January 6

January 6, 2005 – Edgar Ray Killen Arrested For Killing Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner

Fourty years after the killing of Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner, Edgar Ray Killen became the first person charged with murder in their deaths.  Edgar Ray Killen was charged with the murder of Andrew Goodman, James Chaney and Michael Schwerner on January 6, 2005.

FBI Poster of Missing Civil Rights Workers

Missing persons poster created by the FBI in 1964. Shows the photographs of Andrew Goodman, James Chaney, and Michael Schwerner

On June 21, 1964 Civil rights workers, Andrew Goodman, James Chaney and Michael Schwerner were killed by members of the Ku Klux Klan while participating in Freedom Summer close to Philadelphia, Mississippi. Freedom Summer which was also called the Mississippi Summer Project was started in June 1964 to register as many African Americans to vote as possible in the state of Mississippi.  Killen received a sentence of 60 years in prison for manslaughter.

African american and white mississippi freedom democratic party 05237u

On August 24, 1964 African American and white Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party supporters demonstrating outside the 1964 Democratic National Convention, Atlantic City, New Jersey; some hold signs with portraits of slain civil rights workers James Earl Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner.

On October 20, 1967, an all white jury convicted seven of civil rights violations of the murdered civil rights workers Andrew Goodman, James Chaney and Michael Schwerner in Meridian, Mississippi.The jury of seven white men and five white women found Cecil Price, Ku Klan Klan Imperial Wizard Samuel Bowers, Jimmy Arledge, Horace Barnett, Billey Wayne Posey, Alton Wayne Roberts and Jimmy Snowden guilty. They received sentences from three to ten years. None of the seven served more than six years in prison.

FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover tells President Lyndon B. Johnson on June 23, 1964 that the car of Andrew Goodman, James Chaney and Michael Schwerner has been found burned. They have not been able to examine the car for bodies yet because the car is still burning.

In this video, Angela Lewis, the daughter of murdered civil rights worker James Chaney sings at his grave near Meridian, Mississippi “If I Can Help Somebody” to the 2013 Living Legacy Pilgrimage. Lewis was born 10 days before her father was killed.