In the summer of 1964, hundreds college students participated in voter registration efforts, taught in freedom schools and worked in community centers in towns throughout racially segregated Mississippi. At the time, Mississippi was the poorest state in the United States, particularly for the non-white population. Many volunteers came from white, middle-class families in the north, and witnessed extreme poverty for the first time. In this video segment from Iowans Return to Freedom Summer, Marvin Gatch and Patti Miller recall their reaction upon traveling to rural Mississippi in the summer of 1964.
Check out the entire Experiences of the 1964 Freedom Summer Volunteers Collection.