What is: Emmett Till Memorial Highway, US 49E intersects with Mississippi Highway No. 32, Henry Clarence Strider Memorial Highway, near Webb, Mississippi

What was: An imposing man weighing 270 pounds, Strider was the sheriff of Tallahatchie County and a wealthy plantation owner in the heart of the cotton-growing Delta. His property could be identified from miles away by the letters S-T-R-I-D-E-R, which he insisted be painted on the roofs of sharecroppers’ shacks.

Strider was the first official to learn that a body had been discovered by a young man fishing in the Tallahatchie River. He hoped to bury the body right away, and even ordered Emmett Till’s Mississippi relatives to get his body in the ground by nightfall. Strider made the unusual move of testifying for the defense. He shed doubt on the identification of Emmett’s body, saying the corpse had been submerged too long to tell whether it was that of a white or a black person, suggesting the body might have been planted there by the NAACP.  He is also suspected of helping hide several witnesses so they could not be found to testify.His testimony bolstered the main defense argument: Emmett Till was still alive and well, living in Detroit with his grandfather. After the verdict was announced, Strider publicly congratulated the defendants. Source: https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/emmett-biography-sheriff-clarence-strider/

In 1972, 2 years after Strider died of a heart attack, a portion of Mississippi Highway No. 32 running between Webb and Charleston in Tallahatchie County was named the Henry Clarence Strider Memorial Highway.  In 2005, 50 years after Emmett Till was lynched in one of the most infamous crimes of the civil rights era, a stretch of Mississippi highway was dedicated to him. It is a section of the highway his body traveled to be sent back to Chicago.

The Strider and Till highways intersect near Webb, Mississippi.

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