Medgar Evers Assassination: Civil Rights Leader Murdered By Ambush 1963
By | June 11, 2020
You may not know his name off the top of your head, but Civil Rights activist and leader Medgar Evers is an important figure in the world of politics. Through organizing voter registration efforts and economic boycotts, his work formed a blueprint that activists still follow today. Like many activists at the forefront of the peaceful protest movement of the 1960s, however, Evers was assassinated for attempting to carve out a space for people of color.
He Stormed Normandy
Evers grew up in a farming family in Decatur, Mississippi. In addition to his farming, Evers's father also worked at a sawmill, and with five children, there was obviously not enough money to go around. As a result, Evers dropped out of high school in 1942 at the age of 17 to enlist in the U.S Army.
Evers rose to the rank of sergeant, and by 1944, he was storming the beaches of Normandy on D-Day. He continued to serve in the Army after the official end of the war, completing tours in both France and Germany until 1946, when he was honorably discharged.
Back To School
After World War II, Evers put his hard-won G.I. Bill benefits to good use, earning his B.A. in business administration from Alcorn College (now Alcorn State University). He was also on the school's football and track teams, a star debater, a singer in the school's choir, and elected junior class president. He was a busy student is what we're saying.
Somehow, though, he found the time to meet and romance a fellow student named Myrlie Beasley, and the couple married one year after becoming an item. After graduating in 1952, they moved to Mound Bayou, Mississippi, a town that Evers used as a home base of sorts while he established local chapters of the NAACP throughout the state and organized boycotts of gas stations that refused to allow black customers to use their restrooms.