March 18, 2013 |
PHILADELPHIA, MISS. - Olen Burrage, who was acquitted in the case of three civil-rights workers killed by Ku Klux Klansmen in Mississippi in the 1960s, has died. He was 82. Burrage died Friday at a hospital, the McClain-Hays Funeral Home Chapel said. The funeral home did not release a cause of death. Burrage owned land in Neshoba County in central Mississippi where the three civil-rights workers were buried under an earthen dam after KKK members killed them in 1964. He said he knew nothing about the killings and was acquitted of conspiracy in 1967.
June 24, 2005
IF JUSTICE had been done 40 years ago, Edgar Ray Killen probably would be home on parole by now. Instead, this unrepentant racist is likely to spend the rest of his worthless life in a Mississippi prison. Killen, convicted of organizing the Ku Klux Klan lynch mob that murdered civil rights workers James Chaney, Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman, will die in a handicap-accessible cage after escaping justice long enough for most people to forget his crime. But, does convicting one tired old man change anything about Mississippi's homicidal history?
August 19, 2012
Karl Fleming, 84, a former Newsweek reporter who dodged bullets and choked on tear gas while covering some of the most momentous events of the civil rights era, died on Saturday at his home in Los Angeles. The cause was respiratory illness, his son Charles said. Mr. Fleming was in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on June 11, 1963, when Gov. George C. Wallace fulfilled his pledge to "stand in the schoolhouse door" and then stepped aside when handed a presidential order to allow two black students to enroll at the University of Alabama.
August 5, 2005 |
Dr. Harry Asher Pinsky, 95, a physician and activist who treated injured civil-rights workers during the historic Freedom Summer of 1964, died of Parkinson's disease July 1 in the Selfhelp Home, a retirement community in Chicago. He was a longtime resident of Haddonfield and then Westmont before moving to Chicago in 2000. Dr. Pinsky was one of the thousands who traveled to the South in 1964 to register African Americans to vote. He left his practice, then in Camden, and stayed with a black family in Mississippi.
June 24, 1989 |
A "freedom caravan" has been making its way from Philadelphia, Miss., to Washington and then to New York. It is designed to commemorate a shaping moment in the history of the American civil rights movement. It is unintentionally commemorating both the triumph and the tragedy of that movement. Twenty-five years ago this week, James Chaney, Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman disappeared in Philadelphia, Miss., where they had gone to work in the voter registration drive that "freedom summer" of 1964.
February 5, 1990 |
Fourteen-year-old Eugene Byrd was not born until a decade after the summer of 1964 was torn asunder by the murders of civil rights workers James Chaney, Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman. Until recently, the slayings - carried out by Ku Klux Klansmen on a country road near Philadelphia, Miss. - were just another page in his high school history text. Then the young actor from Mount Airy won a role in the TV film "Murder in Mississippi" airing tonight at 9 on Channel 3 - that of Chaney's 12-year-old brother, Ben. "At first, I didn't know how to play the role," said Byrd, a ninth-grader who until now has played mostly smart-mouthed kid characters.
February 17, 1989 |
When Ronald Reagan was targeting the Southern white vote for the 1980 presidential election, he stopped at the Neshoba County Fairground in Philadelphia, Miss., not far from the spot where three young voting-rights organizers were murdered by the Ku Klux Klan in the summer of 1964. You shouldn't need to be told that Reagan did not so much as mention the names of Michael Schwerner, James Chaney and Andrew Goodman, the three slain volunteers. Instead, he championed states' rights, which is redneck code-talk for "to hell with all those damn federal desegregation laws.
June 30, 1989 |
For those who saw the film Mississippi Burning, We Are Not Afraid bySeth Cagin and Philip Dray (Bantam, $5.95) should be required reading. Theauthors get you about as close as you'll want to be to the violence of 1964 inMississippi - the beatings, the burning of churches and the shooting of civil-rights workers. This book conveys not the stylized horror of a movie, but theheart-pounding, benumbing fear of knowing that you have seconds to live andthat your killers are laughing as they murder you. This lengthy nonfiction account - with photographs and index - details themurders of civil-rights workers James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and MichaelSchwerner, the search for them, the discovery of their bodies and the trial ofthe people who killed them.
June 18, 1989 |
Samuel Pitt is going on a trip that will take him 1,000 miles south and 25 years into the past. Tomorrow, he and hundreds of others are scheduled to board buses and planes bound for Mississippi and a return to Freedom Summer. It is the start of the weeklong Philadelphia-to-Philadelphia Project, commemorating the deaths of three young civil-rights workers murdered by the Ku Klux Klan near tiny Philadelphia, Miss., on June 21, 1964. The project is not only an anniversary remembrance of three martyrs, organizers say, but also a rededication to civil-rights activism and a promise of fealty in the future.
January 13, 1989 |
Alan Parker's Mississippi Burning has inflamed controversy because it is a numbingly powerful fiction drawn from the dreadful facts of one of the worst atrocities of the often bloody struggle for civil rights in the '60s. In essence, the director is being pilloried for the way he has addressed what is - in more than one sense - a black-and-white issue. The rights and wrongs of racism are so apparent that a movie simply devoted to white persecution of blacks is destined for blatant melodrama and a silent- film perspective of good and evil.