Medgar Evers’ Murder: 50 Years Later

By Kate Bubacz

Jun 12, 2013 6:00am

It has been 50 years since the shocking slaying of Medgar Evers. The civil rights activist and NAACP field secretary fought for equality on many levels, from organizing voter drives and protests against discrimination, to calling for legal investigations into school segregation and the lynching of Emmett Till.

Evers was returning from a meeting when he was gunned down by a white supremacist in the driveway of his Mississippi home. His death, coming just hours after a speech on civil rights by President John F. Kennedy, sparked a national outpouring of mourning and outrage.

gty medgar kb 130611 blog Medgar Evers Murder: 50 Years LaterCivil Rights Activist and NAACP Field Secretary Medgar Evers poses for a portrait circa 1960 in Jackson, Miss. (Michael Ochs Archive/Getty Images)

gty medgar naacp kb 130611 blog Medgar Evers Murder: 50 Years Later

Medgar Evers being interviewed by CBS Reports producer William ‘Bill’ Peters. The segment titled ‘Testament of a Murdered Man,’ conducted in the summer of 1962, was originally broadcast on June 12, 1963. (Getty Images)

cb medgar arrested kb 130611 blog Medgar Evers Murder: 50 Years LaterDeputy Chief J.L. Ray (r) arrests Roy Wilkins (l), executive secretary of the NAACP, and Medgar Evers (c), NAACP field secretary who are picketing outside of a Woolworth’s department store in Jackson on June 1, 1963. (Bettmann/Corbis)

ap medgar shot kb 130611 blog Medgar Evers Murder: 50 Years LaterThe hole in upper right of picture was made by a 30-30 caliber bullet which mortally wounded Medgar Evers, state field secretary for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in Jackson, Miss., on June 12, 1963. A bullet passed through Evers into the window, which reflects the car where Evers was when he was shot in the back. (AP Photo)

 

gty medgar protest kb 130611 blog Medgar Evers Murder: 50 Years LaterWhite policemen wear hardhats and carry double-barrelled shotguns as they block mourners demonstrating at the funeral of slain civil rights activist Medgar Evers, Jackson, June 15, 1963. (Express Newspapers/Getty Images)

ap medgar funeral procession kb 130611 blog Medgar Evers Murder: 50 Years LaterIn this June 15, 1963, file photo, mourners march to the Jackson, Miss., funeral home following services for slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers. (AP Photo)

ap medgar boston kb 130611 blog Medgar Evers Murder: 50 Years LaterIn this June 26, 1963, file photo, attendees at a memorial service for Medgar Evers sing a hymn at the Boston Commons in Boston.(AP Photo)

ap viewing kb 130611 blog Medgar Evers Murder: 50 Years LaterMourners file past the open casket of Medgar Evers in Jackson, Miss., prior to funeral services for the slain integration leader. (AP Photo)

cb medgar widow kb 130611 blog Medgar Evers Murder: 50 Years LaterCharles Evers comforts his brother’s wife, Myrlie, at the funeral of her husband, slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers. (Flip Schulke/CORBIS)

ap medgar goodbye kb 130611 blog Medgar Evers Murder: 50 Years LaterIn this June 13, 1963, file photo, Myrlie Louise Evers, widow of civil rights activist Medgar Evers, leans down to kiss her late husband’s forehead.(AP Photo)

cb medgar meridian kb 130611 blog Medgar Evers Murder: 50 Years LaterMourners stand solemnly beside the casket of civil rights leader Medgar Evers at the Meridian train station. A WWII veteran, he was buried with full honors in Arlington Cemetary. (Flip Schulke/CORBIS)

Byron De La Beckwith was arrested for murder within weeks of Evers’ shooting. His first trial ended with a divided jury. With the persistence of Myrlie Evers, Beckwith was convicted and jailed in 1994.

 

Myrlie Evers recounts the conversation husband Medgar Evers had with her before his assassination on Good Morning America here.

 

See more featured photography curated by ABC News’ photo editors, and at Picture This, the ABC News photography blog.

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