Medgar Evers – 1925-1963
Evers was an African- American businessman who became an NAACP leader in Mississippi, organizing voter-registration drives and other civil rights initiatives. On June 12, 1963, just hours after President John F. Kennedy delivered a broadcast on civil rights, Evers was gunned down in front of his Mississippi home. The murder made him a national figure, underscored Kennedy’s pronouncements, and focused national attention on civil rights and social justice. White segregationist Byron de La Beckwith was arrested and charged with the murder, but was freed in 1964 after two hung-jury trials. He was finally convicted in a third trial in 1994.