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Quiz about Notorious Civil Rights Crimes in Mississippi
Quiz about Notorious Civil Rights Crimes in Mississippi

Notorious Civil Rights Crimes in Mississippi Quiz


The Civil Rights Movement and the state of Mississippi will forever be linked together, as some of the most pivotal events of the Civil Rights Movement are tied to Mississippi in some way.

A multiple-choice quiz by BlueCheer. Estimated time: 7 mins.
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Author
BlueCheer
Time
7 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
300,291
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Tough
Avg Score
6 / 10
Plays
731
Awards
Top 20% Quiz
- -
Question 1 of 10
1. On the night of June 12, 1963, Medgar Evers, head of the Mississippi NAACP, pulled his car into his driveway. After emerging from his car, Evers was shot in the back and died from his injuries. Who was ultimately found to be the assailant? Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. On June 26, 1964, three civil rights workers (James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner) were lynched and murdered. But, in which Mississippi county did these heinous murders occur? Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. On August 28, 1955, 14-year-old Emmett Till was abducted and lynched in the small town of Money, Mississippi. Emmett's body was recovered three days after his abduction. Because his body was so deteriorated, Emmett Till could only be identified by which distinguishing characteristic? Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. In the spring of 1961, the "Freedom Riders" (civil rights activists who rode public transportation systems-mainly buses-after it was declared illegal to segregate public transportation systems) journeyed to Jackson, Mississippi. They were arrested on the spot for "breaking the peace" and were subsequently sent to the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman where they endured unthinkable cruelty. Which landmark case was brought against the superintendent of the Parchman Penitentiary because of the crimes committed against the Freedom Riders? Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. In September 1962, James Meredith won a lawsuit that allowed him to become the first African-American student at the University of Mississippi ("Ole Miss"). But when Meredith attempted to begin classes at the University of Mississippi he was blocked by the Governor of Mississippi. Who was the Governor who would not allow James Meredith into the University of Mississippi? Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. On the night of January 10, 1966, an attack was made upon Ferdinand Dahmer Sr. (leader of the Forest County chapter of the Mississippi NAACP) and his family. What type of attack was made upon the Dahmer family? Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. On May 14, 1970, a race riot broke out on the campus of a Mississippi college, resulting in the death of two students and the injury of twelve others. But, on which college campus did this riot occur? Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. On February 24, 1959, African-American Mack Charles Parker was arrested for the kidnap and rape of a pregnant white woman. During his incarceration, Parker was denied his right to a fair trial. On the night of April 24, 1959, several men entered Parker's jail cell and beat and shot him to death. When Parker's body was recovered on May 4, 1959, the FBI questioned men who they thought were involved in the murder, and they even obtained some confessions. But the trial concerning the murder of Mack Charles Parker never happened. Which Mississippi governor would not let the Mack Charles Parker murder case go to trial? Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. On August 13, 1955, Lamar Smith, a 65-year-old WWII veteran and civil rights activist, was murdered in broad daylight on the front lawn of the Lincoln County Courthouse in Brookhaven, Mississippi. Which activity concerning the civil rights movement was Lamar Smith involved in, that led to his untimely death? Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. On the night of May 7, 1955, George W. Lee, a minister and civil rights activist from Belzoni, Mississippi, was murdered in his car in a drive-by-shooting. George W. Lee had had reason to suspect that harm might have been coming his way. What had happened just a few days before the murder to cause George W. Lee to fear for his life? Hint



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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. On the night of June 12, 1963, Medgar Evers, head of the Mississippi NAACP, pulled his car into his driveway. After emerging from his car, Evers was shot in the back and died from his injuries. Who was ultimately found to be the assailant?

Answer: Byron De La Beckwith

After Medgar Evers was murdered, there was much speculation about who his killer was. In 1964, Byron De La Beckwith, a self-confessed member of the Ku Klux Klan and the White Citizens' Council, was arrested for the assassination of Medgar Evers. After two subsequent trials, the juries (both of which consisted entirely of white males) were deadlocked on a verdict.

The verdicts sent an uproar through not just the African-American community, but through America as a whole. Finally, in 1994, lawyer Bobby DeLaughter decided to reopen the Medgar Evers case, based on new information he had collected.

After a heated trial, the jury convicted the elderly Beckwith of the murder, and he was sentenced life imprisonment. After several unsuccessful appeals, Beckwith died in prison in January 2001. If you ever get the chance, watch the movie about the 1994 trial, "Ghosts of Mississippi" starring Alec Baldwin as Bobby DeLaughter, Whoopi Goldberg as Mrs. Evers, and James Woods as Byron De La Beckwith. I highly reccomend it.
2. On June 26, 1964, three civil rights workers (James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner) were lynched and murdered. But, in which Mississippi county did these heinous murders occur?

Answer: Neshoba County

On June 26, 1964, Cheney, Goodman, and Schwerner came to investigate the burning of the Mount Zion United Methodist Church in Neshoba County. The church had been a meeting-place for civil rights groups, and Neshoba County was notorious for being extremely intolerant and violent. That afternoon, the group was arrested by Deputy Cecil Price (a member of the White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan) because Chaney was allegedly driving 35 miles over the speed limit. Deputy Price also took Goodman and Schwerner in "for investigation".

The three men were held in the Neshoba County jail, and they were deprived of their phone call privileges. When members of COFO (an organization to which the men belonged) contacted the jail, the secretary was instructed to lie and say that the men were not at the jail.

While the men were waiting to be released from jail, the Klan set up an ambush on the road to the town of Meridian. After the men were released, they were ordered to leave Neshoba County. Deputy Price followed the men until they reached the edge of town, and held them until the Klan arrived.

The men were subsequently beaten and shot, and their bodies were buried in an earthen dam.
3. On August 28, 1955, 14-year-old Emmett Till was abducted and lynched in the small town of Money, Mississippi. Emmett's body was recovered three days after his abduction. Because his body was so deteriorated, Emmett Till could only be identified by which distinguishing characteristic?

Answer: A ring that once belonged to his father

Fourteen-year-old Emmett Till was abducted and lynched on August 28, 1955, in the Mississippi Delta town of Money, Mississippi. The events leading up to Emmett's lynching are somewhat mysterious. Emmett had been sent to spend the summer with uncle, Moses Wright. Before leaving his hometown of Chicago, Emmett's mother, Mamie, cautioned him to "mind his manners with the white people." Mamie, who had grown up in the "Delta" region of Mississippi, had witnessed the horrors of racial tension in the South. Before Emmett got on the train to leave, his mother gave him a ring that belonged to Emmett's father, who had been executed for crimes during his Army service in Italy. Emmett arrived safely in the town of Money, Mississippi, and mostly enjoyed his stay there. On August 21, 1955, Emmett and his friends, who had been toiling all day in the cotton fields, decided to go to Bryant's Grocery and Meat Market for some refreshments. Bryant Grocery and Meat Market, owned by white husband and wife Roy and Carolyn Bryant, mainly catered to the children of sharecroppers.

While in the store, events transpired that no one can exactly recollect. Some say Emmett was dared to flirt with Mrs. Bryant. Yet others say Emmett flirted of his own accord. Still others say Emmett, who suffered polio as a young child and was left with a speech impediment, was misunderstood by Mrs. Bryant. No matter who you believe, the main fact is that Mrs. Bryant was offended. She related the story to her husband, Roy Bryant, who had been out of town when the incident occurred. Infuriated, Roy Bryant and his half-brother J. W. Milam decided to have a word with young Emmett. On the night of August 28, 1955, Mr. and Mrs. Bryant, J. W. Milam, and an as-yet-unidentified other person showed up at Emmett's Uncle Moses Wright's house, where Emmett was staying. After Mr. Bryant pounded on the door for quite some time, Moses Wright finally answered the door. When Moses was asked if Emmett was in the house, Moses said yes. The company then went to Emmett's room and interrogated him. When Emmett was positively identified by Mrs. Bryant, he was abducted. Emmett was then taken to an old shed and there he was beaten and shot. A 45-pound cotton gin fan was then tied around his neck with barbed wire, to weight him down when his body was disposed of in the Tallahatchie River. Emmett's body was finally recovered on August 31. But, due to his horrific wounds and general decomposition, Emmett's body could only be identified by the ring of his father's that he was given. After Emmett's mother, Mamie, identified his body, Mamie decided to have an open casket funeral. When asked why she opted for an open casket funeral, Mamie replied, "I wanted the world to see what they did to my baby." Roy Bryant and J. W. Milam were indicted for Emmett Till's murder, but when the case went to trial, the all-male, all-white jury needed only 67 minutes to return with a verdict of "not guilty". One of the jurors famously said, "If we hadn't stopped to drink pop, it wouldn't have taken that long." Both Roy Bryant and J. W. Milam died free men.
4. In the spring of 1961, the "Freedom Riders" (civil rights activists who rode public transportation systems-mainly buses-after it was declared illegal to segregate public transportation systems) journeyed to Jackson, Mississippi. They were arrested on the spot for "breaking the peace" and were subsequently sent to the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman where they endured unthinkable cruelty. Which landmark case was brought against the superintendent of the Parchman Penitentiary because of the crimes committed against the Freedom Riders?

Answer: Gates v. Collier

In 1970, lawyer Roy Haber began taking statements from the jailed Freedom Riders. All told, he ended up with 50 pages of statements, detailing murders, rapes, beatings, and many other forms of abuse suffered at the hands of other inmates. In 1972, four Freedom Riders represented by Haber sued the superintendent of Parchman Farm, as it was known back then.

After a landmark trial, the judge found in favor of the Freedom Riders, stating that the Freedom Riders were inflicted with "cruel and unusual punishment". Parchman Farm was forced to end all unconstitutional practices within the prison.

In particular, the trustee system (a system where certain inmates are allowed to have power and control over other inmates) was abolished at Parchman Farm.

The prison was also forced to de-segregate.
5. In September 1962, James Meredith won a lawsuit that allowed him to become the first African-American student at the University of Mississippi ("Ole Miss"). But when Meredith attempted to begin classes at the University of Mississippi he was blocked by the Governor of Mississippi. Who was the Governor who would not allow James Meredith into the University of Mississippi?

Answer: Ross Barnett

James Meredith attempted to enter the University on multiple dates, but he was blocked from entering by Governor Barnett, who was quoted as saying: "No school will be integrated in Mississippi while I am your Governor." James Meredith fought back, and the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals held Governor Barnett and Lieutenant Governor Paul B. Johnson, Jr. in contempt.

The men were fined $10,000 for each day that James Meredith was refused entrance into the University. Finally, on September 20, 1962, Meredith entered the University, escorted by a force of U.S. Marshals.

Instantly, riots broke out on the campus, with white students at first pelting Meredith and the Marshals with rocks and then the violence escalated to gunfire. Two people were killed, 28 Marshals were injured, and 160 others were injured.

In order to quell the violence at Ole Miss, President John F. Kennedy sent the U.S. Army. The following day, after the Army calmed things down, James Meredith was finally allowed to begin classes.
6. On the night of January 10, 1966, an attack was made upon Ferdinand Dahmer Sr. (leader of the Forest County chapter of the Mississippi NAACP) and his family. What type of attack was made upon the Dahmer family?

Answer: Their home was firebombed while they were sleeping

Ferdinand Dahmer was a wealthy and affluent member of the NAACP. Dahmer used his wealth to help out causes such as paying off the mandatory poll tax which prevented many African-Americans from being able to vote. Dahmer's personal motto was: "If you don't vote, you don't count." On the night of January 10, 1966, Dahmer's home was firebombed. Dahmer helped bring his family escape from the buring building, but he suffered traumatic burns to his entire body. Dahmer's young daughter, Bettie, also suffered severe burns. Dahmer died in the hospital the next day, due to the effects of his severe burns.

The citizens of Dahmer's hometown of Hattiesburg were shocked by this event. Many organizations offered unpaid labor to rebuild the Dahmer house. Fourteen men were indicted for the attack on the Dahmer family, most of them with connections to the Ku Klux Klan or other white supermacist organizations. Thirteen men were brought to trial, on various charges, ranging from arson to murder to conspiracy to intimidate the Dahmer family. Four men were convicted of the crimes.

However, Ku Klux Klan Imperial Wizard Sam Bowers, who was thought to be the mastermind behind the crime was tried four times, but each of his trials ended in a mistrial. Much like the Medgar Evers case, the Dahmer case was reopened years later, and due to new evidence, Sam Bowers was convicted and sentenced to life in prison in 1998.
7. On May 14, 1970, a race riot broke out on the campus of a Mississippi college, resulting in the death of two students and the injury of twelve others. But, on which college campus did this riot occur?

Answer: Jackson State College

On May 14, 1970, a race riot, started by student protesters, broke out on the campus of Jackson State College (now Jackson State University). The protesters were confronted by the city and state police, and the police opened fire. No one is sure what prompted the police to open fire, due to many conflicting accounts of the events. Phillip Lafayette Gibbs, a junior at Jackson State College, and James Earl Green, a student at the nearby Jim Hill High School, were killed during the riot.

The riot at Jackson State shocked the nation, as it was still recovering from the terrifying riot at Kent State University, which had happened only ten days prior to the Jackson State Riot.
8. On February 24, 1959, African-American Mack Charles Parker was arrested for the kidnap and rape of a pregnant white woman. During his incarceration, Parker was denied his right to a fair trial. On the night of April 24, 1959, several men entered Parker's jail cell and beat and shot him to death. When Parker's body was recovered on May 4, 1959, the FBI questioned men who they thought were involved in the murder, and they even obtained some confessions. But the trial concerning the murder of Mack Charles Parker never happened. Which Mississippi governor would not let the Mack Charles Parker murder case go to trial?

Answer: J. P. Coleman

After Mack Charles Parker's body was discovered, the FBI questioned men who very likely had been involved in the murder. And even though the FBI obtained confessions from a few of the men, Governor J. P. Coleman (who had been elected on a pro-segregation platform) kept delaying the trial. And although Mack Charles Parker may have been guilty of the crime he was charged with, he was denied his basic civil right to defend himself in a trial.
9. On August 13, 1955, Lamar Smith, a 65-year-old WWII veteran and civil rights activist, was murdered in broad daylight on the front lawn of the Lincoln County Courthouse in Brookhaven, Mississippi. Which activity concerning the civil rights movement was Lamar Smith involved in, that led to his untimely death?

Answer: Helping out with African-American voter registration

On August 13, 1955, Lamar Smith was murdered on the front lawn of the Lincoln County Courthouse in broad daylight. Some accounts of the murder even state that the sheriff witnessed the murder, and just went about his business, as if nothing ever happened. Three men were arrested for the crime, but, as the only witnesses to the crime were white, no witnesses came forward and no one was ever charged with the murder of Lamar Smith.

The Lamar Smith murder case was featured in the NAACP pamphlet "M is for Murder and Mississippi".
10. On the night of May 7, 1955, George W. Lee, a minister and civil rights activist from Belzoni, Mississippi, was murdered in his car in a drive-by-shooting. George W. Lee had had reason to suspect that harm might have been coming his way. What had happened just a few days before the murder to cause George W. Lee to fear for his life?

Answer: He received a threatening note demanding he take his name off the list of registered voters

George W. Lee, a minister and head of the Belzoni, Mississippi branch of the NAACP, was one of the first African-Americans in his town to register to vote. Lee also encouraged many other African-Americans to register to vote, but, due to the harrassment and threats of violence by white supermacist groups, many African-Americans took their names off the list of registered voters. Lee and his friend Gus Courts refused to take their names off the list. This inevitably led to George W. Lee's murder. On the night of May 7, 1955, George W. Lee was driving down the road when an unidentified vehicle pulled up next to his. Three shots were fired at Lee, and he died before he could make it to the hospital. George W. Lee's murder was one of several defining civil rights murders in Mississippi in 1955. Emmett Till and Lamar Smith were also murdered in 1955. No one was ever charged in the murder of George W. Lee.

Hope you enjoyed my quiz, and though it might be a tad bit controversial, I hope it broadened your horizons. Any questions, comments, and corrections are welcome!
Source: Author BlueCheer

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor bloomsby before going online.
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