Profession: Civil Rights Activist
Why Famous: The 20th child of Mississippi sharecroppers, Fannie Lou Hamer's efforts to register to vote in Mississippi in 1962 and 1963 led to full-time activism.
Hammer went to work for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and was one of the organizers of Mississippi's Freedom Summer, despite being badly injured after a police beating in 1963.
Hamer was one of the founders of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party and attended the 1964 Democratic National Convention. Her speech at the convention about her tireless efforts to attempt to register to vote was televised nationally. She continued to fight for equality, helped set up a pig farming bank, unsuccessfully ran for senate in 1964 and published her autobiography in 1967.
- 1964-08-22 Civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer speaks at the US Democratic National Convention about her efforts to register to vote in Mississippi