Slain civil rights activist Medgar Evers was the first Mississippi Field Secretary of the NAACP. After running sit-ins and boycotts in Mississippi, the Evers’ home was fire bombed by the KKK in May 1963. The family survived, but Medgar Evers was assassinated in his driveway one month later. Evers was assassinated long before the nation endured the killings of Martin Luther King Jr., John F. Kennedy and Malcolm X.
As a result of Medgar Evers’ fearless leadership, his wife, Myrlie Evers-Williams, later became national chairwoman of the NAACP. She spoke at the second term inauguration of the nation’s first black president, Barack Obama. His brother Charles Evers was the first black man elected mayor in Mississippi. And when you land in Jackson, you fly into the Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport. In 2011, the US Navy named a new 689-foot, $500 million dry cargo vessel the USNS Medgar Evers in honor or the slain civil rights activist.
Medgar Evers was born in 1925 in Decatur, Miss. After serving in France and Germany, he attended Alcorn College where met his wife Myrlie in 1950. Although the WWII veteran had been honorably discharged, he was denied admission to the University of Mississippi Law School in 1954 after fighting for his country in Normandy. That same year, he began working as a state field secretary for the NAACP. It was Evers’ responsibility to schedule protests and fight on behalf of victims of discrimination in Mississippi. His work made him a prime target for the white supremacists of Mississippi.