On Friday, June 20, at Miami University Prof. David Kotz (economics) joined former civil rights activists to recall their experiences in 1964 as volunteers registering African-American voters in Mississippi. Back then, after training, Kotz traveled to Meridian, Mississippi, in a station wagon with seven young activists, including the three who were slain during that Freedom summer.
Prior to leaving for Mississippi on the Miami University campus where the 800 activists prepared for registering blacks to vote in Mississippi, they were warned to expect beatings and even death in the Southern hotbed of anti-integration violence. So when three young activists disappeared June 21, a day after leaving the orientation to start work, it wasn't a shock, but it was disturbing and frightening. The bodies were found a few weeks later in an earthen dam.