James Earl "J. The Mississippi Civil Rights Workers Murders involved the 1964 slayings of three political activists during the American Civil Rights Movement. E. " Chaney (May 30, 1943 – June 21, 1964) was one of three American civil rights workers who was murdered during Freedom Summer by members of the Ku Klux Klan near Philadelphia, Mississippi. Events 1416 - The Council of Constance, called by the Emperor Sigismund a supporter of Antipope John XXIII burns Jerome of Prague following Year 1943 ( MCMXLIII) was a Common year starting on Friday (the link will display full 1943 calendar of the Gregorian calendar. Events 524 - Godomar, King of the Burgundians defeats the Franks at the Battle of Vézeronce. Year 1964 ( MCMLXIV) was a Leap year starting on Wednesday (link will display full calendar of the 1964 Gregorian calendar. The United States of America —commonly referred to as the Murder is the unlawful killing of another human person with Malice aforethought, as defined in Common Law countries Freedom Summer (also known as the Mississippi Summer Project) was a campaign in the United States launched in June 1964 to attempt to register to vote as Ku Klux Klan ( KKK) is the name of several past and present secret domestic terrorist organizations in the United States, generally in the southern states that are Philadelphia is the County seat of Neshoba County, Mississippi, United States. He is portrayed in the movie Mississippi Burning by actor Christopher White as a character only identified as "Black Passenger" in the film credits. Mississippi Burning is a 1988 Crime drama Film based on the FBI investigation into the real-life murders of three civil rights workers in the
Chaney was born in the town of Meridian, Mississippi and was the eldest son in a family of five children. Meridian is a city in Lauderdale County, Mississippi, United States. He had one brother, Ben Chaney. His mother was Fannie Lee Chaney, who died in May 2007 but lived long enough to see one of his killers convicted of manslaughter when the case was reopened. His father worked as a plasterer, and his parents separated when Chaney was in his teens. 
As a young man, Chaney became a civil rights activist, joining the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) in 1963 to work on voter education and registration. Year 1963 ( MCMLXIII) was a Common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. Mississippi laws and practices had disfranchised most black voters since 1890. The state was hostile to integration and civil rights activism, with the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission's paying spies to compile lists of citizens suspected of any kind of involvement. The Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission was a state agency directed by the governor of Mississippi, that existed from 1956 to 1977. They also tracked all northerners who entered the state to work on civil rights. During Freedom Summer in 1964, Chaney worked with an interracial team, including New Yorkan Jewish-Americans Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman, to organize a community center in Meridian and to register African Americans for voting. Freedom Summer (also known as the Mississippi Summer Project) was a campaign in the United States launched in June 1964 to attempt to register to vote as American Jews, or Jewish Americans Mississippi civil rights workers murders Michael Henry Schwerner ( November 6, 1939 – June 21, 1964) was one of three CORE field Mississippi civil rights workers murders Andrew Goodman ( November 23, 1943 &ndash June 21, 1964) was one of three American He was so helpful that Schwerner recommended him for a paid staff position. 
Chaney was murdered near the town of Philadelphia. Philadelphia is the County seat of Neshoba County, Mississippi, United States. Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner had been visiting parishioners of a black church that had been burned down after being designated a site for a CORE Freedom School. The Freedom School was located in Colorado, United States, offering a series of lectures by Libertarian theorist Robert LeFevre from 1957 to The three civil rights workers (Chaney, Schwerner and Goodman) were arrested by Deputy Sheriff Cecil Price for an alleged traffic violation and taken to the jail in Neshoba County. Neshoba County is a County located in the US state of Mississippi. They were released that evening and disappeared before reaching Meridian. It took two months before their bodies were found buried in an earthen dam. 
Chaney was buried at Okatibee Cemetery, by Okatibee Baptist Church, near Meridian, Mississippi. 
The FBI had entered the investigation, and paid informants for information leading to the bodies. The US government prosecuted the case as a conspiracy to deprive the men of their civil rights under the Force Act of 1870. Force Acts can refer to several groups of acts passed by the United States Congress. When the US government prosecuted the murders, it won conviction of seven men, including Deputy Sheriff Price. Three defendants were acquitted.
Journalist Jerry Mitchell, an award-winning investigative reporter for the Jackson Clarion-Ledger, had written extensively about the case for many years. The Clarion-Ledger is the daily newspaper in Jackson Mississippi. Mitchell had earned renown for helping secure convictions in several other high profile Civil Rights Era murder cases, including the assassination of Medgar Evers, the Birmingham church bombings and the murder of Vernon Dahmer. Medgar Willy Evers ( July 2, 1925 June 12, 1963) was an African American civil rights activist from Mississippi Vernon Ferdinand Dahmer Sr ( March 10, 1908 - January 11, 1966) was a Civil rights leader and president of the Forrest County He developed new evidence about the civil rights murders, found new witnesses, and pressured the State to take action.
Barry Bradford, an Illinois high school teacher, and three students: Allison Nichols, Sarah Siegel, and Brittany Saltiel, joined Mitchell's efforts. They created a documentary about their work. Their documentary, produced for the National History Day contest, presented important new evidence and compelling reasons for reopening the case. National History Day (NHD is a national American competition for students in grades 6-12 They also obtained an interview with Edgar Ray Killen, which helped convince the State to reinvestigate. Edgar Ray "Preacher" Killen (born 17 January 1925) is an American former Ku Klux Klan organizer who conspired to kill three
In addition, Mitchell determined the identity of "Mr. X", the mystery informer who had helped the FBI discover the bodies and smash the conspiracy of the Klan in 1964. In part Mitchell used evidence developed by Bradford and his students.
When the trial opened on January 7, 2005, Edgar Ray Killen, once an outspoken white supremacist nicknamed the "Preacher," pleaded "Not Guilty" to Chaney's murder. Events 1325 - Alfonso IV becomes King of Portugal. 1558 - France takes Calais, the last continental Year 2005 ( MMV) was a Common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. Edgar Ray "Preacher" Killen (born 17 January 1925) is an American former Ku Klux Klan organizer who conspired to kill three White supremacy is a racist ideology based on the assertion that White people are superior to other racial groups. In Criminal law, an acquittal is a verdict of not guilty, or some similar end of the proceeding that terminates it with prejudice without a verdict Fannie Lee Chaney and Carolyn Goodman, mothers of two of the civil rights workers, were the last witnesses for the prosecution. Fannie Lee Chaney (September 4 1921 – May 22 2007 was an American Baker turned Civil rights activist after her son James Chaney was murdered Dr Carolyn Elizabeth Drucker Goodman ( October 6 1915 &ndash August 17 2007) was a clinical psychologist who became a prominent Civil rights The jury found Killen guilty of manslaughter on June 20, 2005, and he was sentenced to 60 years in prison. Manslaughter is a legal term for the killing of a human being in a manner considered by law as less culpable than Murder. Events 451 - Battle of Chalons: Flavius Aetius ' defeats Attila the Hun. Year 2005 ( MMV) was a Common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar of the Gregorian calendar.