August 28 - 1955 - The Murder of Emmett Till

14 year old Emmett Till was a Chicago native, where he lived with his mother and grandmother. In the summer of 1955, he was visiting relatives in Money, Mississippi and went with cousins into Bryant's Grocery and Meat Market. There, he had an interaction with 21-year old Carolyn Bryant. Something about that interaction made Carolyn Bryant tell her husband Till had come on to her. So Roy Bryant found who had been in his store, and four days later Bryant and his half-brother J.W. Milam kidnapped Emmett Till from the home of his great-uncle Mose Wright in the early morning hours of August 28. Then, they beat him, took him to a shed, shot him, and dropped his body into the Tallahatchie River. When Till's body washed up three days later, swollen and mutilated, everyone knew who had committed the crime. Yet once the crime became a national news story, largely thanks to his mother asking for his body to come back to Chicago for an open casket funeral. Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam were put on trial for kidnapping and murder less than a month later. Despite positive identification by Mose Wright and clear evidence Bryant and Milam committed the crime, they were acquitted. The murder of Emmett Till, especially the resulting acquittal, caused national outrage and became a significant moment in the Civil Rights Movement.

William Floyd