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return-mississippi-summer-1964American Spectator:

In 1964, at the age of 22 and out of college, I went to Mississippi as part of the Freedom Summer effort that broke the back of Jim Crow society, setting off what I still think was probably the most radical and abrupt social transformation in American history.


I was not a leader of the effort or even particularly brave. I was just a mere foot soldier. I suspect the real reason I went was to impress an old girlfriend who had broken up with me the year before. Years later someone sent me a copy of my application form and I had listed her along with my relatives as the people I wanted notified of my mission. But why does anyone go off to war at age 22? For that’s what it felt like.


Before more than half the 700 volunteers who assembled in Oxford, Ohio, had left for the South, word came that three of the volunteers — James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner — were missing and probably dead. It took tremendous courage to follow through at that point, but nearly everyone did. I chose to go to Holly Springs, a college town near Memphis where the danger was not acute. But people in my group went straight to McComb, the legendary town in the delta where even the authorities couldn’t control the violence. Later in the summer, someone blew the side off the McComb Freedom House in a dynamite explosion.Scissors-32x32.png


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