THE PINEY WOODS 191 the group elected sixty-eight delegates to the Democratic National Convention inAtlantic City, New Jersey. The group’s plan was to challenge the white Democratic Party of Mississippi’s credentials, insisting that the MFDPbe seated to represent the state instead. President Lyndon Johnson was under pressure from other Southern delegations to remove MFDPdelegates from the convention. President Johnson needed the support of these delegations in the upcoming presidential campaign.Acompromise negotiated by President Johnson offered the MFDPtwo at-large delegates and the other delegates the right to watch from the floor. The MFDPdeclined the compromise and left the convention. The national coverage of the MFDPbrought to light the plight ofAfricanAmerican Mississippians as they worked to gain the right to vote and helped shape opinion in the months leading up to the Voting RightsAct of 1965. Freedom Summer failed in its goal to register large numbers ofAfricanAmerican voters. Instead, federal intervention in the form of the Voting RightsAct of 1965 finally gaveAfricanAmericans in the state an even playing field when registering to vote. Sadly, the Piney Woods lost one of its staunch supporters ofAfricanAmerican voting rights, RAILROAD AND LUMBER As Mississippi’s lumber industry was being formed in the early nineteenth century in the Piney Woods region, the early loggers depended on rivers and streams to float logs to mills. But the growth of railroad companies, such as the Gulf, Mobile & Ohio (GM&O), which operated between 1940 and 1972, played an important role in getting the region’s lumber from sawmills to markets throughout the northern states. Other railroad companies instrumental in transporting logs include Mobile, Jackson, Kansas City, and the New Orleans & Northeastern Railroad. All of these companies, along with GM&O, built lines through Laurel. Many sawmills also built their own rail lines deep into the woods to harvest timber not close to rivers. Because of the railroad growth, towns such as Laurel grew from a sawmill to a city in the late 1800s. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE LAUREN ROGERS MUSEUM OF ART LIBRARY COLLECTION