The State of Mississippi in 1964

"The Citizens' Council was doing everything the Ku Klux Klan would have done. [...] I joined it because I believed in what they were doing and I believed in trying to preserve the society in which we lived." Watch "Freedom Summer" premiering June 24, 2014 on American Experience PBS.

 
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It was the year of the Beatles and the Civil Rights Act; of the Gulf of Tonkin and Barry Goldwater's campaign for the presidency; the year that Americans learned smoking was bad for their health and Cassius Clay became Muhammad Ali; the year that cities across the country erupted in violence and Americans tried to make sense of the assassination of their president. Based on The Last Innocent Year: America in 1964, by award-winning journalist Jon Margolis, this film follows some of the most prominent figures of the time - Lyndon B. Johnson, Martin Luther King, Jr., Barry Goldwater, Betty Friedan -- and bring out from the shadows the actions of ordinary Americans whose frustrations, ambitions, and anxieties began to turn the country onto a different course.
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