Wednesday, April 2, 2014

March 25: Viola Liuzzo shot by KKK

On this date in History .... March 25, 1965:

Viola Liuzzo, age 39, was killed by four Ku Klux Klan members. 

Liuzzo had left her home in Michigan to go to Selma Alabama to help with the carpooling effort to transport volunteers and marchers.  She had been watching news reports of the marches and, in tears, told her husband she had to go down south and help.

After dropping off some of the (black) volunteers, Viola’s car was approached by a car with 4 KKK members, who shot her in the head and shot up her car.  She died immediately. 

One of the men in the car was an FBI information and years later, under the Freedom of Information Act, Viola’s family discovered J. Edgar Hoover himself had begun a smear campaign against Viola’s character so as to distance the FBI from any blame for her death. After a mistrial, 3 of the 4 KKK members were found guilty in a federal court.  The informant went into Witness Protection due to threats from the KKK.

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