On August 16, 2015, the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. will unveil a bust of civil rights activist Jonathan Myrick “Jon” Daniels, shot by a vigilante in Hayneville on August 20, 1965. The bust of Daniels joins those of Rosa Parks and Mother Theresa on the cathedral’s Human Rights Porch.
A graduate of the Virginia Military Institute and an Episcopalian student of divinity, Daniels and three companions joined a picket line in Fort Deposit on August 14, 1965, just eight days after President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965 into law. Lowndes County law enforcement officials jailed the four for four days, only to release them on August 20. Minutes later, a man with a shotgun approached the group, killed Daniels, and wounded activist Richard Morrisroe.
University of Mississippi historian Charles Eagles tells the story of Daniels’ life and death and Alabama’s dangerous summer of 1965 in UAP’s definitive Outside Agitator: Jon Daniels and the Civil Rights Movement in Alabama.