After a scuffle with local police, which began when an officer slapped his mother and ended when he was hauled off to jail, John Otis Sumrall received an induction notice. He had previously been classified as unfit for service (4-F) due to multiple arrests stemming from civil rights activity. Sumrall refused induction and accused local and state officials of conspiring to draft him into the military in retaliation for his civil rights activism. The following letter, from the files of the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission, reveal that he had reason to be suspicious.
The online archives of the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission, which monitored civil rights activity in Clarke County and communities across the state, are available here: