Civil Rights Marches and a Federal Lawsuit

(5/15/1968) Following the death of Martin Luther King, citizens in Holly Springs conducted a peaceful march from Rust College, proceeding through town to the courthouse. About 500 marchers attended and were entirely peaceful. No incidents were recorded. However, the march led a Holly Springs alderman to pass a law mandating notice of such marches. The laws limited groups to twenty persons and did not allow for any singing or chanting.

Following the law, groups still gathered and marched peacefully along the streets of Holly Springs, at times in numbers approaching 200 persons. On May 15, 1968, many persons involved in a march were arrested, leading to a federal lawsuit challenging the laws limiting the ability of these peaceful marches.

The demonstrators won the case and the laws were deemed unconstitutional in Robinson v. Coopwood, 292 F. Supp. 926 (N.D. Miss. 1968).

Sources:

Lynch, John Roy. Facts of Reconstruction. Neale publishing: 1913.

David M. Callejo-Perez. Southern Hospitality: Identity, Schools, and the Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi, 1964–1972. New York: Peter Lang, 2001.

McMurry, Linda. To Keep the Waters Troubled. Oxford Press: 1998.

Campbell, Claire T. Civil Rights Chronicle: Letters From the South. 264 pp. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi.

Levine, Ellen. Freedom’s Children: Young Civil Rights Activists Tell Their Own Stories. Penguin Putnam: 2000.