Historical Archives

Learning from History

The records on this page concern the life of Andrew Goodman, his murder, and the subsequent memorials and related legal proceedings in both federal and state court. Materials on this page are copyrighted by The Andrew Goodman Foundation or reproduced with permission from other copyright owners. For permission requests, or to inquire about other historic materials compiled by Andrew’s mother, Carolyn Goodman, or brother David Goodman, please contact us.

I. Andy’s Life

Andrew Goodman was born in New York City on November 23, 1943. His parents were Robert Goodman, a writer and civil engineer, and Carolyn Goodman, a psychologist and social activist. From the age of three up until the 12th grade, Andrew studied at The Walden School in New York City at 1 West 88th Street; The Walden School would later become the Trevor Day School, whose building is named after Andrew Goodman.

In 1961, Andrew began college at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Considering a dramatics major, he participated in extracurricular theatrical activities, until pneumonia forced him to drop out during his freshman year. Returning to New York City, he recovered his health and won a part in an off-Broadway show, “The Chief Thing” by the Russian playwright Nikolaí Evreninov. In 1962, he enrolled at Queens College, majoring in anthropology.

During his junior year at Queens, Andrew was recruited for a summer voter registration project in Mississippi by Aaron Henry, President of the Mississippi NAACP, and co-founder of the Council of Federated Organizations (COFO). At the time, Aaron was a student recruiter at Queens and other northern colleges for the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). The project was sponsored by COFO, whose member organizations included the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), SNCC, and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), and whose leaders included Martin Luther King and Ella Baker. Training sessions for the SNCC volunteers were held at the Western College for Women, now part of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Leaders from COFO trained over 1,000 SNCC volunteers, among them Andrew Goodman. The volunteers were instructed about the importance of aligning with, and assisting in any way possible, Southern Blacks as they attempted to register, vote, and bring about change in the State of Mississippi.

Childhood and Upbringing

Photographs

Miscellaneous Items

Certificate of Birth & Announcement
Details: PDF | 1 page | 1943-11-23

Childhood Letter From Camp
Includes: Letter to his younger brother, David Goodman
Details: PDF | 3 pages |

Biography Written for May 2, 1985 National Urban League Dinner
Includes: Short bio of Andrew Goodman written by his mother, Carolyn
Details: PDF | 2 pages |1985-05-02

Biography of Andrew Goodman written by his mother, Carolyn Goodman (Long)
Details: PDF | 8 pages | 2000-04-

Biography of Andrew Goodman written by his mother, Carolyn Goodman (Short)
Details: PDF | 4 pages | 2000-04-

Final Years

College Essays

Sociology Term Paper, “The Black Muslims”
Includes: Paper written by Andrew Goodman one month before his death
Details: PDF | 35 pages | 1964-05-19

Book Report for Philosophy
Includes: Report written by Andrew Goodman on Freud’s “Civilization and its Discontents” and “The Future of an Illusion”
Details: PDF | 10 pages | 1964-04-20

Book Report for History
Includes: Report written by Andrew Goodman on George Foster’s “Culture and Conquest”
Details: PDF | 8 pages | 1964-03-26

Book Report for Philosophy
Includes: Report written by Andrew Goodman on Feuerbach’s “The Essence of Christianity”
Details: PDF | 6 pages | 1964-03-23

Items Related to Freedom Summer

Photograph of Burned Station Wagon
Includes: Photo of the interior of the three boys’ car, which the KKK burned and abandoned in the woods near Highway 21, in Philadelphia, Mississippi.

Andrew Goodman’s Last Postcard Home
Includes: Front and back of postcard sent to his parents. Postmarked the day Andy was murdered.
Details: PDF | 1 pages | 1964-06-21

Application Packet for Freedom Summer 1964
Includes: Andy’s hand-written application, references, SNCC memo
Details: PDF | 13 pages | 1964

Letter to Members of the National Lawyers Guild Regarding Freedom Summer
Includes: Andy’s personal copy of the letter sent to members
Details: PDF | 4 pages | 1964-04-15

Memo #2 to Accepted Freedom Summer Applicants
Includes: Letter from John Lewis, instructions for workers, payment to SNCC
Details: PDF | 3 pages | 1963-09-25

Funeral & Memorial

Photograph of Andrew Goodman Grave Monument
Details: PDF | 1 page |

Memorial Booklet
Includes: Memorial booklet of eulogies delivered at the funeral service of Andrew Goodman, on August 9, 1964, at the meetinghouse of the Society for Ethical Culture
Details: PDF | 16 pages | 1964-08-05

Eulogy by Martin Popper
Includes: Eulogy delivered by Martin Popper, Counsel for the Goodman family
Details: PDF | 4 page | 1964-08-09

Eulogy by Ralph Engelman
Includes: Eulogy delivered by Ralph Engelman, one of Andy’s closest friends
Details: PDF | 3 page | 1964-08-09

NYC Council Resolution Requesting Memorial Service
Includes: Resolution by the NYC Council requesting the Mayor to provide an appropriate memorial service on the first anniversary of the deaths of Andrew Goodman, James Chaney, and Michael Schwerner
Details: PDF | 1 page | 1965-06-01

Invitation to Monument Unveiling
Includes: Invitation to the unveiling of a monument to Andrew Goodman at Mt. Judah Cemetery in Ridgewood, NY on June 20, 1965
Details: PDF | 1 page | 1965

Remarks at Monument Unveiling
Includes: Remarks made at Mt. Judah Cemetery during the unveiling of a monument to Andrew Goodman
Details: PDF | 2 pages | 1965-06-20

II. The Murders and Aftermath

On Sunday, June 21, 1964 (Father’s Day), Andrew set out with veteran CORE workers Michael Schwerner and James Chaney to investigate the ruins of The Mt. Zion United Methodist Church in Philadelphia, Mississippi. The church, a “Freedom School” for voter registration meetings, had been burnt to the ground by the KKK. After Goodman, Schwerner and Chaney left the church ruins, they were arrested by the local sheriff, detained, and released–only to be led into a Ku Klux Klan ambush. Chaney, the only African American of the trio, was then savagely beaten, and all three were shot to death. Their bodies were buried under an earthen dam that was under construction nearby.

After a forty-four day search by the State Highway Patrol, the FBI, the U.S. Navy and other law enforcement agencies, the bodies were located on August 4, 1964. The U.S. Justice Department, acting on orders from Attorney General Robert Kennedy, brought charges in federal court against 18 persons identified by the FBI. These individuals were charged with denying Goodman, Chaney and Schwerner their civil rights without due process of law. On October 20, 1967, seven of the 18 were found guilty of these federal offenses. However, none of these individuals who were physically present at the scene of the crime, were indicted, tried, or convicted of murder in a Mississippi court. (Forty years later, one of the 18 who was not present at the scene was convicted of manslaughter, a lesser charge than murder.) The 1967 case was a landmark decision because it was an application of a law enacted during the Reconstruction Era after the Civil War, and because it was one of the first convictions of KKK members in a Southern court.

Statements, Correspondence, and Condolences

Condolences From Elected Officials and Organizations

Poems and Songs to Andy Written by Members of the Public

Poem by Joe Liebman
Details: PDF | 1 page | 1964-06-28

Poem by Betty Cephus
Details: PDF | 2 pages | 1964-07-05

Poem by Joy Washington
Details: PDF | 1 page | 1964-08-07

Letter and Poem by Ruby Carter
Details: PDF | 2 pages | 1964-08-10

Song by Susan Feldman
Details: PDF | 2 pages | 1964-08-12

Poem by Pete Margolies
Details: PDF | 1 page | 1964-09-10

Poem by Benjamin Miller
Details: PDF | 1 page | 1964-12

Poem by Alice Mundy Spohee
Details: PDF | 2 pages | 1964-12-21

Poem by Cele Mayhew
Details: PDF | 2 pages | 1965-01-14

Song by Betty Corwin
Details: PDF | 2 pages | 1965-01-25

Recording of Song by Jack Solarsh
Details: PDF | 2 pages | 1965-06-25

Poem in Variety by Frank Silvera
Details: PDF | 1 page | 1965-08-19

Song by Sister Evelyn of the Order of Saint Anne
Details: PDF | 1 page |

Poem by George Sands
Details: PDF | 1 page |

Poem by Saul Lancourt
Details: PDF | 1 page |

Poem by John Franzen
Details: PDF | 1 page |

Letter and Poem by Domingo Rivera Gonzolez
Details: PDF | 4 pages |

Poem to Andy
Details: PDF | 1 page |

Letter by Robert Kennedy
Details: PDF | 1 page|

Hate Mail Received by the Goodman Family

Hate Mail Received by Goodman Family
Includes: A selection of hate letters received in 1964 by Carolyn and Robert Goodman, Andy’s parents, upon the death of their son
Details: PDF | 8 pages | 1964

Items Related to the Search and United States v. Cecil Price

Memo Re: Convening of a Grand Jury
Includes: A memo submitted to the Attorney General of the United States urging that a Federal Grand Jury be convened to investigate the disappearance of Andrew Goodman, James Chaney, and Michael Schwerner
Details: PDF | 8 pages | 1964

Transcript of Conversation on June 27, 2964 with Mr. McNamara and informants about missing Civil Rights workers
Includes: A rough transcript of a conversation held over the phone between Henry Wolff, attorney for the Goodman family, and a Mr. McNamara, who had some contacts in Mississippi including a reporter by the name of David Welch, who had spoken with Mr. Buford Posey, an informant from Philadelphia, Mississippi, who was sympathetic to the plight of local African Americans. The call was taken by Mr. Wolff at the Goodman family home in New York City on Saturday, June 27, 1964 and was recorded by David Goodman who then turned the recording over to the FBI. During their call, the Mr. McNamara plays a conversation recorded on tape of Mr. Buford Posey naming many of the 18 individuals who were later identified by the FBI as the killers of Goodman, Chaney, and Schwerner. Mr. Buford Posey was a cousin of Billey Wayne Posey, one of the 18 men identified by the FBI. However, the person who transcribed the tape incorrectly identified Mr. McNamara as the Secretary of Defense.
Details: PDF | 12 pages | 1964-06-27

Missing, Call FBI Poster
Details: PDF | 1 pages | 1964-06-29

Letter from Mr. and Mrs. Nathan Schwerner to Lee C. White, Special Counsel to the President
Includes: Letter to Lee White outlining concerns and actions they recommended should be taken by the Executive Branch. Lee White forwards the letter to Assistant Attorney General Burke Marshall.
Details: PDF | 6 pages | 1964-08-03

Confession of Horace Doyle Barnette
Details: PDF | 4 pages | 1964-11-20

Indictments Pending
Includes: Letter from John Doar, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division, send Goodman family attorney a copy of the indictments pending.
Details: PDF | 8 pages | 1965-01-30

III. Keeping the Legacy Alive

In 1966, Robert and Carolyn Goodman started The Andrew Goodman Foundation to carry on the spirit and purpose of their son’s life. After the death of Robert Goodman in 1969, Carolyn continued the work of the Foundation, focusing on projects like a reverse march to Mississippi and a 25th Anniversary Memorial in June 1989. The memorial, which took place at St. John The Divine Church in NYC, was attended by 10,000 people and was presided by Governor Mario Cuomo, Maya Angelou, Peter Seeger, Aaron Henry, Harry Belafonte, Robert Kennedy Jr., then Mississippi Secretary of State Dick Molpus, and others closely associated with the Civil Rights movement. After Carolyn’s death in August 2007, David Goodman, Andrew’s younger brother, and Sylvia Golbin-Goodman, David’s wife, took up the work of the Foundation and are currently serving pro-bono as President and Executive Director, respectively.

For nearly 50 years, the organization was a private foundation acting in the public interest. With their eyes set on the future, the Board of Trustees of The Andrew Goodman Foundation elected to convert the organization into a public charity in 2012. In 2014, Vote Everywhere was formally launched on the fiftieth anniversary of the murders; the program empowers college students to take a stand in the spirit of Freedom Summer, making young voices and votes a powerful force in democracy.

2014 Presidential Medal of Freedom

White House Photographs