Event marks 50th anniversary of Neshoba slayings
June 12, 2014 08:00 AM | 724 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
PHILADELPHIA, Miss. (AP) — Civil rights veteran and U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Georgia, is scheduled to speak Sunday during the 50th annual memorial service for three civil rights workers killed in Neshoba County in 1964.

Lewis is a former freedom rider and well-known civil-rights leader. He is the only surviving speaker from the 1963 March on Washington.

The program is scheduled for 3 p.m. at Mt. Zion United Methodist Church. The church is located 10 miles east on Mississippi Highway 16 and then 2-1/2 miles north on County Road 747 in the Longdale community.

The church has hosted the memorial service each year since the slayings in June 1964, when the church was set on fire to lure the three workers to their deaths.

The young men, Andrew Goodman, James Chaney and Michael Schwerner, were ambushed and later shot by the Ku Klux Klan on June 21, 1964. They were in Neshoba County investigating the burning of Mt. Zion five days earlier.

In 2005, Edgar Ray Killen was convicted on three counts of manslaughter for his role in orchestrating the murders of the three civil rights workers and received three 20-year consecutive sentences.

Neshoba County native and former Mississippi Secretary of State Dick Molpus will introduce Lewis at Mt. Zion.

The Neshoba Democrat reports (http://bit.ly/1n5TNMH ) the remainder of the commemoration week will be filled with daily civil rights tours and a screening of the film "Neshoba, the Price of Freedom" on Thursday. Friday will be youth day and will also include a program honoring local heroes.

Myrlie Evers-Williams, activist and widow of slain civil rights activist Medgar Evers, will be among the keynote speakers at a unity program June 21 at the Neshoba County Coliseum.


Information from: Neshoba Democrat, http://www.neshobademocrat.com

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