Historic Markers Across Alabama

The Murder of Willie Brewster

Marker ID: ACRT 4
Location: 25 West 11th Street, Anniston, AL
County: Calhoun
Coordinates: N 33° 39.511    W 085° 49.869
  33.65851666    -85.83115
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: None


The Murder of Willie Brewster
July 15, 1965

—Anniston Civil Rights Trail —

Willie Brewster became the target of white extremists after words spoke at a National States Rights Party encouraged them to commit acts of violence against blacks. As Brewster drove home with co-workers from the night shift at Union Foundry, he was shot in the neck.

Upon his death three days later, The Anniston Star published a full-page advertisement offering a $20,000 reward for the arrest and conviction of his killer. It was endorsed by 268 black and white Annistonians.

Hubert Damon Strange was convicted for killing Brewster on December 2, 1965. It was the first instance in Alabama history when a white jury penalized a white person for racial murder.

"We, as a community, are determined that those who advocate and commit secret acts of violence will not control this country. We are determined to fight with the weapons of law to retain the dignity of this community and to punish those who struck down a respectable and industrious citizen."

——The Anniston Star, Sunday, July 18, 1965, Page 5-A

Erected 2016 by City of Anniston Historic Trails Program.


Pictures of this marker maybe found on HMDB.org.

More information:
Anniston Civil Rights Trail Map (PDF)
Wikipedia - Mob violence in Anniston and Birmingham
Wikipedia - Freedom Riders
Wikipedia - Jim Crow laws

End of The Murder of Willie Brewster