July 12, 1964-– Joe Edwards, a black employee at the Shamrock Motel in Vidalia, goes there at 11 pm for what FBI believe was a date with a white woman, and is never seen again. His body has never been found, and differing stories as to what happened to him have been reported. Billy Bob Williams, a retired FBI agent who was one of two resident agents in Natchez from July 1964 to August 1966, reported that an informant said that Klansman had skinned Edwards alive; and Rev. Robert Lee Sr. reported being told that Edwards had “been taken by Klansmen into Mississippi, shot multiple times, and his lifeless body chained and thrown into the Mississippi River.” Interviews and FBI documents indicate that Edwards was kidnapped from the side of the Ferriday-Vidalia Highway, tortured, murdered, and then dumped into a body of water. Motives for Edwards’ murder include allegations of his romantic involvement with white women, his role within a prostitution ring, and suspicions as to his level of knowledge of Klan activity given that he worked at the Shamrock, where the SDG met on occasion.
—Soda bottle containing rags soaked in gas or kerosene thrown at Willie Washington’s, a black contractor, house in Natchez. The bottle lands on his front steps, however, leaving the house unharmed.
August 14, 1964—A bomb explodes outside Jake’s Place, a nightclub/juke joint located at 609 South Wall Street, next to the house that George Greene had rented for the SNCC/COFO workers to live in. The club caught on fire and shortly after an explosion went off, but no one was hurt. According to her sworn affidavit, Dorrie Ladner recalled a firefighter at the scene remarking that “the wrong place” had been bombed and that “these outside agitators are in that house. The bomb was set for that house. They’re here to stir up trouble.” Chief of Police J. T. Robinson told Ladner that the “bomb was meant for you. I’m surprised you haven’t been killed already.” However, others think the bomb was meant to damage Jake’s, since the owner, Jake Frishman, who was white, allowed both blacks and whites (including the Civil Rights workers) to frequent his club.
August 29, 1964–The United Klan of America (UKA) established its first klavern in Natchez, under the front of the Adams County Civic & Betterment Association.Many of its members were former White Knights. “The opening of that klavern was part of the celebration at the United Klan rally in Liberty Park in Natchez that day, led by Imperial Wizard Robert M. Shelton of Tuscaloosa, Ala., the organization’s leader. At least one HUAC investigator was at the meeting and subpoenaed a few Klansmen in attendance to appear before the committee. Several FBI agents were also at the rally. According to the HUAC files, the “UKA’s strategy in Mississippi….was to build an image of nonviolence.” This strategy proved so successful that by early 1966 UKA was the dominant Mississippi Klan.”” At its peak, the UKA had up to 30,000 national members, according to the Anti-Defamation League, and was known nationally for the 1963 Birmingham Church bombing, which killed four black girls
September 15, 1964–Stink bombs thrown into Mayor Nosser’s two grocery stores, Jitney Jungle and Nosser City, and into Orrick Metcalf’s Chevrolet-Cadillac dealership, causing several thousand dollars worth of damage
September 25, 1964-– Bomb exploded in front of Nosser’s home at night, as well as in front of the home of Willie Washington, a black contractor, who occasionally did work for Nosser. This violence prompted the white community to respond, unlike the previous attacks and murders in the black community. According to the Natchez Police Chief at the time, these were the first incidents of the Klan using explosives in Natchez.
October 1964— FBI, which had been operating out of agent Clarence Prospere’s house, opens official office in Natchez, in response to increasing violence.
November 15, 1964— At a meeting in Mississippi, the White Knights’ Imperial Wizard, Sam Bowers, “placed a 90-day moratorium on any projects involving arson/bombings or murder,” set to begin Dec. 1, 1964 and last until March 1. TheHouse un-American Activities Committee believed the ban came in response to the FBI’s increased scrutiny of the White Knights following the murders of Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner.
Late 1964– The Silver Dollar Gang/Group, which consisted of about 20 Klansmen from various regional Klan groups, was formed over a meeting in the Vidalia Shamrock Motel. Earcel Boyd Sr., a high-ranking officer of the United Klans of America, was one of the founding members of the Gang. Membership was not limited to a single Klan but a silver dollar minted in the member’s birth year was the mode of identification.. There were no formal meetings. It is believed that the active membership was never more than twenty, but they prided themselves on being the ‘toughest Klansmen in Mississippi or Louisiana.
Nov. 1964-March 1965— Local high school students, organized into a local chapter of the “Mississippi Student Union” (a COFO creation) successfully desegregate the lunch counter at the S.S. Kress department store; they also attempted, less successfully to desegregate the Fisk Public Library, the coffee shop at the Eola Hotel, the local YMCA, the Clarke movie theater and Duncan Park. They were arrested and harrased regularly. In March 1965, civil rights workers protested in front of Pilgrimage sites around town.
Jan. 1965-– Shot fired through the window of George Metcalfe’s house.
Feb 1965-– New Natchez NAACP elects Metcalfe and Jackson as president and treasurer, respectively.
Summer 1965—Natchez NAACP branch conducts voter registration project. Uneasy truce between SNCC heads, Ladner and Greene, and NAACP heads (incl. Natchez branch pres. George Metcalfe).
August 5, 1965– A group of around 200 African-Americans integrate a Natchez city park as part of an NAACP action led by Charles Evers. Evers told The Clarion Ledger that the event was a success despite some white people jeering at the group and someone slashing the car tires of a car belonging to an African-American. Police, Sheriff deputies and the HIghway Patrol were all present at the time.
August 27, 1965– After weeks of receiving threatening phone calls and harassment at work, George Metcalfe gets into his car at the end of one of his shifts at Armstrong and as he turns the ignition, his car explodes. The bomb destroys his car and damages many of the other cars in the Armstrong parking lot. Metcalfe survives but is hospitalized for weeks for serious injuries. The SIlver Dollar Gang is suspected but nobody is charged.