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University of Houston-Victoria

Dr. Wesley Hogan

Lecture on Casey Hayden
January 24, 2013
12:00 p.m., Alcorn Auditorium

 Lecture on Casey Hayden

Background for lecture 

Who was Casey Hayden?
Short answer: one of the most famous persons from Victoria who is almost unknown in Victoria.

  • Best known nationally for her prominent role in the early 1960’s civil rights movement
  • She was the Northern Coordinator for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee
  • A Coordinator of the SNCC 1964 Mississippi Adult Literacy project
  • She was one of the five persons on the committee that planned the 1964 Mississippi Freedom Summer, recruited and helped train many of the student volunteers who participated in that event, and was one of the SNCC staff that helped direct the voter registration and literacy work during that summer
  • Became a spokesperson for women  active in the civil rights movement and in 1965 co-authored the memo that led women to establish Women’s Liberation groups in several cities. The memo has been reprinted frequently in books on American women’s history and is widely read in women’s history and women’s studies classes at universities throughout the USA.

Casey Hayden’s Victoria Roots: Member of the well-known Weisiger family

  • Reed N. Weisiger, Casey’s great-grandfather, was a Texas State Senator, 1891-1893
  • Robert S. Weisiger, Casey’s grandfather, was Victoria County Sheriff 1906-20 and 1928-36
  • Sidney R. Weisiger, Casey’s uncle, wrote a daily column on Victoria history for the Victoria Advocate during the 1970’s
  • Eula Weisiger Beams, Casey’s mother, was Executive Secretary for Frels’ Theaters for 35 years, and was a leader in several Victoria organizations including the Pilot Club, the YMCA, and the Women’s Crisis Center.
  • Casey was President of her Girl Scout troop, a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Victoria, attended Patti Welder High School, and was a 1957 Victoria College graduate
  • Casey’s birth name was Sandra Cason [her mother had married William Cason]. Later she became known as “Casey” Cason. Thus, after she married Tom Hayden in 1961 she became known as Casey Hayden and that is the name by which she became famous. 


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