Civil rights office to be area center

By The Associated Press

MERIDIAN, Miss. — A civil rights office started by an activist who was later slain and his wife is being turned into a center to reach out to students in Meridian, just as it did decades ago.

The Clarion-Ledger reports the state awarded $210,000 last year to restore the Fielder & Brooks Drug Store in Meridian. In 1964, it housed the Council of Federated Organizations, started by Michael and Rita Schwerner.

Michael Schwerner was among three activists killed in one of the most notorious attacks of the era. Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James Chaney were murdered by the Ku Klux Klan in Neshoba County in 1964 what became known as the “Mississippi Burning” case.

Four decades later, Edgar Ray Killen, was convicted of manslaughter.

Chaney also worked at the Meridian office.