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In the summer of 1964 hundreds of northern college students, most of them white, joined with local African Americans in communities across Mississippi to register voters, conduct Freedom Schools, and promote civil rights. Beginning in June MDAH will mark the fiftieth anniversary of Freedom Summer with an original exhibit at the Winter Building. “Stand Up!”: Mississippi Freedom Summer of 1964 draws on photographs, artifacts, documents, and film footage from the MDAH collection to examine the courage, violence, and promise of the “long, hot summer.”

A replica school room modeled from photographs of Freedom Schools will give visitors an idea of the conditions volunteers and students worked under. An original short documentary film commissioned by MDAH for the exhibit explores the aims of the Freedom Summer project and tells the story of the murdered Civil Rights workers James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner and the creation of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party.

“Stand Up!” will run through October 31 at the William F. Winter Archives and History Building in Jackson. The free exhibit is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

At noon on June 18 in the Old Capitol, as part of the History Is Lunch Series, former Secretary of State and Philadelphia native Dick Molpus will recount his experience of the 44-day search during Freedom Summer for the three missing civil rights workers in Neshoba County and the murder trials that followed.

Freedom Summer workers focused on extending the franchise to all qualified Mississippians, and the Old Capitol Museum program Black Mississippians: Road to the Vote highlights the nineteenth-century history of voting efforts that laid a foundation for the modern Civil Rights Movement. Topics covered include slavery, the Civil War, Reconstruction, and the 1868 and 1890 state constitutions, both of which were crafted by lawmakers in that building while it served as Mississippi’s seat of government 1839-1903. The free program is suitable for school groups or adults. To make a reservation call 601-576-6920.

MDAH is a co-sponsor of the Mississippi Freedom Summer 50th Anniversary Conference in Jackson organized by the Mississippi Veterans of the Civil Rights Movement, Inc.; Mississippi State Conference NAACP; and Tougaloo College. The June 25-29 conference will highlight the legacy of Freedom Summer, recognize the accomplishments of those who changed Mississippi for the better, and examine ways to continue that progress for all of its citizens.

“This event will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to gather with so many Freedom Summer participants and hear firsthand their stories,” said MDAH director H.T. Holmes. “We are proud to support the conference and the veterans and to offer our exhibit and programing over the coming months.”MDAH is a co-sponsor of the Mississippi Freedom Summer 50th Anniversary Conference in Jackson organized by the Mississippi Veterans of the Civil Rights Movement, Inc.; Mississippi State Conference NAACP; and Tougaloo College. The June 25-29 conference will highlight the legacy of Freedom Summer, recognize the accomplishments of those who changed Mississippi for the better, and examine ways to continue that progress for all of its citizens.

To register or learn more about the conference, see their website . For more information about any of these events, call 601-576-6850 or email the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.

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