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The Murder of Emmett Till
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Timeline: The Murder of Emmett Till

1921-1954 | 1955-2003  


November 23: Mamie Carthan is born to John and Alma Carthan in a small town near Webb, Mississippi.


January: Two-year-old Mamie Carthan arrives in Argo, Illinois, a small town outside of Chicago, with her mother. Her father has arrived several months ahead of the family to work at the Argo Corn Products Refining Company.


June: Mamie Carthan graduates from Argo Community High School.
October 14: Mamie Carthan marries 18-year-old Louis Till.


%July 25: Emmett Louis "Bobo" Till is born in Chicago's Cook County Hospital to Louis and Mamie Till.

Sociologist Gunnar Myrdal publishes a landmark study on whites' preoccupation with miscegenation, An American Dilemma. Myrdal and his researchers ask white Southerners to choose what they believe blacks most want from integration. The number one item on their list: "intermarriage and sexual intercourse with whites." This category ranks last for blacks.


Louis and Mamie Till separate.


%Louis Till is drafted by the Army to serve in World War II.


Mamie Till learns that Private Louis Till has died while in Europe. She is not given a full report of her ex-husband's death. One of his few possessions received by Mamie is a signet ring inscribed with his initials, L.T.


%A reactionary wing of Mississippi's Democratic Party splits off from the national party and forms the "Dixiecrats," a pro-Southern movement that joins the States' Rights Party. The Party opposes, among other things, African American empowerment and integration, and claims Democratic presidential nominee Harry Truman is too liberal. The States' Rights Party elects its own presidential candidate, South Carolina Governor Strom Thurmond. Thurmond carries four states and 39 electoral votes; Truman wins the presidency.


May 17: The Supreme Court orders public schools desegregated in Brown v. Board of Education. The watershed case overturns the separate-but-equal doctrine, which dated back to the 1896 decision in Plessy v. Ferguson. Southern segregationists vow to oppose the ruling, and label this day Black Monday. Mississippi Circuit Court Judge Tom P. Brady becomes the intellectual godfather of the Mississippi Citizens' Council, a white supremacist organization that will be replicated throughout the South.

July 11: The first Citizens' Council meeting is held in Indianola, Mississippi.

1921-1954 | 1955-2003  

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