U.S. Freedom Rides
The Student Non Violent Coordinating Committee, (SNCC) decided to send volunteers into Mississippi during the summer of 1964, for a voter registration drive.
They aimed to organise a legally constituted "Freedom Democratic Party" that would challenge the whites only Mississippi Democratic Party. The students also aimed to provide education, legal and medical assistance for blacks.
On June 21, the day after the first 200 recruits left for Mississippi from Ohio, three workers disappeared. Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman, and James Chaney had been taken to jail for speeding charges but were later released. What happened next is not known. Sheriff Lawrence Rainey claimed the men were hiding to gain publicity. The FBI did not get involved for a full day.
On August 4, the bodies of the three civil rights workers were found in a dam on a farm near Philadelphia, Mississippi. They had all been shot and the one Black, James Chaney, had been brutally beaten. The discovery shifted media attention back to Mississippi just 18 days before the start of the Democratic National Convention.
In Australia, just a few weeks before the murders of Schwerner, Goodman and Chaney, students at Sydney University also began to act.