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Phillip Tutor: The symbolism that Anniston should shed

March 27, 1960, was one of those spring Sundays we dream about during Calhoun County’s summer furnace: sunny, cloudless, comfortably warm. That morning, this paragraph led that lovely day’s news.

“Operating with commando-like organization and some wearing robes, night-riders strung an estimated 100 burning crosses across the lower end of Calhoun County last night. None wore masks.”

1960 cross-burning

A photo from the front page of the March 27, 1960, edition of The Anniston Star. The caption beneath the photo reads: "UNBURNED CROSSES  Deputy Sheriff R. L. Higgins shows, above, two unburned crosses picked up by officers last night when a number of persons held for questioning were stopped. An estimated 100 crosses were burned in roads criss-crossing southern Calhoun County. No charges had been filed just before press time."

Phillip Tutor — — is a Star columnist. Follow him at