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 home >> Civil Rights History Project >> Survey of Collections and Repositories >> Collections >> Collection Record

The Civil Rights History Project: Survey of Collections and Repositories

Dahmer (Vernon F.) collection

Repository: University of Southern Mississippi. McCain Library and Archives

Collection Description (Extant): The Vernon F. Dahmer Collection consists of copies of newspaper clippings and programs dating from 1966 to 1998, and 24 photographs taken during the fifth trial of Sam Bowers. Most of the newspaper clippings were collected by the Dahmer family between 1966 and 1986, and follow events surrounding the bombing of their home, community support after the tragedy, and the trials of those men indicted for arson, murder, and conspiracy. Other articles in the collection were published in The Hattiesburg American, The Meridian Star, The Clarion-Ledger and The Times Picayune.

The photographs were taken and donated by local resident, David Shemper, who attended the 1998 Sam Bowers trial. All were taken outside the Forrest County Courthouse and feature members of the Dahmer family, Mississippi Attorney General Mike Moore, media representatives, and spectators.

Of particular interest in the collection are copies of a telegram sent to Mrs. Dahmer by President Lyndon B. Johnson; the program for Vernon Dahmer's funeral on January 15, 1966; and the program for a memorial marker dedication in Dahmer's honor on July 25, 1986.

Video cassette of the August 29, 2000 USM University Forum presentation "Pursuing a Late Justice: The Prosecution of Mississippi's Civil Rights Murders, Then and Now". The program featured Mr. Vernon F. Dahmer, Jr., son of slain Civil Rights leader Vernon Dahmer; Mr. James K. Dukes, prosecuting attorney during the 1968 trials of the perpetrators of the 1966 murder of Vernon Dahmer; assistant district attorney Hon. Bob Helfrich, who obtained the 1998 conviction of Sam Bowers for the Dahmer murder; and Clarion-Ledger reporter Mr. Jerry Mitchell, whose investigative reporting led to the re-opening of the prosecutions of the murderers of Medgar Evers, Vernon Dahmer, and other Civil Rights activists. Judge Deborah Gambrell served as moderator.

Date(s): 1966-1998

Digital Status: No

Existing IDs: M250

Extent: .25 cu.ft.

Finding Aid URL: External Link

Language: English

Related Archival Items: Mrs. Ellie J. Dahmer Oral History Interview, vol. 281. A copy of the transcript is available in the McCain Library, call number F341.5 .M57.

Interviewees: Vernon F. Dahmer, Jr., James K. Dukes, Bob Helfrich, Jerry Mitchell

Rights (CRHP): Contact the repository which holds the collection for information on rights


African Americans--Civil rights--Mississippi
Dahmer, Vernon Ferdinand, 1908-1966
Ku Klux Klan (1915- )--Mississippi


Sound recordings


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   September 26, 2018
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