Carolyn Goodman Papers, 1964-1971

Summary Information
Title: Carolyn Goodman Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1964-1971

  • Goodman, Carolyn
Call Number: Mss 192; Micro 482; Micro 833; PH Mss 192; DC 537; VBB 166

Quantity: 0.4 c.f. (1 archives box), 4 reels of microfilm (35 mm), 10 photographs, 1 film, and 1 videorecording

Archival Locations:
Wisconsin Historical Society (Map)

Papers concerning the 1964 murder of Mrs. Goodman's son Andrew, a civil rights volunteer in Mississippi. The papers include microfilmed correspondence, condolences, clippings, and legal documents. Other responses to the nationally publicized murder trial include eulogies, memorial service programs, correspondence regarding a memorial scholarship and community center, a script for the 1966 play And People All Around, and a film of “Andy A.M.,” a program aired on WNBC-TV's New York Illustrated. Photographs include images of Andrew Goodman and artwork depicting or dedicated to him.


There is a restriction on use of this material; see the Administrative/Restriction Information portion of this finding aid for details.

Language: English

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The Carolyn Goodman Papers concern the 1964 murder of her son Andrew who was a civil rights volunteer in Mississippi. Andrew Goodman was born in New York City in 1943 to Robert Goodman, a civil engineer, and Carolyn Goodman, a psychologist. At the age of three, he entered the nursery school at Walden School in New York City, where he continued his education through high school. In 1961 he enrolled at the University of Wisconsin. After pneumonia forced him to drop out in his freshman year, Goodman returned to New York, recovered his health, and won a part in an off-Broadway show. In 1962 he enrolled at Queens College, majoring in anthropology.

During his junior year at Queens, he was recruited for a COFO summer voter registration project in Mississippi. Training sessions in Oxford, Ohio, taught Andrew Goodman and the 400 other volunteers the importance of getting Southern blacks to register and vote, to effect a change in their depressed condition through the channels of the political system in Mississippi.

On June 21, 1964, Goodman arrived in Meridian, Mississippi, and on that same afternoon set out with veteran CORE workers Michael Schwerner and James Chaney to investigate the burnt ruins of a church which had been used for voter registration meetings. After this point, the facts concerning the remainder of their lives have never been completely established. Apparently, after they left the church ruins, they were arrested and released--only to be led into a Ku Klux Klan ambush. Chaney, the only black of the trio, was savagely beaten, and all three were shot to death. Their bodies were buried under an earthen dam that was under construction nearby.

After a six-weeks search by the State Patrol, the FBI, and the U.S. Navy, the bodies were located on August 4, 1964. Charges against 21 persons arrested for the murders were dropped on December 4, but on October 20, 1967, seven of the 21 were found guilty of conspiring to deny an individual his inalienable rights. This was a landmark decision in the civil rights movement, because it was an application of a 97-year old Reconstruction-era law and because it was one of the first convictions of Klan members in a Southern court.

Scope and Content Note

The papers, 1964-1971, consist of microfilmed correspondence and clippings, news releases and statements, memorabilia, and a film. They reflect public reaction to Andrew Goodman's death and, to a lesser extent, to the civil rights movement in 1964. The papers are organized in three series: correspondence, clippings and publications, and miscellany.

The correspondence consists mainly of condolences from the general public and from friends and acquaintances, as well as donations or pledge cards announcing the dedication of trees, masses, and other things to Andrew's memory. Arranged alphabetically are the letters from well-known people such as President Johnson, singers Harry Belafonte and Mary Travers, pediatrician and anti-war activist Benjamin Spock, government figures Nicholas DeB. Katzenbach, Jacob Javits, Kenneth Keating, Robert Kennedy, John Lindsay, and Nelson Rockefeller, and civil rights leaders James Farmer, Aaron Henry, Roy Wilkins, and Whitney Young Jr. Accompanying the condolences are master lists of correspondents used by Mrs. Goodman in answering the flood of mail. Additional correspondence concerns memorial services, the 1967 conspiracy trial, and other miscellaneous topics. The Goodmans also received a small amount of hate mail following Andrew's death.

The clippings and publications series consists mainly of clippings from nationwide newspapers and news magazines, 1964-1971. Included are three large scrapbooks prepared by Mrs. Goodman and arranged by newspaper, and unmounted clippings arranged by year, plus news releases and press statements made by the Goodmans and others, and newsletters and miscellaneous publications.

The miscellany series mainly concerns memorial activities and dedications, but also includes legal documents, photographs, and some of Andy's own belongings. Programs, eulogies, and artistic works such as poems, songs, and drawings created in the memory of Andrew Goodman comprise the materials concerning memorial activities. Also present are publicity and form letters from the Andrew Goodman Scholarship Fund, and publicity and preliminary materials from the Chaney-Goodman-Schwerner Community Center in Meridian, Mississippi. The folder of legal documents contains a copy of Goodman's death certificate, correspondence with the assistant Attorney General, and memoranda from the grand jury investigation and Supreme Court appeal resulting in the trial and conviction of the conspirators. Andrew's belongings include a paper he wrote on the development of the Black Panthers, and several blank post cards, all discolored by finger print tests made by the FBI.

Two dramatic works based on Goodman's death are represented: And People All Around, a 1966 script for George Sklar's American Playwrights Theatre production; and a film of “Andy A.M.,” a WNBC-TV program.

Related Material

The Wisconsin Historical Society has one of the richest collections of Civil Rights movement records in the nation, which includes more than 100 manuscript collections documenting the Mississippi Freedom Summer Project of 1964. More than 25,000 pages from the Freedom Summer manuscripts are available online as the Freedom Summer Digital Collection.

Administrative/Restriction Information
Use Restrictions

Literary rights to the Carolyn Goodman Papers are retained by Carolyn Goodman.

Acquisition Information

Presented and loaned for copying by Carolyn Goodman, New York, New York, December 13, 1971. Accession Number: M71-359

Processing Information

Processed by Karen Baumann, August 15, 1972.

Contents List
Micro 482
Series: Correspondence
Reel   1
Condolences from the general public, 1964-1967
Alternate Format: All or part has been digitized and is available online.
Reel   2
Condolences from friends and acquaintances, 1964-1968
Reel   2
Condolences from well-known people, 1964
Alternate Format: All or part has been digitized and is available online.
Reel   2
Condolences from organizations, 1964
Reel   3
Condolences with donations and pledge cards, 1964-1967
Reel   3
Master lists of condolences, undated
Correspondence re memorial events
Reel   3
Reel   3
1965 June 20
Reel   3
Correspondence concerning trial, 1967
Alternate Format: All or part has been digitized and is available online.
Reel   3
Reel   3
Miscellaneous correspondence, 1964-1967
Series: Clippings and Publications
Micro 833
Reel   1
Scrapbooks, 1964-1968
Alternate Format: All or part has been digitized and is available online.
Reel   1
Loose clippings, 1964-1971
Alternate Format: All or part has been digitized and is available online.
Mss 192
Box   1
Folder   1
News releases, newsletters, and miscellaneous publications, 1964-1965
Alternate Format: All or part has been digitized and is available online.
Series: Miscellany
Micro 482
Reel   3
Andrew Goodman Scholarship fund, publicity and form letters, 1964-1967
Reel   3
Artistic works created in honor of Andrew Goodman, 1965-1966
Reel   3
Statements, eulogies, and dedications, 1964-1971
Mss 192
Box   1
Folder   2
Chaney-Goodman-Schwerner Community Center, Publicity and preliminary material, 1964
Box   1
Folder   3
Legal documents, 1964-1967
Box   1
Folder   4
Personal belongings of Andrew Goodman, undated
Alternate Format: All or part has been digitized and is available online.
Box   1
Folder   5
Programs for memorial events, 1964-1971
Box   1
Folder   6
And People All Around script, 1966
DC 537
“Andy A.M.”; A WNBC-TV Public Affairs Presentation, 1964
Note: Producer: Warren Steibel; Director: Dan Peters; Narrated by Frank McGee.
Scope and Content Note: A profile of Andrew Goodman, including interviews with parents, brothers, teachers, and friends.
VBB 166
Videotape copy
PH Mss 192