April 25th, 1959

Mack Charles Parker Lynched in Mississippi

In what some historians call the “last classic lynching in the United States,” Mack Charles Parker was killed on April 25, 1959, after he was accused of raping a pregnant white woman in Mississippi. Parker, a black man, denied the accusations and statements from those in the community suggested that the woman fabricated the rape claims to hide her consensual affair with a white man in a nearby town. Police officers garnered no conclusive evidence implicating Parker.

Days after Parker was transferred from the Hinds County Jail in Jackson to the Pearl River County Jail, a vigilante mob entered the jail and beat him. They then dragged Parker out of the jail while, bleeding profusely, he begged for his life. The mob drove to the Bogalusa bridge where they pulled Parker out of the car and shot him twice in the chest, killing him instantly. The mob then put chains around him and threw Parker into the Pearl River., where his body was found over a week later.

Despite an FBI investigation that identified many members of the lynch mob, no one was ever indicted in Parker's murder. All of the suspects have since died.