This Day in Black History: Aug. 28, 1955

Emmett Till was murdered in Mississippi. 

Posted: 08/28/2012 07:00 AM EDT

(Photo: Wikicommons)

Emmett Till, a Black teen visiting relatives in Mississippi, was kidnapped and brutally murdered by two white men on Aug. 28, 1955. His killers, Roy Bryant and his half-brother, J.W. Milam, allegedly saw Till whistle at a white women at a gas station. They abducted the 14-year-old in the middle of night, mutilated his body and tied a cotton gin around his neck with barbed wire before dumping his body in the Tallahatchie River. An all-white jury acquitted the men in Sept. 1955, spurring international outcry that would help fuel the civil rights movement in the South. Months after the trial, and unable to be tried again for the same crime, Bryant and Milam admitted to how they killed Till in a 1956 interview in Look magazine.

Also, on this day in 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his landmark "I Have a Dream" speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. Some 250,000 people came to hear the civil rights leader speak in what would become his most acclaimed national address. King was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, on Apr. 4, 1968.

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