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Friday, May 20, 2005


Susan Klopfer

Look away from Neshoba County and the "regular" klansmen. So many others were involved ...

Pacifica Radio and Andy Goodman
Excerpt from "Where Rebels Roost"
Vanatech Press, June 15, 2005
Susan Klopfer copyright 2005
All rights reserved, including electronic

Andrew Goodman traveled several thousand miles to come to Meridian. The twenty-year-old Queens College student, a musician and sometimes off-Broadway actor, was recruited by Aaron Henry to participate in Freedom Summer. Goodman had already marched in demonstrations, protesting unequal rights for blacks at one of New York’s Woolworth stores and at the 1964 New York World’s Fair.

“Andy didn't come out of nowhere,” wrote Jonathan Mark, a columnist for the New York Jewish Week. “His two parents were activists, involved with everything from the Spanish Civil War to organizing New York State dairy farmers to being leading supporters and directors of Pacifica Radio, the parent network of radical radio station WBAI.”

.... Ninety miles away from Neshoba County in Jackson, Sovereignty Commission director Johnston was looking at a possible direct link between Andrew Goodman and "communists." The name "Goodman" had attracted Senator Eastland’s interest, since Goodman had family ties to Pacifica Broadcasting, a progressive, alternative-broadcasting network founded in 1949 by pacifists.

Goodman’s father, Robert, was President of the Pacifica Foundation. One year prior to Andrew Goodman’s death, The House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) and the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee (SISS), headed by Senator Eastland, completed a three-year investigation of Pacifica’s programming, looking for "subversion."

In 1962, Pacifica station WBAI was the first station to publicly broadcast former FBI agent Jack Levine's exposé of J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI. The program was followed by threats of arrests and bombings, as well as pressure from the FBI, the Justice Department, and the FCC. Also that year, Pacifica trained volunteers to travel into the South for coverage of the awakening Civil Rights Movement. The station also took a strong anti-Vietnam war stance, helping to prompt the investigations.

Sovereignty Commission documents in fact show that Eastland knew the names and backgrounds of all volunteer workers in advance of their arrival, including Goodman. Records show the senator requested this information from the Sovereignty Commission well before the opening of Freedom Summer.

On February 26, 1965, Director Johnston wrote a letter to newly elected Congressman Prentiss Walker, requesting that he "ask the HUAC for any information about the Pacifica Foundation of New York…. We have reason to believe this foundation also is subversive."

Walker, whose district included Philadelphia, Mississippi, wrote back to Johnston that he had been in contact with Congressman John Ashbrook, HUAC chair, who offered a "thorough search … to obtain any information on the people and organizations mentioned."

Included on Walker’s list he sent to the Sovereignty Commission was the name of Robert Goodman (Andrew’s father) but the HUAC committee’s director reported he could find no records of any testimony by Goodman.

Johnston also mailed to Eastland a list of COFO workers "in the Mississippi Summer Project as of August 1964," explaining he had obtained this list through "one of our pipelines" and that it was possible "some of these names are in the files of the Senate Internal Security Committee or the House Un-American Activities Committee," referring, of course, to Goodman.

From "Where Rebels Roost ... Mississippi Civil Rights Revisited," Klopfer, Klopfer & Klopfer. Vanatech Press, publication June 15, 2005


I know Olen Burrage personally and his son, Junior, is a friend of mine. I have no doubt Olen Senior was involved in the murders. He's a ruthless man. I remember when he sold his trucking company to Howard Industries (Laurel, MS) and he had a conflict with Billy Howard, Sr. He, Olen Senior, threatened Billy Senior with a gun and physical harm. My daddy has known Olen Senior for over fifty years and told me to stay away from that man.


Olen Burrage. Having been raised in Neshoba County, I totally agree.

I have NEVER understood how he was allowed to remain free. Is it because no one wants to cross him? He spent years buying up parcels of land all over Neshoba County, usually from people who had run into difficult financial times and were forced to sell family properties. That's the sort of person he is and apparently always has been.

You can't tell me that he shouldn't have been convicted of conspiracy or as an accessory to the entire episode. Someone in Neshoba County or Mississippi needs to grow some courage and do what's right. Olen Burrage should be next in line at the courthouse. Is there no way to pursue conspiracy charges after this period of time? There should be exceptions to any statute of limitation laws in these matters.

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