Saturday, August 22, 1964: Fannie Lou Hamer and the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party

Fannie Lou Hamer, vice chair of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, testifies before the credentials committee in the days leading up to the Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey. She tells of trying to register to vote in 1962, and of being jailed and beaten in June 1963. Her statement was the most dramatic point of the MFDP's effort to represent the state instead of the all-white regular delegation. The committee offered to seat 2 members of the MFDP as delegates-at-large, which the group rejected. (The regular delegation was also unwilling to accept the compromise, as it required them to sign a "loyalty oath" to support the party platform and the presidential ticket in November.) The MFDP then left the convention and returned to Mississippi.

Fannie Lou Hamer
* Complete text and audio of testimony (American Rhetoric): @
* Partial video (networks cut away to televise an impromptu news conference by President Johnson, who wanted to divert attention from Hamer's testimony): @
* Johnson's remarks (American Presidency Project): @
* "LBJ Tells Governors Voters Won't Gamble" (Associated Press): @
* Biography (Mississippi Historical Society): @
* Biography (PBS): @
* Oral history (1972-73, University of Southern Mississippi): @
* Transcript of Hamer interview on June 1963 events in Winona, Mississippi: @
* Audio of 1965 interview with Hamer (Pacifica Radio Archives): @
* FBI files: @
* Links (Civil Rights Digital Library): @
* Fannie Lou Hamer Institute @ COFO (Jackson State University): @
* Hamer Institute videos: @
* Fannielouhamer.info: @
* "This Little Light of Mine: The Life of Fannie Lou Hamer" (Kay Mills, 1993): @
* "For Freedom's Sake: The Life of Fannie Lou Hamer" (Chana Kai Lee, 1999): @

* Summary ("Encyclopedia of the Sixties," 2012): @
* Summary and links (Veterans of the Civil Rights Movement): @
* Summary and links (civilrightsteaching.org): @
* Summary (Digital Library of Georgia): @
* Summary (Online Archive of California): @
* Links (Civil Rights Digital Library): @ 
* An extensive collection of related documents are available online at the Wisconsin Historical Society's Freedom Summer Digital Collection: @ (search for "Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party")
* "Basis for the development of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party" (MFDP): @
* "Brief Submitted by the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party" (to the credentials committee): @
* Statement by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. to credentials committee (The King Center): @
* "A Primer for Delegates to the Democratic National Convention Who Haven't Heard About the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party" (The King Center): @
* "The Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party: Background and Recent Developments" (Steve Max, Political Education Project, 1965): @
* Freedom Vote ballot (October-November, 1964; University of Southern Mississippi): @
* Congressional resolution recognizing 40th anniversary of MFDP (July 21, 2004): @

Democratic National Convention
* Convention photos and summary (Take Stock): @
* Photos (Library of Congress): @
* Video clips (eFootage): @
* "Civil Righters Demand Seats At Convention" (United Press International, August 21): @
* "Challenges of Mississippi, Alabama Delegations Heard" (Associated Press, August 22): @
* "Shocking Mississippi Testimony" (Jet magazine, September 3): @
* "Miss. Compromise Try Fails" (UPI, August 25): @
* "Mississippi Delegates Withdraw, Rejecting a Seating Compromise; Convention Then Approves Plan" (New York Times, August 25): @
* "Mississippi in Boycott" (AP, August 26): @ 
* "Showdown at the 1964 Democratic National Convention" (John C. Skipper, 2012): @ 
* For a Voice and the Vote" (Lisa Anderson Todd, 2014): @ 

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