covering on all the windows. There we discussed the voter registration drive and freedom school opening in town.

This was shortly after the Freedom Rides had shaken Mississippi and the Deep South, exposing the violence that awaited any who challenged the segregated status quo. At the time, Attorney General Robert Kennedy wondered aloud if the Freedom Riders “have the best interest of the country at heart” since they were providing “good propaganda for America’s enemies”. The New York Times editorialized that “nonviolence that deliberately provokes violence is a logical contradiction”. A Gallup Poll that summer revealed that 63 percent of Americans opposed the Freedom Rides.

Of course, patience was in the eye of the beholder. It was 100 years since the beginning of the Civil War, 100 years since the imposition of Jim Crow laws, and 13 years since Democratic Party liberals like Hubert Humphrey had adopted a civil rights platform. And still, people were being killed for registering to vote, as recently as September 25, when a farmer named Herbert Lee was shot in broad daylight by a white Mississippi elected official. A witness to Lee’s murder, Louis Allen, became a marked man; he was killed two years later.

Bob Moses took Herbert Lee’s death personally. Lee had drawn venomous racist attention by driving Bob around the back roads looking for volunteers. Bob himself was badly beaten on the head and face by the son-in-law of the man who shot Herbert Lee. Beatings of other civil rights workers became routine.

The institutions of liberalism were powerless to act. Officials of Robert Kennedy’s Justice Department, on Moses’ invitation, clandestinely visited Mississippi sharecroppers to see for themselves. They urged Moses to leave Mississippi because they couldn’t, or wouldn’t protect the voter registration effort. Institutions like the black churches and the NAACP lacked the independent strength for such campaigns.

To organize for elementary rights, one had to learn the solitude of expecting to die.

In these conditions, people like Bob learned about organizing inside what they called “the iceberg”. Bob was raised in the North, attended Hamilton College and Harvard graduate school in the Fifties, visited Zen centers in Japan, and was teaching at Horace Mann school when the sit-ins and freedom rides erupted in 1960. After a volunteer stint at Martin Luther King’s New York office, he traveled south to join a three-member civil rights office in Atlanta. Then he took an exploratory bus trip through the Black Belt, finally being drawn to rural Mississippi.

Among stalwart black sharecroppers, Bob began to evolve a new model of how things work. In the orthodox model, institutions are supposed to represent and defend organized constituencies. But along the way they became frozen in the iceberg themselves. The people they were supposed to represent were frozen too, Frozen by fear of white violence. Frozen by feelings that they didn’t count in the big picture of things, and above all by feelings that they were unqualified to participate in government. Democracy was meaningless where so many people were powerless psychologically.

So Bob listened. When people asked him what to do, he asked what they thought. At mass meetings, he usually sat in back. In group discussions, he mostly spoke last. He slept on floors, wore sharecroppers’ overalls, shared the risks, took the blows, went to jail, dug in deeply. Gradually the ice melted, the rock of hope was revealed. People were empowered for the first time.

Radicals of that era advocated a strategy they called “political realignment”, which meant the fashioning of a liberal Democratic Party by breaking the connection with the party’s racist Dixiecrat wing. The notion had seeped into Bob’s thinking too, with the difference that he really meant to make it happen. Not through the endlessness of gradualism, but by boiling the iceberg. Not because it was some ideological dream, but because black people needed leverage against the structure of fear.

So Bob continued trying to educate the Justice Department to the necessity of breaking the link with segregation. But the results never led to breakthrough. For example, the Kennedys were persuaded to encourage foundation funding for voter registration drives, as an alternative to radical direct action, but they wouldn’t replace segregationist judges or protect civil rights workers on the front lines. Louis Allen was found murdered in Amite County while SNCC was holding a strategy meeting on what to do next. It was plain that the movement couldn’t protect those it encouraged to stand up. Bob knew that getting the Justice Department on the phone, or bringing national figures like Harry Belafonte, Dick Gregory and Bob Dylan to Mississippi was at least partial protection against the reign of terror. His budding idea was to force the nation, at least north of the Mason-Dixon line, to share the terror and finally take a stand on Mississippi. Even when President Kennedy made a personal civil rights appeal on national television in June, a sniper killed NAACP leader Medgar Evers in front of his family in Jackson.

Not long after, JFK himself was killed, and the whole country suddenly felt more like Mississippi. But in the same month as the Kennedy assassination, 90,000 blacks in Mississippi shed their fears to cast a “freedom vote” protesting their exclusion from the democratic process. It was an underground vote, like an underground railroad, demonstrating that some freedom was in the air. The project that Bob had built was becoming an alternative structure exposing and chipping at the iceberg. In spring and summer of 1964 came the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party and Mississippi Summer. The new party would challenge the credentials of the state’s official delegation at the National Democratic Convention, while hundreds of northern, mostly-white volunteers would enter Mississippi to work in “freedom schools” and registration projects.

While the 1964 Summer Project participants were training in nonviolence before leaving for Mississippi, word came on June 21 that three civil rights workers were “disappeared” in Neshoba County, James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Mickey Schwerner. Bob had the burden of breaking the news. No one backed down. FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover told the the President that the missing activists might have staged their disappearance to inflame the situation, or perhaps that “these three may have gotten rather fresh” with the locals.

In Mississippi that summer, there were 30 bombings, 35 church burnings, 35 people shot and 80 beaten up. But the Freedom Democrats continued growing toward the goal of sending an alternative, legal, racially-open delegation to challenge the official Dixiecrats at the Convention. It was the most significant model of participatory democracy built in the Sixties. The project was the brightest alternative to the war, violence and repression that was building just beyond our knowledge. If the cause of the Freedom Democrats was taken up by the Democratic Party, the rhetoric of political realignment would have turned into reality, and the War on Poverty would have become the priority instead of War in Vietnam.

It was not to be. "

..............................

May 28, 1963

– The NAACP begins to hold sit-ins at Woolworth lunch

counters. That night, a Molotov cocktail is thrown at Medgar Evers's

house.

June 7, 1963

– At an NAACP meeting in Jackson, Mississippi, Evers says,

“I love my children and I love my wife. And I would die, and die gladly, if

that would make a better life for them.”

June 12, 1963

– President John F. Kennedy gives a stirring civil rights

speech on television. As Medgar Evers returns home after hearing it, he is

killed by a sniper.

After his death, an interesting shift in vocabulary signaled an important change in perception. His murder was not referred to as a “lynching,” but a “political assassination,” a recognition that violence against blacks had become something that had to be taken much more seriously and that it had deep political implications.

June 19, 1963

– Shortly after Byron de la Beckwith is arrested, Evers is

buried with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery. For two

days previously, his body had been carried across the land by a funeral

train.

June 22, 1963

– Kennedy meets at the White House first with Roy Wilkins

of the NAACP and then with Martin Luther King, Jr.

August 28, 1963

– During the civil rights march on Washington, Martin

Luther King, Jr. delivers his “I have a dream” speech.

................Kennedy murdered

When eight years previously, Emmett Tills shot and mutilated body was brought back to his mother, she insisted on an open coffin with no cosmetics applied : "I want them to see what they have done."

This act kick started the modern civil rights movement.

WHY DID THEY DO IT?

Jackie refused to change out of her blood stained clothes till Saturday morning.

When about to disembark from Air Force I she said “We’ll go out the regular way,I want them to see what they have done.”

A black woman was filmed weeping in Dealey Plaza after the assassination, her words and image went around the world, distraught, holding a bunch of keys, saying "Why did they shoot him?"

Chief Justice Warren had issued a statement that afternoon that “a great and good President suffered martyrdom as a result of the hatred and bitterness that been injected into the life of our nation by bigots.”

..................................

Then the conspiracy.

...................................

Jackie after Oswald has been brought to her attention now says, (identifying who she meant by 'they') : "He didn't even have the satisfaction of being killed for civil rights"

..................................

Jack and Jackie had had no doubt of the forces they were up against.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote

Link to comment
Share on other sites

extracts from a fascinating history of Mississippi.

( http://themiddleoftheinternet.com/RebelsRoostPrologue.pdf )

Bannister had been seeking work with SISS. Eastland was related to the Ku Klux Klan sniper who murdered Medgar Evers.

.......................................

"Seven years before President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, Sen. Eastland had met with Guy Banister (“a controversial CIA operative” and retired FBI agent in charge of the Chicago bureau and later linked to Lee Harvey Oswald and Eastland through the senator’s Senate Internal Security Subcommittee or SISS) at the senator’s Delta home.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune on March 23, 1956 reported that [Robert] Morrison [a former chief counsel for Sen. Joseph McCarthy] and Banister traveled to Greenwood, Mississippi, to confer personally with Senator Eastland for more than three hours. "Describing the conference as completely 'satisfactory,' Morrsion said, 'Mr. Banister has complete liaison with the committee's staff which was the main object of our trip.'"

........................................

"In the early morning hours of June 12, 1963, a courageous civil rights leader lay bleeding to death in the driveway to his home. A Ku Klux Klansman had shot Medgar Evers as he arrived home at 12:20 a.m. after a long night at work. Evers had left his car and started for the door. His wife and children jumped up to meet him, as the sniper, crouching 150 feet away in a honeysuckle thicket, fired one shot from his Enfield .30’06 high velocity rifle, then dropped the weapon into a patch of weeds and ran away.

Evers was hit in his back, just below his shoulder blade; the bullet tore out the front of his chest and rippled on through the living room “to spend itself against the kitchen refrigerator.” He tried to stagger to his feet and work his way toward the kitchen door, but collapsed instead. His wife ran out to him, held his head in her arms and cried. His friends place Evers on a mattress and rushed him by car to the University Hospital, open to whites only. Evers was at first refused admission.

When hospital officials realized who he was, they broke the hospital's color barrier for the first time in its history. “Turn me loose!” These were the last words of Medgar Evers; the kind and patient man beloved by many was pronounced dead one hour later.

At least one person in Neshoba County knew where "the car" was located before the FBI found it. The burned-out blue station wagon that everyone in town was keeping their eyes out for was stuck in the muddy Bogue Chitto swamp. A grandmother said she saw it first and called the FBI. It surprised her that the agents were slow to arrive; it took them two hours before they responded.

Two days earlier, on Sunday June 21, 1964, a dozen Klansmen, who had bombed an African American church, chased three young civil rights workers into the night before killing them. It took another forty-four days to find the young mens’ bodies – buried fifteen feet beneath an earthen dam, covered by the red Mississippi clay.

On the night they were killed, the three men had been stopped by a sheriff's deputy and temporarily jailed. He later released them into a mob of Klan members who beat and shot them.

The State of Mississippi delayed filing criminal murder charges against any of the Klansmen involved until January 7, 2005 when they hauled in one old man – a Baptist “preacher” – who had avoided conviction for federal conspiracy charges in 1967. In that trial, a holdout juror said she “could never convict a preacher.”

Link to comment
Share on other sites

from above post

Bannister had been seeking work with SISS. Eastland was related to the Ku Klux Klan sniper who murdered Medgar Evers.

.......................................

"Seven years before President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, Sen. Eastland had met with Guy Banister (“a controversial CIA operative” and retired FBI agent in charge of the Chicago bureau and later linked to Lee Harvey Oswald and Eastland through the senator’s Senate Internal Security Subcommittee or SISS) at the senator’s Delta home.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune on March 23, 1956 reported that [Robert] Morrison [a former chief counsel for Sen. Joseph McCarthy] and Banister traveled to Greenwood, Mississippi, to confer personally with Senator Eastland for more than three hours. "Describing the conference as completely 'satisfactory,' Morrsion said, 'Mr. Banister has complete liaison with the committee's staff which was the main object of our trip.'"

........................................

From a press report: January 22, 2001

Byron De La Beckwith, a white supremacist who escaped justice for 31 years before being convicted in the 1963 murder of civil rights activist Medgar Evers, died late on Sunday night in a Jackson, Mississippi, hospital, a hospital spokeswoman said on Monday.

Beckwith, 80, was serving a life sentence at Central Mississippi Correctional Facility in Rankin County. He died just hours after he was taken to University Medical Center complaining of chest pains.

"I can confirm that he expired yesterday at 10:12 p.m. Mississippi time Monday,'' hospital spokeswoman Barbara Austin said, adding it was not hospital policy to release the cause of death.

Beckwith, a retired fertilizer salesman and decorated Second World War veteran, was convicted in 1994 for the June 12, 1963, slaying of Evers, who was shot in the back as he walked up his driveway.

Evers, 37, had drawn the wrath of white supremacists for spearheading efforts by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) to win equal rights for blacks in the once deeply segregated southern state.

All-white juries at two earlier trials were unable to reach verdicts in the case despite the discovery of Beckwith's fingerprint on the deer rifle used to kill Evers.

Beckwith, who insisted he was 90 miles away in Greenwood, Mississippi, when Evers was murdered, would in the years following the mistrials brag to his friends about "beating the system.''

In 1967, Beckwith ran for lieutenant governor of Mississippi, finishing fifth with more than 34,000 votes. In 1973, he was convicted and sentenced to five years in prison for possessing dynamite without a permit.

He later moved with his wife to Signal Mountain, Tennessee, where he lived in relative obscurity as an ordained minister for the Christian Identity Movement, a white supremacist group.

Although many Mississippians would come to accept integration and subsequent efforts to extend equal rights to blacks, Beckwith, who once referred to Evers as a "mongrel,'' would never desist from his racist views.

"He was stuck in time and just could not budge,'' said Brad Bond, a professor of history at the University of Southern Mississippi, who described Beckwith as both a monstrous and tragic figure.

Beckwith continued to publicly deny killing Evers, but his explanations failed to sway a new generation of Mississippi prosecutors who reopened the case in 1989 at the prompting of Evers' widow, former NAACP leader Myrlie Evers Williams.

Armed with new evidence and a 127-page document alleging numerous errors in the original trial, prosecutors had Beckwith arrested again on December 17, 1990. A jury of eight blacks and four whites found him guilty of murder following a two-week trial.

In 1997 the Mississippi Supreme Court upheld the conviction, which has led to the reopening of a number of 1960s civil rights crimes in the state.

Although now widely regarded as a crude villain for his assassination of Evers, Beckwith was wounded and awarded a Purple Heart for valor during the Battle of Tarawa during the Second World War.

In an ironic twist, it is Evers who lies buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, the resting place for many of the nation's presidents and national heroes. Beckwith will likely be buried in Mississippi after an autopsy.

http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/mwevers.htm

Link to comment
Share on other sites

june 63 copy of life magazine (with article on 'space girls' by Clare Luce) with Evers and his assassin, a KKK sniper related to Eastland who had dealings with Bannister.

Edited by John Dolva
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I tend to think of racists as monsters, even if they do not engage in violent acts.

Racists are so impassioned and inflamed by their views--although it is not my best assessment of the assassination it would be fat easier for me to conclude JFK was killed by a racist who feared his stand on civil rights than that he was killed by a rich oil baron who feared losing the oil depletion allowance.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I tend to think of racists as monsters, even if they do not engage in violent acts.

Racists are so impassioned and inflamed by their views--although it is not my best assessment of the assassination it would be fat easier for me to conclude JFK was killed by a racist who feared his stand on civil rights than that he was killed by a rich oil baron who feared losing the oil depletion allowance.

January, 1963.

The first black students ever to be enrolled at Tulane University began their classes.

TulaneLinks

http://www.tulanelink.com/tulanelink/rulingclass_box.htm

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I tend to think of racists as monsters, even if they do not engage in violent acts.

Racists are so impassioned and inflamed by their views--although it is not my best assessment of the assassination it would be fat easier for me to conclude JFK was killed by a racist who feared his stand on civil rights than that he was killed by a rich oil baron who feared losing the oil depletion allowance.

January, 1963.

The first black students ever to be enrolled at Tulane University began their classes.

TulaneLinks

http://www.tulanelink.com/tulanelink/rulingclass_box.htm

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One of the saddest parts of Katrina, obviously paled by the human tragedies, is the impact on institutions e.g. Tulane. If I recall correctly there was a well-respected judge in Madison who received his law degree from Tulane.

Edited by Tim Gratz
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Presidents and civil rights activists were not the only targets of snipers in them days. Here two activists point to bullet holes on their cars.

At the picnic in the center activists attend a lecture on techniques to protect their bodies in case of attack.

On the left a religious leader has a rest on a parkbench following an attack.

James Meredith needed protection to go to classes. Some of his protectors thought wearing hard hats a good idea. Unfortunately a couple of years later this wasn't enough to stop James from getting shot in the back by a sniper in a tree.

Four years earlier::: http://www.africanamericans.com/JamesMeredith.htm

"1962 University of Mississippi Riot

President Kennedy ordered Federal Marshals to escort James Meredith, the first black student to enroll at the University of Mississippi, to campus. A riot broke out and before the National Guard could arrive to reinforce the marshals, two students were killed.

In January 1961, James Meredith, an African American, applied for admission to the University of Mississippi. Officials at the school returned his application. Mr. Meredith took his case to court. On September 10, 1962, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that he had the right to attend the University of Mississippi. The Governor of Mississippi, Ross Barnett, personally blocked Mr. Meredith from registering at the University even after the Supreme Court ruled. Finally, on September 30, 1962, a Sunday, Mr. Meredith was escorted onto the campus by federal marshals and Civil Rights Division lawyers. Stationed on or near the campus to protect him were 123 deputy federal marshals, 316 US Border Patrolmen, and 97 federal prison guards. Within an hour, the federal forces were attacked by a mob that would grow to number 2,000 and who fought them with guns, bricks, bottles, and Molotov cocktails. The marshals had been ordered not to shoot and so used tear gas to try to stop the rioting. The violence continued until President Kennedy sent 16,000 federal troops to the campus. When it was over, 2 people were dead, 28 marshals had been shot, 160 people were injured, and James Meredith became the first black student to attend the University of Mississippi."

(The negotiations with the governor leading up to James' admission is an interesting insight into the Kennedy's judicious use of transcripts and taped phone conversations.)

Edited by John Dolva
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The evil that irrational hatreds can produce is astounding.

Hopefully year after year things get better. Things are, of course, much better in the South than they were in the sixties. Even some of the most bitter racist leaders changed their attitudes.

And of course in the 1960 election there was great opposition to JFK because of his religion. (Although on balance he probably gained as many votes as he lost.) Now I think few Protestants would object to a Catholic president solely based on his or her faith.

Which is not to say that all racial and religious prejudice has been eliminated.

The biggest problem our world now seems to face is Muslim fundamentalism and the belief of Muslim extremists that Allah condones murder and terrorism. Hopefully this will over time be worked out just as the bitter Catholic/Protestant dispute is now better. Our challenge is to attempt to minimize the personal injuries and death caused as it is worked out. As we all know, there have been deadly battles between Muslims and Christians for hundreds of years so the problem will not be solved "overnight".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, Tim, I appreciate your input. However this topic is about that period of time in the south when John F. Kennedy was murdered. There are clear connections between the people who murdered black people and those who were in Dallas and New Orleans in 1963.

This series of posts are to remind of the environment and issues that were real then. In the early sixties.

Instinctively in the first few hours before Oswald became the focus, those close to the President thought 'civil rights'. The Cubans, Oswald, the Mob and all the rest came later. There were members in the establishment like Senator Eastland who were active and intimate with killers in the KKK. Theses snipers did kill. The environment was one of violence. Nothing to do with todays Muslims in this thread context. This is about identifying the murderers of Kennedy.

There were good people of all races and religions fighting the good fight.

The terror of the South had clear economnic causes.

Bannister was involved in spying on citizens to build up databases to identify and deal with anti-segregationists.

Overall in the context of the times the people involved one way or another cannot forever obfuscate the connection between bigotry and Kennedys death.

There are now coming into being avenues for reopening the Kennedy murder investigations. It would be negligent not to explore them.

Edited by John Dolva
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...