Shootings, bombings, beatings, disappearances — welcome to 1964 Mississippi

By Brendan Seibel | TIMELINE

The letters home read like frontline reports from a war zone. Thomas Foner detailed the violence surrounding him: shootings, bombings, beatings, disappearances. He wrote about the willful absence of civil authorities, of police grabbing people on the streets. But he wasn’t writing from Vietnam — he was in Mississippi.

In June of 1964, the college sophomore from Long Island arrived for the Mississippi Summer Project, a comprehensive civil rights campaign fighting entrenched segregationist policies.

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