Frank Morris’ shoe shop was set on fire in 1964, with him still inside. Morris stayed alive for three more days after the fire. FBI agent Paul Lancaster tried to get a 'dying declaration’ from Morris to be used as evidence in court.
One of the largest United Klans of America (UKA) rallies ever, which even featured the Imperial Wizard Shelton, was held in Natchez at Liberty Park in October of 1965. There was said to be no other Klan rally in the 1960s this large.
The sons of a high-ranking Silver Dollar Group Klansman, Earcel Boyd Sr., remember how their father and his friends would often experiment to try and perfect their homemade bombs. The Silver Dollar Group is thought to be responsible for the car bombing of two Natchez NAACP leaders.
Joe "Joe-Ed" Edwards was an African-American employee at the Shamrock who disappeared mysteriously in 1964. One Klansman's son recalls the Klan unit called the Silver Dollar Group forming at the Shamrock and at one point, meeting Joe Edwards.
The arson that killed black shoe shop owner Frank Morris came at a surprisingly tense time in Ferriday, where it was not uncommon for Klansmen and police officers to blame civil rights workers for crimes against blacks. Beyond the violence, many were ostracized via leaflets accusing them of interracial sexual liaisons.
In 2006, the FBI launched a Cold Case initiative to investigate civil rights cases that are still unsolved. They announced a $10,000 reward to anyone with information leading to the death of shoe shop owner Frank Morris.
George Metcalfe and Wharlest Jackson survived 1964, one of the bloodiest and most violent years for the Klu Klux Klan. Many people were murdered, beaten and flogged. Hundreds of thousands of dollars in real estate was bombed and set on fire.