Mississippi Civil Rights Museum: Chaney Goodman Schwerner Theater

Pamela D.C. Junior

Director, Mississippi Civil Rights Museum

Mississippi Civil Rights Museum

Mississippi Civil Rights Museum 222 North Street Jackson, MS 39201 United States


MUSE Video, Film, Computer Animation Gold Award 2018


An Essential Cultural Experience for All Ages



The Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner theater documents the 1964 murder of Freedom Summer volunteers James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner. The three young men, who were working with the Mississippi Freedom Summer Project, were investigating the fire bombing and beating of parishioners at Mount Zion Methodist Church in Neshoba County.


As they were returning to Meridian, the men were stopped by Neshoba County sheriff's deputy Cecil Price. They were jailed for several hours with no phone call and later released.  After being released, their car was followed and pulled over by several cars filled with members of the Ku Klux Klan. The men were removed from their car and all three were fatally shot.

Colleagues searched frantically for their comrades. FBI Agents found their smoldering vehicle days later and the search for the missing workers went from a rescue to a recovery.



Local, state, and federal agencies searched for the missing men for forty- four days. A tip from an informant, a highway patrolman from Meridian, sent investigators to a dam on an old farm outside of Philadelphia, Mississippi, where the men's bodies were recovered. Local funeral homes refused to honor the families' wishes to bury the three civil rights workers together. James Chaney was buried in Neshoba County and Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner were returned to New York for burial.

The Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner Theater was designed by Hilferty and Associates, fabricated and installed by Exhibit Concepts, Inc. and the film was produced by Monadnock Media Group and narrated by broadcast journalist Howard Ballou.




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