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M319 Erle E. Johnston, Jr. Papers

Object Type: Folder
In Folder: Historical Manuscripts

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From the Johnston (Erle E., Jr.) Papers; Typewritten letter from Erle Johnston to Rev. Frederick Fowler, dated April 1, 1965, in which Johnston defends the voter registration laws of Mississippi. According to Johnston, despite some discrimination against African Americans who attempt to register to vote, the laws apply to all races. He mentions the enclosure of several documents containing information on the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the civil rights movement, and other topics.

1 April 1965

Photograph from the Johnston (Erle E., Jr.) Papers; Black-and-white photograph of civil rights demonstrators holding picket signs and kneeling at a march in McComb, Mississippi, for equal voting rights.


From the Johnston (Erle E., Jr.) Papers; Typewritten letter from William J. Simmons to Erle Johnston, Jr., dated November 18, 1987, in response to Johnston's request for information to be used in his book about Mississippi from 1953-1973. Topics discussed include integrated sporting events, the White Citizens council, the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission, and issues related to the Sovereignty Commission during the administrations of Ross Barnett and J.P. Coleman. Also mentioned are the Voting Rights Act of 1968, the Reconstruction of the 1860s, and the New Reconstruction of the 1859s.

25 November 1987

From the Johnston (Erle E., Jr.) Papers; Booklet distributed by the Coordinating Committee for Fundamental American Freedoms in an effort to explain the origin and purpose of the Civil Rights Act of 1963. The authors argue that the legislation would affect banks, agriculture, various businesses and professional services, education and voting. Also discusses the effects of the Act on discrimination in employment, Presidential and administrative powers, and home ownership. The Civil Rights Act of 1963 is criticized for violating the United States Constitution, destroying states' and citizens' rights, and disrupting the system of checks and balances. The authors conclude with suggestions for means to protest this piece of legislation.

From the Johnston (Erle E., Jr.) Papers; List of the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission Schedule of payments to the White Citizens Council forum between the years 1960 and 1965.


From the Johnston (Erle E., Jr.) Papers; Copy of a statement signed by ten Mississippi legislators pledging their support for the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission and commending Erle Johnston for his work on behalf of the organization.

20 January 1966

From the Johnston (Erle E., Jr.) Papers; Typed letter from Ney M. Gore to William J. Simmons, dated October 12, 1955, written in response to a letter from Simmons discussing the occurrence of maintenance and barratry in South Carolina and Louisiana. Gore addresses Simmons' concern about these crimes happening in Mississippi.

12 October 1955

From the Johnston (Erle E., Jr.) Papers; Typewritten letter on Citizens Councils of America letterhead from William J. Simmons to Erle Johnston, Jr., dated November 25, 1987. Discusses the Legal Education Advisory Committee (LEAC), as well as other issues in Johnston's book, "Mississippi: The Defiant Years." Includes a list of members of the LEAC.

25 November 1987

From the Johnston (Erle E., Jr.) Papers; Article by Erle Johnston regarding the first instance of integration in intercollegiate sports in Mississippi. Discusses the 1955 Jones Junior College football team, cited as the first college team in Mississippi to participate in a sporting event against an integrated team. Includes information on the controversy that surrounded the Mississippi school's decision to allow the team play against Compton College. Also discusses the 1995 Homecoming events, which included an invitation from officials at Jones to black and white players from the 1955 Compton College team to participate in the Homecoming Parade." A type-written note from Erle Johnston is attached at the front of this article.

April 1995

From the Johnston (Erle E., Jr.) Papers; Report of the planned programs for Freedom Summer of 1964. Beginning with a quote from James Silver's book Mississippi: The Closed Society, the prospectus discusses issues such as goals of the Mississippi Freedom Schools, the objectives of the community centers that will be established throughout the state, and the deployment of voter registration workers. Four special projects, collectively titled the "Research Project," a program designed to promote research on political and economic life in Mississippi, are described. The purpose of the Legal project was to assist law students in fighting the laws of Mississippi that denied the rights of African Americans in the state. The White Communities project was designed to destroy the hatred and bigotry portrayed towards African Americans by many white neighborhoods in Mississippi." Tougaloo College Drama Department sponsored the Theater project, which began in Jackson.


From the Johnston (Erle E., Jr.) Papers; Notes regarding a telephone conversation between Roy Reed of the Atlanta Bureau of the New York Times and Bill Minor of the New Orleans Times Picayune, dated June 21, 1966. Briefly discusses mob violence at the courthouse in Philadelphia, Mississippi, and the reputation of the Mississippi Highway Patrol.

21 June 1966

From the Johnston (Erle E., Jr.) Papers; Document labeled "Restricted," concerning the instruction of Poll Watchers in Jackson, Mississippi, and support for or against the political views of civil rights activist Lawrence Guyot. Also includes information about plans to remove Guyot from the Freedom Democratic Party.

2 November 1967

From the Johnston (Erle E., Jr.) Papers; Typewritten letter from Kenneth Dean to Robert Nash dated April 4, 1967, in which Dean voices his concerns about the continued racial violence and discrimination in Mississippi. Dean describes an incident in which an African-American man, Second Lieutenant in the Air Force, was severely beaten by a gang of white men in Jackson, Mississippi. When taken to the University Medical Center there, he was initially refused assistance, and finally given minimal treatment for his injuries.

4 April 1967

From the Johnston (Erle E., Jr.) Papers; Document labeled "Restricted," concerning the attempts of Alfred Rhodes to convince the assistants of Lawrence Guyot to sway his political endorsement of Reubel Phillips for Governor of Mississippi.

6 November 1967

Black-and-white photograph of Senator James O. Eastland of Mississippi. Eastland had a reputation as an opponent of the civil rights movement.

From the Johnston (Erle E., Jr.) Papers; The Program of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party outlines the purpose, goals, and requests of the organization. Explains the discrimination against African Americans in Mississippi, especially with regard to proper living conditions, medical care, and basic civil rights. Discusses a reformed welfare system, enforced by the federal government, as well as reforms in the electoral system. Also calls for an end to the Vietnam War and United States aid to South Africa.


Transcribed copy of a report by the General Legislative Committee of Mississippi based on findings from an investigation of the occupation of the University of Mississippi in 1962 by the United States Department of Justice. Action was taken in response to the riots and violence that resulted from the integration of the university by James Howard Meredith. The report includes complaints against the United States federal government, especially the United States Marshals. No testimonies are offered from the federal government. Published as a government document.

8 May 1963

Photograph from the Johnston (Erle E., Jr.) Papers; Black-and-white photograph of African-American civil rights activist Aaron Henry, taken in the 1980s.

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