October 12, 1963
William (Bill) Hansen, a longtime political activist and the first director of the Arkansas Project of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), married Ruthe Buffington, a black woman from Arkansas, in Cincinnati, Ohio. Because interracial marriage was then illegal in Arkansas, the union caused consternation on the part of many locals. Hansen received a great deal of publicity—much of it negative—from the local media. He was also a prominent target for Arkansas law officials. By his own count, Hansen was arrested forty-five times while working as a civil rights activist. In fact, he recalled being imprisoned in Helena (Phillips County) on the day President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963.