Mary Ellickson

COFO 1964 MS
Current Residence: Eugene, OR

I went door-to-door in black neighborhoods of Moss Point, Mississippi, during Freedom Summer and until December of 1964, trying to get residents to apply to become registered voters. I explained the literacy test which was required as part of the registration process then, and went over the Mississippi Constitution which applicants were required to interpret to the registrar. I also helped with a library and Freedom School for elementary children, located in our office. We held regular mass meetings in the community.

Freedom Summer had a tremendous impact on the rest of my life, similar to that of a young person volunteering to serve as a soldier when the U.S. entered World War II. After returning to Eugene, I finished my B.A. degree in sociology and began a 30-year career with the federal government, mainly with the Social Security Administration as a Claims Representative. I went back to Moss Point for seven years during the 1970s and taught junior high math.


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