KEENE, N.H. – Fifty years after Jonathan Daniels was killed by an ardent segregationist in Alabama, the people who stood with him say the country still faces a vast racial divide.
Daniels, a 26-year-old white seminary student from Keene, New Hampshire, was named a martyr by the Episcopal Church, which celebrates his life on Aug. 14.
He was in Alabama to register blacks to vote when 54-year-old Tom Coleman, a white man, shot him in the chest. Prosecutors said Coleman was enraged by outsiders trying to upset his hometown's racial order. A jury of 12 white men found him not guilty.
Ruby Sales was 17 and standing next to Daniels when he died. She says killings in Ferguson, Baltimore and Charleston show that race relations today are an extension of that time.