Freedom Summer at 50
As America remembers Mississippi Freedom Summer, the fight for voting rights continues.

INSTITUTE INDEX: The Mississippi freedom struggle at 50

Number of people who gathered this week at Mississippi's Tougaloo College for a conference marking the 50th anniversary of Freedom Summer, a watershed moment in the U.S. civil rights movement: hundreds

Number of conference attendees who were Freedom Summer veterans: about 80

Number of mostly white Freedom Summer volunteers who trained in Ohio before joining civil rights workers in Mississippi in June 1964: nearly 1,000

Days into Freedom Summer that news broke of the disappearance in Mississippi of black civil rights worker James Chaney and his white colleagues Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner, all of whom were later found murdered: 1

Number of previous interracial lynchings in the United States: 0

Number of Freedom Summer volunteers who were arrested: more than 1,000

Who were beaten by white mobs or police officers: at least 80

Number of black churches firebombed or burned: 37

Homes and businesses similarly destroyed: 30

At the start of Freedom Summer, percent of Mississippi's eligible black voters who were registered to vote: 6.7

Number of states with a lower percentage of black citizens registered to vote at that time: 0

Number of Mississippians who joined the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party -- a focus of the summer program that was launched to challenge the state's all-white, anti-civil rights Democratic Party: more than 80,000

Year in which Congress passed the Voting Rights Act in response to the organizing in Mississippi and elsewhere in the South: 1965

States that have more black elected officials than Mississippi today: 0

Years after Freedom Summer that the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated a core provision of the Voting Rights Act that protected voters in Mississippi and other states with a history of denying voting rights: 49

Number of states, including Mississippi, that will have new voting restrictions in place for this year's election: 15

Date on which a bipartisan, bicameral group of federal lawmakers introduced a bill to restore the Voting Rights Act: 1/16/2014

Number of the bill's co-sponsors who are from Mississippi: 0

Feet that Mississippi election officials ordered poll watchers dispatched by conservative groups to stay away from voting sites during this week's Republican primary runoff amid efforts to turn out the African-American vote to help incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran to defeat tea party candidate Chris McDaniel: 6/23/2014

Percent increase in voter turnout from the June 3 primary to the June 24 runoff in Mississippi's Jefferson County, where black voters represent the largest share of eligible voters in the U.S.: 92

Date on which the NAACP called on Sen. Cochran to support the Voting Rights Act restoration bill as a way to thank the African-American voters who supported him: 6/25/2014

(Click on figure to go to source.)

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As America remembers Mississippi Freedom Summer, the fight for voting rights continues.
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