James M eredith was walking down Highway 51 just south of Hernando, Mississippi. It was June 6, 1966, the second day of his planned 220-mile trek from Memphis to Jackson, which he undertook to encourage Black people to overcome racist intimidation and to register to vote.
As cars filled with newspaper reporters and police officers rolled nearby, he walked a sloping stretch of road lined with pine trees. He heard a shout: “James Meredith! James Meredith!”