Civil rights workers Michael Schwerner, James Chaney and Andrew Goodman disappeared at approximately 10 p.m., Sunday, June 21, 1964. The next day their burned-out station wagon was found in the Bogue Chitto swamp and the bodies of the three civil rights workers were found 44 days later, buried 15 feet in an earthen dam.
In August 1955, a 14-year-old black boy whistled at a white woman in a grocery store in Money, Miss. Emmett Till, a teen from Chicago, didn’t understand he had broken the unwritten laws of the Jim Crow South until three days later, when two white men dragged him from his bed in the dead of the night, beat him brutally and then shot him in the head. Although his killers were arrested and charged with murder, they were both acquitted quickly by an all-white, all-male jury. Shortly afterwards, the defendants sold their story, including a detailed account of how they murdered Till, to a journalist. The murder and trial horrified the nation and the world. Till’s death was a spark that helped mobilize the civil rights movement.
In the late ’70s a small Northern Ohio town had a policy of not hiring black police officers and firefighters (it would be years later that they would hire women). The city had to be sued by the NAACP in federal court so it would merely follow the law of the land. That city was Sandusky, Ohio.