1963 November 1

“Freedom Vote” in Mississippi Begins


The “Freedom Vote” on this day was a mock election in Mississippi involving officially unregistered African American voters. The event was organized by the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) to dramatize the fact that only 7 percent of the potentially eligible African-American voters were actually registered.

The Freedom Vote was considered a success by SNCC leaders, and it inspired the idea for a larger effort in the summer of 1964. This became Freedom Summer, in which about 1,000 white northern college students were recruited to help African-Americans register to vote.

Freedom Summer began on June 21, 1964; that night, three civil rights workers (James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Mickey Schwerner) were kidnapped and murdered by KKK members.

Read the December 1963 SNCC Executive Committee Minutes on the Freedom Vote and plans for Freedom Summer: http://www.crmvet.org/docs/6312_sncc_excom_min.pdf

Learn more: Iwan W. Morgan and Philip Davies, From Sit-ins to SNCC: The Student Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s (2012)

Learn more about the Southern Civil Rights Movement – Photos and Documents: http://crmvet.org/

Learn more about SNCC: Howard Zinn, SNCC: The New Abolitionists (1964)

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