Charles McLaurin - "The Foot Soldier"

In the summer of 1964, Charles McLaurin led a group of Freedom Summer volunteers in an effort to register voters in rural Mississippi. In 2014, he journeyed back to the small towns he worked in that summer, recounting how infiltrating the small town of Drew, Mississippi landed him and others in a small country jail and the ways in which Fannie Lou Hamer inspired the volunteers. Freedom Summer premieres June 24, 2014.

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Whether in politics or popular culture, civil liberty or civil rights, 1964 saw a lot of change. What event or set of events do you think had the biggest impact on the year, on American society, or on America as we know it today?



  • Additional funding for this program was provided by

  • Arthur Vining Davis Foundations
  • NEH
  • Yawkey Foundation
  • DIG: Robert & Marjie Kargman and the Brian A. McCarthy Foundation (Freedom Summer)