The Footage You're About To See Hasn't Seen The Light Of Day In A Half-Century

When we think about the civil rights movement now, it's often with removed, rose-tinted glasses filled with images of stirring speeches and impressively organized marches.

However, the reality of the movement, and particularly the summer of 1964, is both more tedious and more tragic. It's filled with volunteers who tirelessly pounded the pavement to organize voter registration and carefully prepared for the violence that was sure to ensue.

Check out some very rare footage of that summer and the story that shook a nation and the world — the story of three missing volunteers who gave the ultimate sacrifice for equality.

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Try to bring your knees all the way up to your elbows, don't cross your legs most likely a cop won't try to chunk you in here but he will hit you across here. You can generally take those licks.

I'm just wondering if people in this room understand that people should expect to get beaten, they should expect to spend in jail and that they should expect, possibly somebody to get killed.

I hope we can, well, reach the lives of as many people as possible and try to raise the aspirations of people who, well by their very birth deserve much more than they have in Mississippi.

We want you to come down to the courthouse tomorrow. We're having a freedom day for registration.

OK.

We want you to come down tomorrow and register. Miss Austin, we will pick you up tomorrow about seven o'clock.

OK.

We'll see you tomorrow.

How many people do you think we will have going down to the courthouse tomorrow?

The puzzle of the three civil rights workers missing in Mississippi became somewhat less of an enigma three days after they disappeared. Someone spotted a charred, blue station wagon in the woods about twenty miles from Philadelphia a small town in which Schwerner, Goodman, and Chaney were last seen. They were reportedly arrested by a deputy sheriff for speeding. The blue station wagon is the one in which they were last seen. It had been burned, but it had not been wrecked. There was no trace of the three men.

And let it be known all over this community, all over this county, all over this state, and all over this nation that we are determined to be free and that there will be no peace and tranquility in America until the negro has his freedom.

Did you ever try to persuade your sons not to go to Mississippi?

No. I don't believe that any -- either of us did.

Do you have any regrets now?

No, I do not have any regrets. Because if I did it would mean that I didn't believe ardently for the reason that they are down there and I continue to believe it. And I shall continue to do so.

And because we believe they are still alive. There is nothing to regret.

Schwerner, Chaney and Goodman were found shot to death in a grave at the base of a recently built dam just six miles from the City of Philadelphia. Their bodies, wrapped in plastic bags numbered one, two and three, were taken to the state medical center in Jackson for identification and examination.

What I want to talk about is really what I really grieve about. I don't grieve for Chaney because, in fact, I feel that he lived a fuller life than many of us will ever live.

We as people here in this state and the country are allowing this to continue to happen. I feel a vengeance in my heart tonight. And I'm sick and tired and I can't help but feel bitter, you see deep down inside. And I'm not gonna stand here and ask anybody in here not to be angry tonight. Don't bow down anymore. Hold your heads up. We want our freedom now. I don't want to have to go to another memorial. I'm tired of funerals. I'm tired of it. We've got to stand up.

People should expect to get beaten, they should expect to spend in jail, and that they should expect possibly somebody to get killed.

There may be small errors in this transcript.
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This rare footage was made available to us by the good folks at CBS Live Experiences. Want more? Join me for a very special interactive panel by clicking the link below!

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Jason Collins Guest Curator

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