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Integration voter, Jan and Feb 1964

@ Mississippi Department of Archives and History


Freedom Day, January 22, 1964, Hattiesburg (Miss.). Demonstrators march in front of Forrest County courthouse in morning, watched by police.Although not identified as such, the photograph appears to be voter registration demonstrations associated with the Freedom Day event held in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, on January 22, 1964. As a reporter for the Hattiesburg American, Moncrief covered the demonstrations that began on a wet and cold Wednesday, January 22, the day after he'd been in Jackson reporting on Governor Paul B. Johnson's inauguration. Organized by the Council of Federated Organizations (COFO), Freedom Day was a continuation of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee's (SNCC) voter registration activities initiated in 1962. More specifically, the event was a test of whether Forrest County Circuit Clerk Theron Lynd was in compliance with a January 6, 1964, U.S. Supreme Court ruling that barred discriminatory tactics to prevent blacks from registering to vote. This ruling was the latest stage in a 1961 Justice Department suit against Lynd. Justice Department testimony in a March 1962 injunction hearing stated that not only had Lynd not registered a single black citizen since taking office in February 1959 but prior to January 1961 none had even been allowed to apply. During this period no records could be found to indicate the exclusion of a single white voter. The protest was coordinated by SNCC's Bob Moses with Dave Dennis of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and Hattiesburg SNCC workers Lawrence Guyot, Sandy Leigh, John O'Neal and Victoria Gray Adams. In addition, COFO...
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Record Contributed By

Mississippi Department of Archives and History

Record Harvested From

Digital Library of Georgia