On June 12, 1963, civil rights leader Medgar Evers was struck in the back with a bullet right in front of his house. His death was mourned all over the nation, in the Walk to Freedom March later that month, people would hold up signs in his honor. It would take over 30 years for his murderer to get convicted.
Born on July 2, 1925, Medgar was an American civil rights activist who fought against the segregation of black and whites in the University of Mississippi and to secure voting rights for African Americans. He served the US army during the World War II including the Battle of Normandy in 1944, he earned a lot of medals and was horrified to come back and find out that the country he put his life on the line for, denied him citizenship rights at the polls. He was the President of the Regional Council of Negro Leadership which organized movements and protests for civil rights.
In 1954, the United States Supreme Court declared that segregated public schools were unconstitutional. The same year, Evers was appointed as the National Association for the Advancement for Colored People (NAACP)’s first field secretary for the Mississippi. For an NAACP test mission, he applied to the University of Mississippi to study law, his application was rejected due to his race. He then challenged them stating that what they were doing was unconstitutional and fought for the voting rights for the African Americans.
The White Citizen’s Council was an organization founded by the local whites at Mississippi, MEDGAR they hated Evers who had become “No.1” on there to kill list. Evers leadership, speeches, and investigative work were a big threat to them. There were multiple attempts on Evers’s and his family’s life, their children were taught what to do if someone came towards them with a gun,
On June 12, 1963, Evers exited his car and was moving towards his house when he was shot from behind by Byron De La Beckwicker, a white supremacist who will not be convicted for over 30 years.
The entire nation was enraged over his death, civil rights protests broke out and people held up signs in his honor. Evers was the first African American to be admitted to an all-white hospital. His death actually pushed people to demand justice and their rights, it is considered a pivotal point in the civil rights movement.
A lot of movies, music, and art pieces have been inspired by his life. It was in 1994, his murderer was finally convicted after 2 failed trials and 30 years.