Mayor Wagner & President Johnson Fannie Lou Hamer
Steven A. Levine, Ph.D.
Coordinator for Educational Programs
Fifty years ago the Democratic Party Convention met in Atlantic City, NJ to nominate Lyndon Baines Johnson for a full term. Johnson’s nomination was not in doubt, but who would represent Mississippi was up in the air: the all white segregationist regular Democrats or the integrated Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP). The MFDP were activists from Mississippi Freedom Summer (To learn more about Freedom Summer see the Archives’ Curriculum.) who came to Atlantic City determined to oust the regular Democrats. Sharecropper and civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer gave a powerful speech to the Credentials Committee about the terrorist tactics used to prevent Hamer and other African-Americans from registering to vote. After her speech it appeared that the MFDP had a chance to be seated by the Credentials Committee.
If you want to learn more about the 1964 Democratic Convention and the Mississippi Freedom Democrats, please feel free to contact me at the Archives at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mayor Robert F. Wagner and President Lyndon Baines Johnson