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Facts

Lynchings in the Jim Crow South were often elaborate public events, sometimes attracting thousands of spectators. Local papers often advertised the time and place of the executions, and white families—men, women, and children—from all parts of the region attended. Employers excused workers and parents asked teachers to release children from school so they might witness the spectacles; some of the most prominent citizens from the community were often present.80

The atmosphere at many lynchings in the Jim Crow South was often circus-like, quite literally. At the hanging of George Walton (referred to by local papers as a "one-legged darkey") in Oxford, Mississippi, vendors sold ice cream and lemonade to spectators.81

In 1901, the Alabama legislature amended the state constitution to block any future law that would "authorize or legalize any marriage between any white person and a Negro or descendant of a Negro." The anti-miscegenation measure remained on the books until November, 2000. In that year, Alabama voters narrowly approved a referendum to remove the amendment; some 40% of the state's voters rejected the change.82

A full three years after the 1964 Civil Rights Bill outlawed segregation, the city council of Sarasota, Florida passed an ordinance that authorized the police to clear any public beach whenever members of two or more races were present.

As of 2004, school boards in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Virginia can order the closure of integrated schools.83

As of 2004, teachers in Louisiana that had at one time been jailed or fired for opposing school integration can still, by law, collect their full salaries.84

As of 2004, a West Virginia statute still limits the number of blacks that can be hired as public school supervisors.85

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