Evers, Medgar


Evers, Medgar

▪ American civil-rights activist
in full  Medgar Wiley Evers 
born July 2, 1925, Decatur, Miss., U.S.
died June 12, 1963, Jackson, Miss.
 American black civil-rights activist, whose murder received national attention and made him a martyr to the cause of the civil rights movement.

      Evers served in the U.S. Army in Europe during World War II. Afterward he and his elder brother, Charles Evers, both graduated from Alcorn Agricultural and Mechanical College (now Alcorn State University, Lorman, Miss.) in 1950. They settled in Philadelphia, Miss., and engaged in various business pursuits—Medgar was an insurance salesman, and Charles operated a restaurant, a gas station, and other enterprises—and at the same time began organizing local affiliates of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People). They worked quietly at first, slowly building a base of support; in 1954 Medgar moved to Jackson to become the NAACP's first field secretary in Mississippi. He traveled throughout the state recruiting members and organizing voter-registration drives and economic boycotts.

      During the early 1960s the increased tempo of civil-rights activities in the South created high and constant tensions, and in Mississippi conditions were often at the breaking point. On June 12, 1963, a few hours after President John F. Kennedy had made an extraordinary broadcast to the nation on the subject of civil rights, Medgar Evers was shot and killed in an ambush in front of his home. The murder made Evers, until then a hardworking and effective but relatively obscure figure outside Mississippi, a nationally known figure. He was buried with full military honours in Arlington National Cemetery and awarded the 1963 Spingarn Medal of the NAACP.

      Charles Evers immediately requested and was granted appointment by the NAACP to his brother's position in Mississippi, and afterward he became a major political figure in the state. Evers's widow, Myrlie Evers-Williams (Evers-Williams, Myrlie), was the first woman to head the NAACP (1995–98).

      Byron de La Beckwith, a white segregationist, was charged with the murder. He was set free in 1964 after two trials resulted in hung juries but was convicted in a third trial held in 1994. Beckwith was given a life sentence, and in 2001 he died in prison.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Evers, Medgar (Wiley) — born July 2, 1925, Decatur, Miss., U.S. died June 12, 1963, Philadelphia, Miss. African American civil rights activist. After serving in World War II he entered business in Mississippi. He and his elder brother, Charles, began organizing local… …   Universalium

  • Evers,Medgar Wiley — Ev·ers (ĕvʹərz), Medgar Wiley. 1925 1963. American civil rights worker in Mississippi who was killed by a sniper soon after the broadcast of a pro civil rights speech by President John F. Kennedy. His work was continued by his brother Charles… …   Universalium

  • Evers, Medgar (Wiley) — (2 jul. 1925, Decatur, Miss., EE.UU.–12 jun. 1963, Filadelfia, Miss.). Activista afroamericano de los derechos civiles. Prestó servicios en la segunda guerra mundial y luego se dedicó al comercio en Mississippi. Con su hermano mayor, Charles,… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Medgar Evers — Born Medgar Wiley Evers July 2, 1925(1925 07 02) Decatur, Mississippi U.S. Died June 12, 1963(1963 …   Wikipedia

  • Medgar Wiley Evers — (* 2. Juli 1925 in Decatur, Mississippi; † 12. Juni 1963 in Jackson, Mississippi) war ein afroamerikanischer Bürgerrechtsaktivist aus Mississippi. Die Affäre Medgar Evers ist eines der prominentesten Ereignisse während der Beendigung der US… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Medgar Wiley Evers — Medgar Evers Medgar Wiley Evers (2 juillet 1925, Mississippi 12 juin 1963, id.) était un Noir américain, défenseur des droits de l homme et membre de la NAACP (l association nationale pour la défense des gens de couleur). Sa lutte contre les… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Evers-Williams, Myrlie — ▪ 1996       In a dramatic illustration of how every vote does indeed count, on Feb. 18, 1995, Myrlie Evers Williams was elected chairperson of the board of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) by the closest of… …   Universalium

  • Evers — noun United States civil rights worker in Mississippi; was killed by a sniper (1925 1963) • Syn: ↑Medgar Evers, ↑Medgar Wiley Evers • Instance Hypernyms: ↑civil rights leader, ↑civil rights worker, ↑civil rights activist …   Useful english dictionary

  • Medgar Evers — noun United States civil rights worker in Mississippi; was killed by a sniper (1925 1963) • Syn: ↑Evers, ↑Medgar Wiley Evers • Instance Hypernyms: ↑civil rights leader, ↑civil rights worker, ↑civil rights activist …   Useful english dictionary

  • Medgar Wiley Evers — noun United States civil rights worker in Mississippi; was killed by a sniper (1925 1963) • Syn: ↑Evers, ↑Medgar Evers • Instance Hypernyms: ↑civil rights leader, ↑civil rights worker, ↑civil rights activist …   Useful english dictionary


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.