Ala. pilgrimage to honor slain civil rights worker

HAYNEVILLE, Ala. (AP) — A civil rights activist who died shielding a black teenage girl from a white gunman in central Alabama in 1965 will be remembered Aug. 10 with a pilgrimage in the town where the shooting occurred.

Jonathan Myrick Daniels, who was a student at Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Mass., was killed in Haynesville on Aug. 20, 1965.

Daniels and the teenager, Ruby Sales, and others had just finished spending a week in the city jail for participating in a voting rights demonstration. Daniels, Sales and two others went to a small country store to get soft drinks and were confronted by Tom Coleman, a part-time deputy who leveled a shotgun at them.

The 26-year-old Daniels pushed Sales to the ground just before a shotgun blast struck him in the chest, killing him instantly. An all-white jury later acquitted Coleman of manslaughter in Daniels’ death.

Sales, who heads a group that focuses on racial economic and social justice, will participate in the pilgrimage next month.

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