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Andrew Goodman

From Academic Kids

Andrew Goodman (November 23, 1943June 21, 1964) was an American civil rights activist who was murdered by gun shot in 1964.

He was born and raised in New York City, he enrolled at Queens College, New York City, around 1958 and was a classmate of Paul Simon. In 1964 he volunteered, along with fellow activist Mickey Schwerner, to work as part of the "Freedom Summer" project to register blacks to vote in Mississippi. He was trained, along with Schwerner, at a site in the northern United States. In mid-June of 1964 Goodman and Schwerner were sent to Mississippi and began to register blacks to vote.

On the night of June 20, 1964 the two reached Meridian. There, they were joined by a black man named James Chaney, who himself was a civil rights activist. On the morning of June 21, 1964 the three of them set out for Philadelphia, Neshoba County, where they were to investigate the recent burning of a local black church, the Mount Zion Methodist Church.

At some point, they were stopped by members of the Ku Klux Klan, including the Neshoba County deputy sheriff, after which they were beaten and shot to death. His body was found on August 4. The Simon & Garfunkel song "He Was My Brother" was dedicated to him.

Eventually the Neshoba County deputy sheriff and conspirators were convicted by Federal prosecutors of civil rights violations, but were never convicted of murder. The case formed the basis of the made-for-TV movie Murder in Mississippi and the film Mississippi Burning.

However, on September 14, 2004 the Mississippi State Attorney General Jim Hood announced that he was gathering evidence for a charge of murder and intended to take the case to a grand jury. On January 7, 2005, Edgar Ray Killen was arrested and found guilty of manslaughter on June 21, 2005, exactly 41 years to the day after the murders.

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