20 Iconic Milestones in the Fight for Civil Rights
James Byrd Jr.
In what was called one of the most notorious hate crimes of modern times, James Byrd Jr., 49, was murdered by three white supremacists in Jasper, Texas, in 1998. Offering Byrd a ride home, the men instead drove to a remote country road, beat him, chained his legs to the back of their pick-up truck and dragged him for several miles. In 2009, President Obama signed The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, strengthening hate crime prosecutions nationally.