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Prof. John Dittmer Marks 40th Anniversary of 'Freedom Summer' in Mississippi Speech

June 25, 2004

June 25, 2004, Greencastle, Ind. - "Civil rights historian John Dittmer Thursday paid tribute to Hattiesburg residents whose courage in the 1960s led to gains for black Americans, including the Voting Rights Act of 1965," begins an article in today's edition of Mississippi's Hattiesburg American. "Dittmer, author of Local People: The Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi and on the faculty at DePauw University in Indiana, spoke as part of the University of Southern Mississippi's Fairchild Series."

Dr. Dittmer, professor emeritis of history, spoke at St. Paul United Methodist Church, "one of six churches in Hattiesburg and Palmer's Crossing that allowed the Freedom Summer schools to meet at the churches in the summer of 1964," writes Nikki Davis Maute. Dittmer says, "It's good that this lecture take place at St. Paul because it played such a significant role for the movement." He adds, "Mississippi was different from other areas in that the real issue here was voter registration. It was the rallying point for the young and old alike. Everyone could agree that pushing for voter rights was worthwhile."

Read the story, "Civil rights historian honors area residents," at the newspaper's Web site by clicking here. The newspaper also published a Q&A with Professor Dittmer, accessible here.