This Friday, concerned citizens and civil rights activists will mark the 62nd anniversary of the last mass lynching in America with prayers and a reenactment of the murders of four black sharecroppers in nearby Monroe.
Despite calls from President Harry Truman for a full-fledged investigation into the identities of the white mob members, who on July 25, 1946 shot and killed Roger and Dorothy Malcolm and George and Mae Murray Dorsey underneath the Moore's Ford Bridge, FBI agents faced a wall of silence when they first came to Walton County.
Years later, despite several tantalizing breaks in the case, not a single individual has ever been arrested for the murders of the Malcolms and the Dorseys. Earlier this month, the case again made headlines when agents with the Georgia Bureau of Investigations and the FBI searched a residence on Michael Road in Walton County and removed several items on the property.
While the GBI remains close-lipped about what exactly was removed from the property, John Bankhead, public affairs spokesman for GBI, confirmed that the items were removed as part of the investigation into the Moore's Ford lynchings after agents received new information regarding the case. Bankhead said no one currently living in the residence is associated with Moore's Ford or considered a suspect.
If any of the mob members are still alive, they are likely to be in their late 80's. With time running out, calls for a renewed investigation into Moore's Ford are now more urgent than ever.
For this reason, the anniversary of the lynching is commemorated each year in Monroe. Organized by the Moore's Ford Memorial Committee and the Georgia Association of Black Elected Officials, the day will begin at noon with prayers and meditation at the First African Baptist Church on Tyler Street.
At 2 p.m. there will be a rally urging Congress to pass the Emmett Till Bill, which would provide millions in funding to the U.S. Attorney General's Office as well as to state and local law enforcement agencies for the investigation of unsolved civil rights cases. The bill is currently languishing in the Senate, after clearing the House of Representatives more than a year ago.
Following the rally at 4:30 p.m., attendees will retrace the steps of Roger Malcolm, including his arrest for the stabbing of a white farmer and his subsequent release by bond by Loy Harrison at various places in Walton County with stops at the Old County Jail and the Moore's Ford Bridge where volunteers will act out the roles of the lynch mob and their victims.
There is a $35,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and prosecution of the perpetrators. Those with information on the lynchings should contact the GBI at (404) 244-2600 or the FBI at (404) 679-9000.