Emmett Till Case: Timeline of Events

    2:34 PM, Feb 19, 2013   |    comments
    Emmett Till was murdered in 1955 for whistling at a white woman in Mississippi. (Photo: John Young/THV 11 News)
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    Here is a timeline of events in the Emmett Till murder case from 1955, courtesy of PBS.

    August 21, 1955: Emmett Till arrives in Money, Mississippi, from his home in Chicago, goes to stay at the home of his great uncle Moses Wright.

    August 24, 1955: Emmett joins a group of teenagers and go to Bryant's Grocery and Meat Market. Bryant's Grocery, owned by a white couple, Roy and Carolyn Bryant, sells supplies and candy to a primarily black clientele of sharecroppers and their children. Emmett goes in to buy bubble gum; some kids outside the store said they heard Emmett whistle at Carolyn Bryant.

    August 28, 1955: About 2:30 a.m., Roy Bryant, Carolyn's husband, and his half brother J. W. Milam, kidnap Till from Wright's home. They later describe brutally beating him, taking him to the edge of the Tallahatchie River, shooting him in the head, fastening a large metal fan used for ginning cotton to his neck with barbed wire, and pushing the body into the river.

    August 29, 1955: J. W. Milam and Roy Bryant are arrested on kidnapping charges in Till's disappearance. They are jailed in Greenwood, Mississippi and held without bond.

    September 3, 1955: Till's body is taken to Chicago for memorial services. Emmett's mother had an open-casket funeral; thousands waited in line to see Emmett's brutally beaten body.

    September 6, 1955: Emmett Till is buried at Burr Oak Cemetery. The same day, a grand jury in Mississippi indicts Milam and Bryant for the kidnapping and murder of Emmett Till. They both plead innocent and were held in jail until the start of the trial.

    November 9, 1955: Moses Wright and fellow Mississippian Willie Reed testify before a LeFlore County grand jury in Greenwood, Mississippi. The grand jury refuses to indict Milam or Bryant for kidnapping. The two men go free.

    January 24, 1956: Look magazine publishes an article written by Alabama journalist William Bradford Huie, entitled The Shocking Story of Approved Killing in Mississippi. Huie offered Roy Bryant and J. W. Milam $4,000 to tell how they killed Emmett Till. Milam speaks for the record.

    January 22, 1957: William Bradford Huie writes another article for. Huie writes, "Milam does not regret the killing, though it has brought him nothing but trouble." Blacks stopped frequenting stores owned by the Milam and Bryant families and put them out of business; both men are ostracized by the white community.

    December 1980: J. W. Milam dies in Mississippi of cancer.

    September 1990: Roy Bryant dies in Mississippi of cancer.

    For a full, more detailed timeline of events in the Emmett Till case, click here.

    (Source: PBS.com)

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