The University of Southern Mississippi -- McCain Library and Archives
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Collection Title: Grupper (Ira) and Beech (Bob) Civil Rights Collection
Accession Number: AM 99-56
Inclusive Dates: 1960s
Volume: 3 items
Given By: Donated by Mr. Ira Grupper and Rev. Bob Beech.
Copyright: This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code).
Form of Material:
Ira Grupper was a member of the research staff of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in the 1960s and Rev. Bob Beech was Director of the Hattiesburg Ministers Union from 1964 to 1966. The Union was part of a national effort of ministers from all over the United States who volunteered under the auspices of the National Council of Churches to assist African Americans in the South to register to vote.
In the Spring of 1965 Mr. Grupper and Rev. Beech visited Vernon Dahmer at his home in the Kelly Settlement just north of Hattiesburg. Mr. Dahmer, an African American businessman, was a prominent civil rights leader whom the Ku Klux Klan frequently threatened. At the time of their visit, the Klan had nailed to a tree on the Dahmer property a 10x13 red, white, and blue poster of an Uncle Sam figure pointing at the viewer with the caption "The Klan Wants You!" Mr. Dahmer gave the poster to Mr. Grupper and Rev. Beech. Mr. Grupper preserved the poster and presented it to the USM Archives in June 1999, when he attended the University's 35th anniversary commemoration of Mississippi Freedom Summer 1964.
In January 1966, Vernon Dahmer was killed when his house was firebombed by the Klan.
Also in the collection are photocopies of two envelopes addressed to Mr. Grupper which are examples of the mail-tampering of the sixties.
Accession Number: AM02-18
Volume: 1 item
Given By: Ira Grupper
Form of Material:
An article written by Ira Grupper titled, "The Fairgrounds Motel." The article recounts Mr. Grupper's experiences following his arrest and detention at the state fairgrounds in Jackson, Mississippi, in June 1965, for participating in a civil rights protest.