June 12, 1963
Jackson, Mississippi
Medgar Evers is shot in the back while standing in his driveway

Evers, a civil rights activist, worked towards voting rights, challenged segregation laws, and publicly investigated the murder of Emmett Till. Because of his activism, he became a target of the Ku Klux Klan and the White Citizens’ Council. Threats of death and other violence became a reality for Evers and his family, to the point he and his wife trained their children on what to do in the event of various attacks, including shootings or bombings.

Evers was assassinated by Byron De La Beckwith, a white supremacist, as Evers stood in his driveway. The bullet tore through his heart, though he managed to stagger to his front door where his wife found him. Evers was taken to the local hospital and initially denied entry due to his race. He was eventually admitted, but was unable to be saved.

De La Beckwith was tried for the murder but two all-white juries deadlocked on a verdict. It wasn’t until 1994 that De La Beckwith, unrepentant after three decades, was convicted by a racially-diverse jury. He served the remainder of his years in prison, dying at the age of 80 in 2001.

(Photo credit: http://www.msgw.org/newton/evers.html)

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