What happened the day Edgar Ray Killen was convicted of killing three civil rights workers

For many in the Mississippi courtroom on June 21, 2005, the 80-year-old man in a wheelchair, breathing from the thin green tubes of an oxygen tank, embodied the state’s violent, hate-filled past.

It had been 41 years to the day since the killing of three civil rights workers on a country road in the old lumber town of Philadelphia, Mississippi. The crime shook the country, propelling the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 and inspiring the 1988 movie “Mississippi Burning.”

And on that...

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