March Against Fear

Civil rights activist James Meredith grimaces in pain as he pulls himself across Highway 51 in Hernando, Miss., after being shot during a voting rights march on June 6, 1966. Meredith, who defied segregation to enroll at the University of Mississippi in 1962, completed the march from Memphis to Jackson, Miss., after treatment of his wounds. (AP Photo/Jack Thornell)

June 7, 1966

HERNANDO, Miss. — I heard a voice say, "Look out!"

I turned and looked out the window of my car as a man dressed in a white shirt and wearing sunglasses with a shotgun about 30 feet from a line of marchers fired.

I saw James Meredith shove one of the marchers to the ground, then the first blast was fired. I lay flat on the car seat and I heard Meredith scream nearby.

Two more blasts followed and again Meredith screamed.

— Reporter Ramon Hamel witnessing the shooting that temporarily halted Meredith’s "March Against Fear" from Memphis to Jackson.

Sherwood Ross attends to James Meredith after he was shot June 6, 1966, on Highway 51 about two miles south of Hernando, Miss. Meredith was leading a "March Against Fear" to encourage blacks to exercise their voting rights. Aubrey James Norvell spent 18 months and 24 days of a two-year sentence in the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman for the shooting. Ross, a 33-year-old radio newsman from Washington D.C., said he was acting as Meredith's press spokesman as well as reporting for stations in Washington and New York. (Ramon Himel/The Commercial Appeal)