U.S. HOUSE VOTES UNANIMOUSLY TO HONOR THE CIVIL RIGHTS LEADER
On Thursday, February 4, 2010, the U.S. House of Representatives passed, by a unanimous vote of 426 yeas to 0 nays, a resolution honoring the life and sacrifice of Medgar Wiley Evers. The resolution (H. Res. 1022) further congratulated the United States Navy for naming a ship after civil rights champion Medgar W. Evers.
Born in Decatur, Mississippi, in 1925, Medgar W. Evers became one of the most well-known civil rights advocates in Mississippi, and it was because of his activism that he was assassinated on June 12, 1963 in the driveway of his home in Jackson, Mississippi in front of his wife and children. The NAACP has long been proud to call Medgar Evers one of our own civil rights heros – at the time of his death, he was the NAACP’s Mississippi Field Secretary and in fact when he was shot he was carrying an NAACP T-shirt that read “Jim Crow Must Go.” His hard work to desegregate the University of Mississippi School of Law, his efforts on behalf of the civil rights movement in Jackson and throughout Mississippi and the United States and his brutal murder have often been cited as catalysts for the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It is altogether fitting and appropriate that the United States’ Navy has named a supply ship for Mr. Evers, and that Congress continues to honor Medgar’s legacy and his contribution to our Nation with this resolution.
Medgar Evers legacy of civil rights advocacy continues in many ways, including through the work of his widow, Myrlie Evers-Williams, who went on to become a leader of the civil rights movement after Medgar’s murder. In 1971 she helped found the National Women’s Political Caucus, and from 1995 – 1998 she was the Chairperson of the National Board of Directors of the NAACP. She is credited, during that time, with being an integral part of the team that restored the NAACP to national prominence and remains an active member as Chairman Emeritus. She further continues to promote her murdered husband’s legacy through the Medgar Evers Institute, which currently focuses on its Youth Stewardship Program.