32 Facts About Medgar Evers


Medgar Wiley Evers was an American civil rights activist and the NAACP's first field secretary in Mississippi who was assassinated by a white supremacist.

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College graduate, Medgar Evers became active in the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s.

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Medgar Evers worked for voting rights, economic opportunity, access to public facilities, and other changes in the segregated society.

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The Medgar Evers family owned a small farm and James worked at a sawmill.

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Medgar Evers served in the United States Army during World War II from 1943 to 1945.

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Medgar Evers was sent to the European Theater where he fought in the Battle of Normandy in June 1944.

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In 1948, Medgar Evers enrolled at Alcorn Agricultural and Mechanical College, majoring in business administration.

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Medgar Evers competed on the debate, football, and track teams, sang in the choir, and was junior class president.

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Couple moved to Mound Bayou, Mississippi, a town developed by African Americans, where Evers became a salesman for T R M Howard's Magnolia Mutual Life Insurance Company.

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Medgar Evers was president of the Regional Council of Negro Leadership, which began to organize actions for civil rights; Medgar Evers helped organize the RCNL's boycott of gasoline stations that denied blacks the use of the stations' restrooms.

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In 1954, following the U S Supreme Court decision that segregated public schools were unconstitutional, Evers applied to the state-supported University of Mississippi Law School, but his application was rejected because of his race.

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Medgar Evers submitted his application as part of a test case by the NAACP.

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Medgar Evers was involved with James Meredith's efforts to enroll in the University of Mississippi in the early 1960s.

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Medgar Evers conducted actions to help integrate Jackson's privately owned buses and tried to integrate the public parks.

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Medgar Evers led voter registration drives, and used boycotts to integrate Leake County schools and the Mississippi State Fair.

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Medgar Evers, who was regularly followed home by at least two FBI cars and one police car, arrived at his home on the morning of his death without an escort.

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Medgar Evers's family had worried for his safety that day, and Medgar Evers himself had warned his wife that he felt in greater danger than usual.

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Medgar Evers was taken to the local hospital in Jackson, where he was initially refused entry because of his race.

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Medgar Evers's family explained who he was and he was admitted; he died in the hospital 50 minutes later.

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Medgar Evers was the first black man to be admitted to an all-white hospital in Mississippi.

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Myrlie Medgar Evers did not give up the fight for the conviction of her husband's killer.

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Medgar Evers's waited until a new judge had been assigned in the county to take her case against De La Beckwith back into the courtroom.

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Medgar Evers was memorialized by leading Mississippi and national authors both black and white: James Baldwin, Margaret Walker, Eudora Welty, and Anne Moody.

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In 1963, Medgar Evers was posthumously awarded the Spingarn Medal by the NAACP.

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In 1969, Medgar Evers College was established in Brooklyn, New York, as part of the City University of New York.

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Medgar's brother Charles Evers returned to Jackson in July 1963, and served briefly with the NAACP in his slain brother's place.

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Medgar Evers remained involved in Mississippi civil rights activities for many years, and in 1969, was the first African-American mayor elected in the state.

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In June 2013, a statue of Medgar Evers was erected at his alma mater, Alcorn State University, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of his death.

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Medgar Evers was honored in a tribute at Arlington National Cemetery on the 50th anniversary of his death.

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Medgar Evers was a man who never wanted adoration, who never wanted to be in the limelight.

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Medgar Evers was a man who saw a job that needed to be done and he answered the call and the fight for freedom, dignity and justice not just for his people but all people.

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Medgar Evers added to this account in a book, Never Too Late: A Prosecutor's Story of Justice in the Medgar Evers Case .

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