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The Civil Rights History Project: Survey of Collections and Repositories

Oral history with Mr. Erle Johnston

Repository: University of Southern Mississippi. McCain Library and Archives

Collection Description (CRHP): Johnston discusses the work of the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission (a pro-segregation group) and the files the organization kept on civil rights activists in Mississippi.

Collection Description (Extant): Interview conducted on July 30, 1980 with Mr. Erle Johnston at his home in Forest, Mississippi. Johnston was born on October 10, 1917 in Garyville, Louisiana. In 1941, he moved Forest, Mississippi and bought the fledgling newspaper, Scott County Times. Johnston served as publisher until the paper was sold in 1983. Between 1942 and 1959, Johnston was involved in numerous statewide political campaigns including John Stennis's senatorial campaign and Ross Barnett's campaign for governor in 1955 and 1959. In 1963, Johnston was elected to the position of director of the Sovereignty Commission, which he held until 1968. Johnston became the mayor of Forest, Mississippi in 1981 and held that position until 1985.

Access Copy Note: Transcript is available online.

Collection URL: External Link

Date(s): 1980

Digital Status: Yes

Language: English

Related Archival Items: Johnston (Erle) Oral History Appendix; Johnston (Erle E., Jr.) Papers, M 319; Johnson (Paul B.) Family Papers, M 191; Citizens' Council/Civil Rights Collection, M 99, all held at the University of Southern Mississippi.

Interviewees: Erle Johnston

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


Civil rights workers--Mississippi
Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission
United States. Federal Bureau of Investigation




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   September 26, 2018
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