William M. Daniel

Location(s): Westfield, Alabama

Decade: 1940s

On December 21, 1946, William (“Willie”) M. Daniel, 21 years old and a coal miner for the Tennessee Coal and Iron Company, was shot by Deputy John W. Vanderford on the sidewalk outside of the Westfield Commissary. The Birmingham based Southern Negro Youth Congress (SNYC) worked with NAACP Attorney Arthur Shores to obtain signed witness statements. After witnesses testified before a grand jury in February of 1947, the jury returned a “no bill” decision, declining to indict Vanderford.

The collection includes: a photograph; and CRRJ student Michelle Amelia Newman’s essay, “They Shot Me for Nothing: A Legal and Historical Account of William Daniel’s Murder.”

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