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American Experience; Murder of Emmett Till, The


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American Experience
Murder of Emmett Till, The
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Series Description

Premiered October 1988 As television's longest-running, most-watched history series, American Experience brings to life the incredible characters and epic stories that helped form this nation. Now in its eighteenth season, the series has produced over 180 programs and garnered every major broadcast award. Series release date: 10/1988

Program Description

In August 1955, a 14-year-old black boy from Chicago whistled at a white woman in a grocery store in Money, Mississippi. Emmett Till didn't understand that he had broken the unwritten laws of the Jim Crow South. Three days later, two white men dragged him from his bed in the dead of night, beat him brutally and shot him. Although his killers were arrested and charged with murder, they were both quickly acquitted by an all-white, all-male jury. Soon after, the defendants sold their story, including a detailed account of how they murdered Till, to a journalist. The murder and the trial horrified the nation and the world. Till's death was a spark that helped mobilize the civil rights movement. Three months after his body was pulled from the Tallahatchie River, the Montgomery Bus Boycott began.



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Broadcast program

Media Type


Chicago: “American Experience; Murder of Emmett Till, The,” 11/22/2002, WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed October 25, 2016, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_FC07AEB021484F4480E9E5A54CAE28AF.
MLA: “American Experience; Murder of Emmett Till, The.” 11/22/2002. WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. October 25, 2016. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_FC07AEB021484F4480E9E5A54CAE28AF>.
APA: American Experience; Murder of Emmett Till, The. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_FC07AEB021484F4480E9E5A54CAE28AF
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