National Trust Applauds Creation of Medgar and Myrlie Evers National Monument
Recently, U.S. Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt announced that the Medgar and Myrlie Evers Home in Jackson, Mississippi has been named the newest national monument in the National Park System. In the 1950s and 60s, Medgar Evers, a World War II veteran, was a field secretary for the NAACP. Together with his wife, Myrlie, they fought for the desegregation of the University of Mississippi, for voting rights, and the desegregation of public facilities.
Operating in very isolated circumstances and admired for his bravery, Evers managed much of his activism out of his home. He and his family lived with constant threats and harassment. He was gunned down in the driveway of his home by a white supremacist on June 12, 1963, less than 24 hours after President John F. Kennedy made his famous address to the nation on the issue of civil rights and proposed legislation that would become the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Brent Leggs, executive director of the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund stated, “We at the National Trust applaud the administration for its designation of the historic Medgar and Myrlie Evers home. With this inclusion in our national parks system, more Americans will learn about the remarkable activism and often overlooked contributions of this great American family. Their civil rights leadership must be told and interpreted for present and future generations.”
Prior to becoming a National Park, the Medgar and Myrlie Evers Home was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2017. It was then acquired by the National Park Service by way of conveyance from Tougaloo College in June of this year. The three-bedroom, ranch-style house was built in 1956 as part of Jackson’s Elraine Subdivision, developed by African American entrepreneurs Winston J. Thompson and Leroy Burnettt. Elraine Subdivision was the first post-World War II modern subdivision designed for middle-class African Americans in Mississippi.
In preserving the Medgar and Myrlie Evers home, our nation rightly acknowledges the gross inequities faced by the Evers’ family as well as their legacy of struggle to create a more free and fair United States for all.