Jackson Division of the FBI Celebrates 50th Anniversary
On July 10, 2014, the Jackson Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) will celebrate its 50th Anniversary with a ceremony at its headquarters in Jackson, Mississippi. Since 1964, this FBI office has protected the citizens of Mississippi, not only by ensuring their civil rights, but also by investigating violations of federal law, such as public corruption, bank fraud, health care fraud, and, more recently, terrorism and cyber crimes.
Fifty years ago, in the summer of 1964, hundreds of young people from all over the country volunteered to travel here to register African-American citizens to vote. On June 21, 1964, three of those volunteers disappeared while working in Philadelphia, Mississippi. Within days, the FBI sent agents from its Memphis and New Orleans Field Offices, which covered the northern and southern counties of Mississippi, respectively, to assist local and state law enforcement agencies in the search for James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner.
On July 10, 1964, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover personally traveled to Mississippi to re-open the FBI’s Jackson Field Office, which had been closed since 1946, in order to search for the missing civil rights workers, and to more effectively address the increasing civil rights conflict within the state. Roy K. Moore was chosen to serve as special agent in charge of the new field office. That field office is now headquartered in the James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner, and Roy K. Moore Federal Building, which was named in honor of the men at the center of that pivotal event in Mississippi’s history and is the first federal building to pay tribute to civilian victims of crime.
Honored guests and speakers at this event will include Mark F. Giuliano, deputy director of the FBI; Mrs. Myrlie Evers-Williams; Jim Hood, attorney general of the state of Mississippi; William Winter, former governor of Mississippi; Jackson’s mayor, Tony Yarber; James Young, mayor of Philadelphia, Mississippi; and others. A proclamation from Governor Phil Bryant proclaiming the week of July 7 through 13, 2014, as “FBI Week” will be presented at the ceremony.