I was googling through the LIfe magazine photo collection at Google, looking for more Freedom Rider photos, when I came across a set of images by staff photographer Robert W. Kelly. The web site says the pictures were taken at a Mississippi Democratic Convention, but there are no other details -- nothing identifying the subjects, the location or the date.
Based on a similar photo by Kelly at Getty Images, I think these were shot at the state Democratic convention in July 1956, ahead of the national Democratic convention the next month, in Chicago.Kelly shot for Life from 1947 to 1966, and worked out of the Atlanta bureau for much of his time there. He died in 1991, at the age of 71. Obituary: http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19910912&slug=13...
The full set of convention photos: http://tinyurl.com/ydnaykd
The Life collection at Google: http://images.google.com/hosted/life
I'm pretty sure the bow-tied speaker above is James Stennis, who represented Mississippi in the Senate from 1947 to 1989.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_C._Stennis
This is James P. Coleman, who was elected governor of Mississippi in 1956, and was succeeded by Ross Barnett. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_P._ColemanColeman helped create the State Sovereignty Commission in 1956.
I don't know who the other speakers are.
“ ‘Any time you show that picture,’ ” Mr. Sultan said his father told him, “‘you tell people that that’s not me sitting on the bed looking all dressed up and nowhere to go, depressed. That’s you sitting on the bed, and I am happy to help you with the project, but let’s get things straight here.’ ” His parents died not long after the work was completed.