Medgar Evers Facts

Medgar Evers Facts
Medgar Evers was a black civil rights leader who was assassinated by Ku Klux Klan member named Byron De La Beckwith in 1963. Evers was active in his native state of Mississippi, working to integrate schools and on voter registration drives for black citizens. Evers was born Medgar Wiley Evers on July 2, 1925 in Decatur, Mississippi to James and Jesse Evers, who owned a small farm. After high school, Evers served in World War II in the army and was honorably discharged. He attended college at the historically black university, Alcorn Agricultural and Mechanical College, now known as Alcorn State University, earning a BA in 1952. He married Myrlie Beasley in 1951; the couple would have three children.
Interesting Medgar Evers Facts:
Evers took part in the Normandy Invasion in World War II.
After graduating from college, Evers worked as an insurance salesman before becoming a full-time activist.
Evers helped organize protests of segregated beaches on Mississippi's gulf coast during the late 1950s and early 1960s.
After the United States Supreme Court ruled that racial segregation in public schools was illegal in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954), Evers dedicated most of his time to fighting segregation in Mississippi.
In 1954, Evers applied to the University of Mississippi but was rejected due to his race: he later helped James Merideth become the first black person to attend the school in 1962.
Evers became the field secretary for the state of Mississippi for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1954.
As field secretary for the NAACP, Evers helped organize protest and worked with activists on the ground.
Evers survived two other assassination attempts in 1963 before he was murdered - a Molotov cocktail was thrown into his garage and an unknown drive.
Due to the assassination attempts as well as numerous other threats on his life, Evers was given FBI protection, but the detail was absent on the night of his murder.
Evers was shot and killed in the driveway of his Jackson, Mississippi home by Beckwith on June 12, 1963.
The murder shocked the nation and Evers' funeral drew more than 5,000 mourners, including Martin Luther King.
Evers was given a burial with full military honors at Arlington Cemetery.
Beckwith was arrested and charged with murder after bragging about killing Evers, but the charges were dropped after an all-white jury deadlocked.
Beckwith served three years in a Louisiana state prison during the late 1970s for attempting to bomb the head of the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith in New Orleans.
Since Beckwith was never convicted, prosecutors charged him again with murder based on new evidence. He was convicted of murder in 1994 and died behind bars in 2001.
In the years after his murder, numerous parks, roads, and buildings have been named for Evers.
Evers life and death was often referred to and a subject of numerous songs, television shows, and movies, including the 1996 film The Ghosts of Mississippi.

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