Mississippi: Reckoning in Meridian

Every morning the boys from Bill Gordon's barbershop in Meridian, Miss., staked out a big Confederate flag. Across the street, U.S. District Judge W. Harold Cox and a jury of white Mississippians were hearing charges against 18 of their neighbors named as plotters in the grisly 1964 murders of Civil Rights Workers Michael Schwerner, 24, Andrew Goodman, 20, and James Chaney, 21. The indictment did not specify murder—merely a conspiracy to deny the dead men their constitutional rights under a federal statute dating back to Reconstruction days. But the flag was a reminder...

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