1964 -- The Crest of the Civil Rights Movement: Freedom Summer Successes and Fallout

During the experiment known as "Freedom Summer", white volunteers and black activists lived and organized side-by-side in segregated and impoverished communities in order to increase voter registration and call national attention to the realities of the Jim Crow South. At the Democratic Convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey in August, many activists' ideals were shattered when the political pragmatism of President Lyndon B. Johnson's administration crushed the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party's (MFDP) vision of participatory democracy. Nevertheless, this led to the start of integration in the Democratic State Party.

  • SNCC, CORE and NAACP work together on the "Mississippi Summer Project", which later became know as "Freedom Summer".
  • On June 21st, at the beginning of Freedom Summer, civil rights workers Andy Goodman, James Chaney and Michael Schwerner were murdered by the Klu Klux Klan (KKK) during their investigation of the June 16th Mt. Zion United Methodist Church burning.
  • Sam Bowers was elected as Imperial Wizard of the White Knights of the Klu Klux Klan in Mississippi.
  • President Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act on July 2nd.
  • August 24 - 27 1964, MFDP goes to the Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Quotes from interviews associated with this scene are listed below. To see excerpts from interview transcripts, click on the associated Excerpts link below each quote.

"We cannot sit around and talk about the beloved community." Cleveland Sellers
"I believe strictly in Christianity and those things have kept us going all these years praying for hope, that now we began to see this as a reality. And I don't think our prayer was in vain." Fannie Lou Hamer
"They were beginning to burn churches. They were beginning to move beyond crosses… They burned churches because they understood that the Christian faith was what inspired the movement and kept it going." Ed King
"There was no miracle that night…" Ed King
"...I fell on my knees and started praying to God that he would spare my husband, spare his life..." Roosevelt and Beatrice Cole
"…if you had an alteration with a white person who was trailing you or whatever or giving you the finger; he's not gonna do anything right then; he's gonna go home and organize and then come get you." Cleveland Sellers
"...I think many of us that got caught up in the Civil Rights Movement saw it as participating, saw it as an extension of our religious faith, saw it as part of our religious conviction, part of our very being." John Lewis
"Now, [the Mississippi Council on Human Relations] was revived in Oxford in '62... it was simply an organization that sponsored meetings, open forums to talk about issues. " Duncan Gray
"...they turned to cynicism and despair and turned to militancy... None of us realized how strong the evil was that we fought, and how much a part of American power it was, and so were not able to grapple [with] it..." Ed King

Find below primary and secondary resources located in the Project on Lived Theology's Civil Rights Archive associated with this Scene. Click on a title to see the full record.

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Unknown Economic and Training Needs Mississippi Delta
Ed King New Governor and New Words; SNCC Style and Old Religion
Ed King White Church (Part Two); Section II-B, "Why Methodists"
Ed King White Church (Part Four); Section XVI-A, "Methodist General Conference"
Ed King Testimony from Mt. Zion
Ed King White Church (Part Two); Section II-A, "Other Attacks on Moderates"
Ed King White Church (Part Four); Section XV, "Advocate Assesses the Times"
Ed King Project Description: The Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party
Unknown Cassette Transcription: Tom Dent Collection
Ed King Failure of Campaign to Open White Churches, Rise of Black Militancy & Separatism, Confusion about Nonviolence & Christian Love
Ed King White Church (Part Two); Section I, "Introduction I"
Ed King White Church (Part Four); Section XIV-B, "Easter Arrests" (Untitled Document)
Ed King Herrons & Beloved Community
Ed King White Church (Part Four); Section XIV-A2, "Church Visits Continue, Winter to Easter"
Ed King White Church (Part Four); Section XX, "Footnotes"
Ed King White Church (Part Four); Section XIV-A1, "Church Visits, Winter to Easter"
Ed King White Church (Part Four); Section XIX, "Conclusion -- Neshoba"
Ed King White Church (Part Four); Section XIII, "Divided Churches"
Ed King Curriculum Vitae: Edwin King: Civil Rights Work in 1960s, Summary
Ed King White Church (Part Four); Section XVIII, "Epistles"
Ed King Jackson Movement: May - June 1964 (Untitled Document)
Charles M. Sherrod Concerning the Difficulties Faced by the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (Untitled Article)
Ed King White Church (Part Four); Section XII, "Ministers' Projects"
Ed King Genocide
Ed King Rifle Squads in the Beloved Community
Unknown Overview of the Freedom Schools
Unknown Notes on MFDP (Untitled Document)
Ed King White Church (Part Four); Section XVII, "Church Jokes" (Untitled Document)
Ed King Reality of Change (Untitled Document)
Ed King White Church (Part Four); Section I, "Introduction", The Winter of the Closed Society
Ed King White Church -- Beauty for Ashes
Charles Marsh Dahmer Murder and the Response of the Church, Field Notes
Ed King White Church (Part Four); Section XVI-C, "Mississippi Church Reaction to Conference"
Ed King Mississippi: The White Church and Social Crisis
Ed King White Church -- "Beauty of Ashes"
Ed King White Church (Part Four); Section XVI-B, "Church Conference Details"
Ed King Winter, Spring 1964 Life in Mississippi XIX "The Canton Road"
1961 Unknown Shootings and Killings Since 1961
1963 Unknown Some Suggested Revisions of Scripture for Use in Galloway Memorial and Capitol Street Methodist Churches in Jackson, Mississippi, and Others of Similar Ilk
1963 Unknown Amendment Presented by Dr. Robert Mayo, Hinds Jr. College, to Resolutions
1963 Unknown Note from a Negro in BOMBingham, Alabama(Untitled Document)
1963 Unknown A Resolution Stating the Policy of the Mississippi Association of Methodist Ministers and Laymen on Racial Integration Within the Church
1963 Various Sermons at Broadmeadow Methodist Church, Capitol Street Methodist Church, etc.
1964 Unknown Judges Weigh Kneel-In Case From Jackson
1964 Unknown Att: Helen Brooks, President
1964 Fannie Lou Hamer Platform
1964 Unknown The Travail of Mississippi Methodism
1964 Unknown A Program for the Student Voice, Inc.
1964 Unknown The New Republic September 1964 Issue
1964 Unknown Jackson, Miss.
1964 Jerry Demuth Fannie Lou Hamer: Tired of Being Sick and Tired
1964 Unknown Freedom Party Needs Assistance
1964 Unknown The Church in Action: The New Shape of the Central Jurisdiction
1964 James Atwater 'If We Can Crack Mississippi...'
1964 Unknown Untitled Delta Ministry Document
Evelyn Gislason
J.T. Long
Phil Durkee
William R. Nye
Union Theological Seminary Newspaper October 1964 Issue
Nonviolent Agitation Association of College Pupils
Culture Committee Increases Activity
1964 Unknown Bishop Named Speaker For Church Meet Here
1964 Unknown Judges Weigh Kneel-In Case From Jackson
1964 Cleveland Sellers Holly Springs Project--Letters from Cleveland Sellers to Jesse Morris and Jim Forman
1964 Unknown Letter to Fannie Lou Hamer
1964 Bill Copenbarger City Active in Defending Against Racial Pressures
1964 Unknown Church News
1964 Ed King Summer Plan 1964
1964 Charlie Simonson Community
1964 Arthur M. North Letter from Arthur M. North to Mrs. H.M. McDonald (01/27/1964)
1964 Unknown Baptist Beauties
1964 Unknown Challenge Gains Northern Support
1964 Herblock "What Are You Guys-A Bunch of Atheistic Communists or Something?"
1964 Unknown Prospectus for the Mississippi Freedom Summer
1964 Frank Peters Hartshorne to Speak
1964 Unknown Court Extends Ban On Rights Protest in Jackson, Miss.
1964 Jim Newton Baptists Challenged To Improve Race Scene
1964 Theresa Del Pozzo Letter from Theresa Del Pozzo to John Lewis
1964 Mississippi's Metaphysical Mystics
Bill Minter
Michael F. Valente
Reader's Responses
1964 Unknown Pilgramage to Pittsburgh--A "Living Memorial"
1964 Unknown Letter from the Student Interracial Ministry Committee to Pastors Interested in the Student Interracial Ministry
1964 Unknown Bishops Barred From Own Church Easter Services
Myrtle Lane
Marjory Collins
Goin' to Jail
1964 Lois Chaffee Lois Chaffee to Dr. Riley
1964 Unknown Wives' Club News
1964 Unknown Church News
1964 Unknown Seven Ministers Freed On Bond
1964 M. S. Handler Mississippi Faces Drive for Rights: 1,000 Students Expected to Work in the Project
1964 Eugene Carson Blake The Address Delivered by Dr. Eugene Carson Blake at the Memorial Service for the Reverend Bruce William Klunder
Fletcher Coates
Elsa Kruuse
Poverty In the South
Myrtle Lane
Marjory Collins
What is the Movement?
1964 Joe Pfister Mississippi and the Freedom Vote
1964 Nora Lee Jacobson Nora Lee Jacobson to Fannie Lou Hamer
1964 Elizabeth Fusco Elizabeth Fusco to Governor Paul Johnson
1964 Unknown SIM Intern Reports at Mid-Year
1964 Unknown On Tour Again: Methodists Lashed by Myers Lowman
Myrtle Lane
Marjory Collins
The Christian Spirit in Hattiesburg
1964 Unknown Re: Jackson Case #J-64-5-2-U
1964 Phil Durkee Union Wins Over General
1964 Unknown The Mayor Speaks
1964 Pauline Sellers Letter from Mother to C.L. (11/12/1964) (Untitled Document)
1964 Unknown Court Turns Down Request
Jack Minnis
Fannie Lou Hamer
Transcript of Interview by Jack Minnis with Fannie Lou Hamer
1964 Unknown The Delta Ministry
1964 Unknown Presbyterian Life May 1964 Issue
1964 Unknown Southwest Mississippi
Fannie Lou Hamer
Fannie Lou Hamer Interview Conducted by Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) Worker - 1964
1964 Richard Tholin Richard Tholin to Ed King
1964 Unknown Fannie Lou Hamer Campaign Schedule and Budget
1964 Unknown Getting Your Name in Print
1964 Paul Good Mississippi Clergymen Preach on 'Hatred, Violence and Bigotry'
1964 Unknown Methodists Ask Withdrawal, New Church
Myrtle Lane
Marjory Collins
The King is Coming!
1964 Unknown We Endorse...The Chest Fund...Columbus Day...Small Groups
1964 Unknown Letter from Barbara to Mr. Sellers (07/21/1964) (Untitled Document)
1964 Unknown Methodist Church Paper Speaks Again
Ed King
David Dennis
Eulogies for James Chaney - August 7, 1964
1964 David Wiley Context for Tragedy
1964 Ralph Scharnau Mrs. Ralph Scharnau to Ed King
1964 Michael Harris An Idealist in Mississippi
1964 Sue Cronk Two Negro Women in Mississippi: They've Already Lost Election
William R. Nye
Evelyn Gislason
J.T. Long
Phil Durkee
Union Theological Seminary Newspaper Volume 18, Number 5 Issue
1964 Unknown For Immediate Release
1964 Unknown God Help Us to Move...
Myrtle Lane
Marjory Collins
Peace Concern: Report From the South
1964 Ben Potter Art Around Town
1964 Unknown Mamie Hit!
1964 Unknown Letter to C.L. (09/19/1964) (Untitled Document)
1964 Unknown Church Mixing Group Arrested Here Sunday
1964 Nicholas Von Hoffman FBI Digs Into Klan Secrets In Grim Mississippi Struggle
1964 David M. Spain M.D. Post Mortem Examination Report of the Body of James Chaney
1964 Unknown Mississippi: Allen's Army
1964 International Convention Coordination Committee on Moral and Civil Rights Statement On Demonstrations
1964 Kelso Sturgeon 'Freedom Party' Makes Plans for Challenge at Convention
1964 Sue Cronk Negro Woman is a Candidate
1964 Unknown Lee and In Our Heart, We Suspect
Van Bogard Dunn
A. Jeffrey Hopper
Paul M. Minus Jr.
Everett Tilson
A Statement Prepared by Van Bogard Dunn, A. Jeffrey Hopper, Paul M. Minus Jr., and Everett Tilson
1964 Unknown Editorial Page: Governor Should Speak: Church Burnings Must Be Stopped
1964 Unknown Coming Events?
1964 Howard Zinn Some Suggestions in Answer to Questions Raised by the "Memo"
1964 Leanne Marks She Cared Enough to Go to Jail
1964 Ed McCusker Judge Chides Nine in Church Mix Try
1964 David M. Spain M.D. Post Mortem Examination Report of the Body of James Chaney
1964 Ed King Letter from Ed King to Dick Gould (05/07/1964)
1964 Ed King "The Canton Road"
1964 Neil Hindman Statement
1964 Unknown Freedom Democratic Party State Convention Program
1964 Fannie Lou Hamer Fannie Lou Hamer Affidavit (Untitled Document)
1964 Dicran Aram Berberian Three Plays At Union: A Criticism from a Rank Amateur
1964 Unknown Methodist Ministers and Students Jailed Easter, 1964
1964 Unknown National Council of Churches Unveils Summer Agitation Plans
1964 Louis Cassels Bethesda Minister Outlines Voter Mission in Mississippi
1964 Unknown Editorial of Note: Arson in the House of God
1964 Jack Hawley On Being the Chest Fund in the World
1964 Unknown Belhaven Closed to the "Public"
1964 Unknown Council of Federated Organizations Records: Appendix 3: Series Identification and Description
1964 Howard Zinn Mississippi Voter Registration Struggles (Untitled Document)
1964 Bill Copenbarger Negro Leader Testifies: Move to Get Bi-Racial Committee Unsuccessful
1964 Gerald E. Forshey Letter from Gerald E. Forshey to Joan (05/15/1963)
1964 Unknown Freedom Day: in Holly Springs, Mississippi
1964 Jerry Falwell Advancing Through Prayer
1964 Mona Bazaar Mona Bazaar to Fannie Lou Hamer
1964 Jim Wolfe Know Your Neighborhood Series: Harlem Schools and Tutoring
1964 Unknown Excerpts from a Sermon by a Mississippi Methodist Minister (Outside Jackson)
1964 Unknown Burning Negro Churches
1964 Joe T. Odle The Editorial Page: Smoke Over Mississippi
1964 William F. Route The People's Revolution
1964 Unknown Several Thousands Attend Coliseum Exposition Here
1964 Ed King Winter of the Closed Society
1964 Unknown Excerpts from a Sermon by a Mississippi Methodist Minister
1964 CORE Mississippi Project, '64
1964 James Park Help Stamp Out Inner Life
1964 Unknown Minutes of the 53rd Annual Session Perry County Baptist Association
1964 Unknown The Student Voice December 1964 Issue
1964 Ed King Mainstream Recruiting
Rowland Evans
Robert Novak
Inside Report: LBJ's Southern Exposure
1964 Unknown Closing Notes: Lecture, Welcome Back, Dot (Untitled Article)
1964 Unknown General Announcements: Rides to the Municipal Library and Voter Registration Canvassing (Untitled Document)
1964 Christopher S. Wren An "Insider" Stays to Fight
1964 Unknown Editorial Page: "Thou Shalt Not Kill"
1964 John Gillies Justice, Southern Style
1964 Fannie Lou Hamer "We Want Ours Now!"
1964 Unknown Lutherans Adopt Rights Resolution
1964 Jane Stembridge Our Lives are Hectic
1964 Rita Schwerner Rita Schwerner to Anne Braden, 1/23/1964
James Atwater
Lynn Pelham
"If We Can Crack Mississippi...": At the Risk of Their Lives, Hundreds of Northern Students Are Challenging the Heart of the Deep South
1964 Nonviolent Agitation Association of College Pupils The Voice of the Movement April 1964 Issue
Dwight Bozeman
Phil Durkee
1964 Murray Kempton Conscience of a Convention
1964 Unknown Tennessee Synod Asks 'Open Door'
1964 Unknown 3 Women Challenge House Seating: Mrs. Fannie Lou Hamer, Mrs. Annie Devine, Mrs. Victoria Gray
1964 P. Boyd Mather Editorial Correspondence: Methodists and Renewal
1964 Unknown Mississippi Summer Project
1964 Bob Moses Robert P. Moses to Julian Bond
1964 Jim Griffes Morningside Notes
1964 Johnny RAB 'Naw. We don't need accredited colleges': A Satirical Reprint from The Rabble Underground (Untitled Document)
1964 Unknown Mississippi Lambasted by Tougaloo Chaplain
1964 Unknown Profile on Julie Zaugg (Untitled Document)
1965 John Perkins Methodists Close Eventful Sessions
1965 Bruce L. Williams It Happened in Jackson
1965 Wilson Minor COFO Civil Rights Group No Longer Exists in State
J.H. O'Dell
Fannie Lou Hamer
Life in Mississippi: An Interview with Fannie Lou Hamer
1965 Robert E. Baker Felony Count Dismissed In 3 Rights Killings
1966 Unknown Biography: Mrs. Fannie Lou Hamer
1966 Unknown Biography: Mrs. Fannie Lou Hamer
1967 Lisbeth Levey Lisbeth Levey to Sid Trivus
1968 Unknown Biography of Mrs. Fannie Lou Hamer
John Lewis
John Lewis Interview Concerning the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee
1968 Fannie Lou Hamer Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired
1968 Unknown Untitled Magazine Article - Fannie Lou Hamer's Speech in Cincinnati, Ohio
1970 John Egerton "John Lewis," from A Mind to Stay Here
1971 Ed King SNCC and Dr. Lohia
1972 James Forman Chapter 51: African Interlude
1972 James Forman The "Big Five" and the SNCC
Dr. Neil McMillen
Fannie Lou Hamer
An Oral History with Mrs. Fannie Lou Hamer
1976 Fannie Lou Hamer Autobiography of Fannie Lou Hamer
Julian Bond
Benjamin L. Hooks
The Most Extraordinary Black Woman...
1978 L. C. Dorsey Fannie Lou Hamer
1979 Unknown Mrs. Fannie Lou Hamer: 1917-1977
1980 Gary McElroy Church Preaches Gospel of Race
1981 L. C. Dorsey Mrs. Fannie Lou Hamer: Human Rights Activist 1917-1977 (A Mini-profile)
1982 Danny Collum Stepping Out Into Freedom: The Life of Fannie Lou Hamer
1982 Charles McLaurin Voice of Calm
1983 Howell Raines Fannie Lou Hamer
1984 Paula Giddings Chapter XVI: SNCC: Coming Full Circle
Will D. Campbell
Myron A. Marty
Book Review: 40 Acres and a Goat: A Memoir
Vicki Quade
John Lewis
Where did the Civil Rights Movement Go Wrong?
1989 Unknown Carl McIntire
1989 Unknown Will D. Campbell
Emily Stoper
Fannie Lou Hamer
Ella Baker
The Freedom Democratic Party and the Challenges
Henry Hampton
Steve Fayer
Sarah Flynn
Mississippi Freedom: Summer, 1964: "Representation and the Right to Participate"
1991 Sharon Bramlett-Solomon Civil Rights Vanguard in the Deep South: Newspaper Portrayal of Fannie Lou Hamer, 1964-1977
1992 Ed King A Prophet from the Delta
1993 Charles Marsh John Lewis Interview Questions and Background
Charles Marsh
Ed King
Interview with Ed King
Charles Marsh
Will Campbell
Will Campbell Interview, 7/6/1993
Charles Marsh
Duncan Gray
Duncan Gray Interview
1993 Ed King Ed King to Selection Committee for Civil Rights Fellowship
Charles Marsh
John Lewis
John Lewis Interview
1994 Unknown Emerge June 1994 Issue
E. Al Minter
Gerry Graves
K.G. Gregory
Jane Goodman
Readers' Views on Byron De La Beckwith Trial
Jimmie Briggs
Bob Moses
Doug Mindell
Dialogue with Bob Moses: Architect of the 1964 Freedom Summer
1994 Dan Even Retired UM History Professor David Sansing Examines Evers Case
1994 unknown Jackson Clarion-Ledger May 29, 1994 Issue
1994 Danny McKenzie Beckwith Conviction Has Changed Views About Mississippi
1994 Mitchell Landsberg Beckwith Didn't Testify at Own Trial
1994 Jonathan Tilove Graduate Program At Ole Miss Painting a Picture of a New South
1994 Sarah Campbell Beckwith Jurors see rifle; dead, ill witnesses 'speak'
1994 Unknown Albuquerque Journal June 26, 1994 Issue
1994 Jeffrey Fleishman Freedom Summer Wrought Change Despite Bombs, Blood
1994 Claudia Dreifus The Widow Gets Her Verdict
Charles Marsh
Spencer Perkins
Spencer Perkins Interview
1994 Charles Marsh In Search of Sam Bowers
1994 Charles Marsh Ed King, Interview Notes 11/3/1994, 12/5/1994
1994 Beverly Pettigrew Kraft Jury Selection Complete in Beckwith trial
1994 Sid Salter A Guilty Verdict Won't Alter Image: Racism Remains Potent Part of Mississippi Politics Whether Beckwith is Convicted or Not
Charles Marsh
Bob Zellner
Interview with Bob Zellner, 3/29/1995
Charles Marsh
Cleveland Sellers
Cleveland Sellers Interview, Denmark, South Carolina, 7/29/1995
1995 Monique Harrison Racial Problems of the '60s Continue to Haunt Us
1995 Beverly Pettigrew Kraft Only One Left Fighting Release of Spy Records
1995 Ed King Present Opening Chapter On Neshoba-Freedom Summer Book Manuscript
Cleveland Sellers
Charles Marsh
Cleveland Sellers Interview, Denmark, South Carolina, 8/5/1995
Charles Marsh
Victoria Gray Adams
Victoria Gray Adams Interview, 4/6/1995
Bob Zellner
Plater Robinson
Bob Zellner With Plater Robinson
1996 Fred Hiatt Mississippi's Secret
1996 Unknown Sovereignty Files
1996 Unknown American Civ. Liber. Union of Miss., Inc. vs. King
1996 Beverly Pettigrew Kraft Judges Question Why Sovereignty Files Remain Closed
1996 Unknown Native Mississippian to William H. Barbour
1997 Jerry Mitchell Capone's, Bowers' Stories Run Parallel, Perhaps Even to Ending: If Charges Emerge from Gaming Probe, Bowers May Join famous Gangster in Slip-Up
1997 Paul Gaston "Sitting In" in the 'Sixties: A Historian's Memoir
1997 Will Campbell Elvis Presley as Redneck
1997 Jerry Mitchell Notes Threaten to Shed Light on Activists' Deaths: Friend of Sam Bowers Claims Book Names "Real" Killers of Civil Rights Leaders
1999 Charles Marsh "Douglas Hudgins: Theologican of the Closed Society"
2000 Jerry Mitchell Stringer Recalls "Elimination" Plan
2000 Staff Writer State Considers Pursuing Murder Charges in Case
Charles Marsh
Fred Gray
Fred Gray Interview
Charles Marsh
Victoria Gray Adams, Bob Moses
Victoria Gray Adams and Bob Moses, Conference on Lived Theology
Charles Marsh
John Perkins
John M. Perkins in Conversation with Charles Marsh: Let Justice Roll Down
2012 Paul Gaston Government by Demonstration: Righting Virginia's Wrongs