#OnThisDay 1994 Byron de la Beckwith was finally convicted of the murder of the NAACP's first Field Secretary, Medgar Evers. Evers was murdered in front of his Jackson, MS home.

Who was Medgar Evers? Glad you asked.
Medgar Evers is arguably one of the bravest, courageous and aggressive civil right heroes, who loved freedom and his people so much he paid for it with his LIFE. His activism began before he went to college.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medgar_Evers
Evers and his siblings walked 12 miles per day, back and forth to the only school for Black children. When he graduated, he served our nation with honor, fighting during the Normandy landing. He was honorably discharged as a sergeant.
He married his high school sweetheart, Myrlie, a civil rights powerhouse in her own right. They had three children together. He and his brother started an organization that fought for civil rights + organized a boycott of gas stations.
Evers enrolled for the University of MS law school; he was rejected b/c of race. The NAACP hired him as their 1st Field Secretary of the NAACP. If you were a MEMBER of the NAACP, and your white employer found out? You were often FIRED.
Field Secretary of the NAACP? You might as well have had a bull's eye on your back. Evers organized sit-ins, swim-ins, and aggressively registered voters. His home was bombed several times, and his children knew to duck under a bed after hearing a gunshot.
Evers was often escorted home by the FBI and local police force - many of whom were KKK members themselves.

"On June 12, 1963, just hours after President John F. Kennedy's nationally televised Civil Rights Address, Evers pulled into his driveway after returning from . . . "
". . . . a meeting with NAACP lawyers. When he arrived home, Evers' family was waiting for him and his children exclaimed to his wife Myrlie that he had arrived.[23] Emerging from his car and carrying NAACP T-shirts that read "Jim Crow Must Go" . . .
" . . Evers was struck in the back with a bullet fired from an Enfield 1917 rifle; the bullet passed through his heart. Initially thrown to the ground by the impact of the shot, Evers rose and staggered 30 feet (10 meters) before collapsing outside his front door."
"His wife, Myrlie, was the first to find him. He was taken to the local hospital in Jackson, where he was initially refused entry because of his race. His family explained who he was and he was admitted; he died in the hospital 50 minutes later."
"He was only 37 years old.

Evers was the first African American to be admitted to an all-white hospital in Mississippi."
Five thousand people attended his funeral in MS.

He was buried with full military honors at Arlington Cemetery.
June 1963 Byron de la Beckwith, a member of the White Citizens Council and the KKK, was arrested and tried for this murder. Because Black people were disenfranchised and couldn't register to vote, the all-white juries declined to indict Beckwith.
Evers' wife, who rose to prominence in the NAACP and was once their national President, never gave up. In 1994, she was able to get a new trial under a new jury.
Prosecuted by Mr. Bobby DeLaughter, Evers' body was exhumed for an autopsy. De La Beckwith was convicted of murder on February 5, 1994, after having lived as a free man for much of the three decades following the killing. He died at age 80 in prison on January 21, 2001.
FIN/Mrs. Evers was married to Walter Williams. She was chair of the NAACP's Board of Director in 1995, shortly after her 2nd husband died from cancer. Stabilizing the NAACP's funds and image, she did not run for re-election. She did the invocation for Pres. Obama's Inauguration.
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