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Thursday: Free 1960's civil rights flashback at Congregation Tifereth Israel

50 years ago this week, three civil rights activists were murdered for working to establish voting rights in Mississippi during the Freedom Summer of 1964. James Chaney was African American. Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner were Jewish.

Martin Luther King and Medgar Evers are well known for being assassinated for their civil rights work. But dozens of others who were also struck down in the 1960's remain virtually unknown.

On Thursday, June 19 from 7 to 8:30 p.m., Congregation Tifereth Israel is hosting a unique free program that will recall the June 1964 events and several others in the movement between 1960 and 1965. It was an era when blacks and whites marched together, were beaten together, were jailed together, and sometimes died together.

The evening will include vintage film footage of the civil rights movement's triumphs and tragedies, including the 1960 lunch counter sit-ins, the 1961 freedom rides, the 1963 Birmingham church bombing and the March on Washington, the 1964 murders of the civil rights workers, and the 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery.

Soulful singer Paisha Thomas and folk singer Bill Cohen will perform many of the songs that the non-violent protesters sang to embolden and energize themselves before facing the violence of racist mobs, high-pressure fire hoses, and police dogs.

Admission is free. Congregation Tifereth Israel is located at 1354 East Broad Street in Columbus. Free parking is available in the rear. The event is co-sponsored by the Columbus Jewish Federation. For more information, contact Bill Cohen at

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