Crime History: Civil rights leader gunned down by Klansman

By |
Local,Crime,Scott McCabe

On this day, June 12, in 1963, civil rights leader Medgar Evers was fatally shot outside his home in Mississippi by Ku Klux Klan member Byron De La Beckwith Jr.

Evers, 37, was instrumental in desegregating the University of Mississippi and investigating the death of Emmett Till, a black 14-year-old killed for reportedly flirting with a white woman.

Carrying T-shirts that read "Jim Crow Must Go," Evers was assassinated hours after President John F. Kennedy gave a nationally televised speech in support of civil rights.

De La Beckwith was charged but set free after all-white juries twice failed to reach a verdict.

Three decades later, the state reopened the case and in 1994 a jury convicted De La Beckwith, then 73, of murder. He died in prison seven years later.

-Scott McCabe

View article comments Leave a comment
Author:

Scott McCabe

Staff Writer - Crime
The Washington Examiner