This Day in Black History: June 12, 1963

Medgar W. Evers, civil rights activist and NAACP field secretary, was killed by a white supremacist in front of his Jackson, Mississippi, home.

On this day, civil Rights activist Medgar W. Evers was shot in the back by a white supremacist in front of his Jackson, Mississippi home. He was only 37 years old.

Born in Decatur, Mississippi, on July 2, 1925, Evers became involved with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People when working for a Black insurance company in the Mississippi Delta region in 1952. As the first NAACP field officer in the state, his main duties were recruiting new members and investigating incidents of racial violence.
Evers also led voter registration drives and mass protests, organized boycotts and was instrumental in helping James Meredith, a Black student, enter the University of Mississippi in 1962.
He and his family had been the subject of attacks from white supremacists, including on May 28, 1963, when a Molotov cocktail was thrown into the carport of his home.
A U.S. army veteran who fought in the Battle of Normandy during World War II, Evers was buried on June 19, 1963, in Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C., and received full military honors in front of a crowd of more than 3,000 mourners.

(Photo by Michael Ochs Archive/Getty Images)

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