JUNE 14, 1965

Anthony Quin standis in front of Matt Herron’s photo of him when he was 5. Credit: Jerry Mitchell/Mississippi Today

The Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party organized a one-mile silent march, starting at Morning Star Baptist Church and ending at the Mississippi Capitol, where lawmakers were contemplating changes in voting laws. 

Jackson police arrested the marchers, more than half of them students from Lanier High School. Over the next few weeks, more than 1,000 were arrested and held in livestock pens at the Mississippi State Fairgrounds. 

During the protest, 5-year-old Anthony Quin waved a U.S. flag outside the Governor’s Mansion. Matt Herron’s photograph of state trooper Huey Krohn trying to wrestle the flag from Quin’s hands ran in The New York Times and other newspapers across the U.S. Quin later said that his mother had told him to hold onto that flag for dear life — and he did. 

On June 30, a three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the release of those arrested and barred the city of Jackson from making any further arrests. 

Despite Quin’s young age, this wasn’t his first brush with the civil rights movement. A month before this photo was taken, his family’s home was firebombed in McComb because of their work in the movement. He and his sisters went on to become the first students to integrate McComb public schools. 

From those days of fighting racism on a day-by-day basis, Quin learned to care for students. He became a principal of several different elementary schools before becoming an administrator over the schools. In 2015, he died of pancreatic cancer.

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The stories of investigative reporter Jerry Mitchell have helped put four Klansmen and a serial killer behind bars. His stories have also helped free two people from death row, exposed injustices and corruption, prompting investigations and reforms as well as the firings of boards and officials. He is a Pulitzer Prize finalist, a longtime member of Investigative Reporters & Editors, and a winner of more than 30 other national awards, including a $500,000 MacArthur “genius” grant. After working for three decades for the statewide Clarion-Ledger, Mitchell left in 2019 and founded the Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting.