John Earl Reese


On October 22, 1955, John Earl Reese, a 16-year-old African-American youth, was shot and killed in rural Longview, Texas, by a Caucasian man opposed to the integration of public schools.  According to media reports, Reese was dancing with friends in a café when he was fatally injured by the gunfire sprayed from a car passing on the highway.  Two other patrons of the café, XXXX, XXX, and XXXX, XXX, suffered minor gunshot wounds.  That same night, gunmen targeted additional locations where any victims were likely to be African-American.  At one location, XXXXXXXX was praying at her bedside at her home when bullets came through the Venetian blinds and bullet fragments sprayed her face.   Investigators found seven bullets, one embedded in a bedpost.  At another, windows were shot out of a local school.  And at yet another, mailboxes were damaged by bullet spray.

Incident Date: 
Saturday, October 22, 1955
Case Name: 
John Earl Reese
Industry Code: 
Civil Rights Division
Updated October 6, 2016