Civil Rights' Icon Home An Expression of Treasure and Tragedy
THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Mississippi — It was just past midnight on June 12, 1963, and Medgar Wiley Evers, the NAACP field secretary for the state of Mississippi, had to make a 3.5 mile drive from New Jerusalem Baptist Church to his home at 2332 Guynes Street in Jackson.
With racial tension already running high in the city, the state capital of Mississippi, it was not one of those nights for a Black man to be riding alone. Especially, when he was organizing boycotts against businesses that would not serve African Americans let alone hire them.
Four hours before Evers decided to leave the church, where he was organizing a protest down Capitol Street the next day featuring Black youngsters, U.S. President John F. Kennedy had made an historic speech pertaining to civil rights in America. Kennedy’s speech, at the time, was the highest viewed event in television history.
Another reason why it was not safe for Evers to ride home late at night was the fact that his ranch-style home, in the new subdivision developed by Black realtors, was the target of a Molotov cocktail that was thrown at the house in May 1963. Evers’ his wife, Myrlie, and his three young children were present at the home. Mrs. Evers put the fire out with a garden hose.
But on this early part of the morning of June 12, Mr. Evers’ last church, Jerusalem Baptist, would be the final religious institution he would attend. His home, where Myrlie Evers and the three children were again waiting for his arrival, would be placed on the National Registry of Historic Places 50 years later.
THE COMPLETE STORY COMING SOON This Fall.
National Register of Historic Places Program
The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.
FIRST PUBLISHED JULY 9, 2016