​January 3, 1966: Samuel Younge, Jr Is Murdered

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After Samuel Younge, Jr, tried to use the whites-only bathroom at a Standard Oil gas station, he was shot and killed by attendant Marvin Segrest.

He is considered the 1st African-American student to be killed as a result of his involvement in the American civil rights movement. During the mid-1960s, Younge worked to desegregate public facilities and led voter-registration drives in Macon County and in other parts of the South. 

In the days following his death, thousands marched through the streets of Tuskegee in outrage over the treatment of blacks within the city. Despite the demonstrations, Segrest was not indicted for Younge’s murder until November 1966 and was found innocent by an all-white jury the following month. 

Younge’s death also spurred action from SNCC, which called a press conference on January 6, 1966, to declare its opposition to the war in Vietnam, the first statement of its kind by a civil rights organization. Younge’s death was highlighted at the press conference as an example of the hypocrisy of fighting for freedom abroad while rights were denied in the United States and was used as a call for people to refuse the draft and work for freedom at home instead.

Younge’s death was highlighted at the press conference as an example of the hypocrisy of fighting for freedom abroad while rights were denied in the United States and was used as a call for people to refuse the draft and work for freedom at home instead. 

Read more about this injustice at: Daily Black History Facts

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