Mississippi Burning Trial: A Chronology

Arraignment of accused conspirators
June 13, 1963 Medgar Evers, Mississippi's most prominent black leader, is assassinated.
January, 1964 Bob Moses and COFO (Council of Federated Organizations) announce the Mississippi Summer Project to register blacks to vote.
February, 15, 1964 Founding meeting of the White Knights of the Klu Klux Klan of Mississippi.
April 24, 1964 KKK burns crosses at 61 separate locations across Mississippi.
Memorial Day,1964 Michael Schwerner and James Chaney speak at Mt. Zion Methodist Church in Neshoba County and urge its all-black congregation to register.
June 14, 1964 Andy Goodman and other student volunteers attend training session for Summer Project volunteers in Oxford, Ohio.  Also in attendence are CORE members Schwerner and Chaney.
June 16, 1964 Armed KKK members assault leaders of Mt. Zion Church.
June 17, 1964 Klan burns Mt. Zion Church to the ground.  It is one of twenty black churches in Mississippi to be firebombed in the summer of 1964. FBI begins investigation into church bombing codenamed "MIBURN", for "Mississippi burning."
June 20, 1964 Schwerner, Chaney and Goodman drive from Ohio to the CORE office in Meridian, Mississippi.
June 21, 1964 Schwerner, Chaney, and Goodman drive to site of burned church in Neshoba County.  On their way back to Meridian, they are arrested by Deputy Sheriff Cecil Price and taken to the county jail in Philadelphia, Miss.  In a conspiracy with at local members of the Klan, Price releases the three from jail at 10 pm.  The civil rights workers' station wagon is overtaken on a rural road, the three are beaten and shot and their bodies buried in an earthen dam.
June 22, 1964 The FBI begins its investigation into the disappearance of the three civil rights workers.  Joseph Sullivan is appointed to head the investigation.
June - July, 1964 The FBI interviews about 1000 Mississippians, including an estimated 500 members of the KKK.
June 23, 1964 President Johnson meets with Attorney General Robert Kennedy and others to discuss an Administration response to the crisis in Mississippi.
June 24, 1964 Prominent black leaders including James Farmer, John Lewis, and Dick Gregory meet with Neshoba County official in Philadelphia.
July 2, 1964 LBJ signs the Civil rights Act of 1964 into law.
July 10, 1964 J. Edgar Hoover arrives in Jackson to open a Mississippi office of the FBI.
July 31, 1964 The FBI learns the probable location of the bodies.
August 3, 1964 A search warrant is obtained to look for bodies in an earthen dam at the Old Jolly Farm.
August 4, 1964 Bodies of Schwerner, Chaney, and Goodman are discovered.
October 13, 1964 Klan member James Jordan confesses his involvement in the conspiracy to the FBI and agrees to cooperate in its investigation.
November 19, 1964 Klan member Horace Barnette confesses and describes actual shootings.
December 4, 1964 Nineteen members of the conspiracy are arrested and charged with violating the civil rights of Schwerner, Chaney, and Goodman.
December 10, 1964 A U. S. Commissioner dismisses charges against the nineteen.
January, 1965 A federal grand jury in Jackson reindicts the nineteen.
February 24, 1965 Judge William Cox dismisses the indictments (except as against Price and Sheriff Rainey) on grounds that the conspirators were not "acting under color of state law."
March, 1966 The United States Supreme Court reinstates the original indictments, overruling Judge Cox.
February 28, 1967 A new grand jury indicts the nineteen conspirators.
October 7, 1967 The trial of the Neshoba County conspirators begins.
October 18, 1967 The case goes to the jury.
October 20, 1967 The jury returns verdicts of guilty against seven conspirators, nine are acquitted, and the jury is unable to reach a verdict on three of the men charged.
December 29, 1967 The conspirators found guilty are sentenced to prison terms ranging from three to ten years.
March 19, 1970 After exhausting their appeals, the seven convicted men enter federal prisons.
September 8, 1970 Two of the conspirators are badly beaten by black inmates in a federal prison in Texarkana.
1974 Cecil Price is released from prison.

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