Medgar Evers was the states field secretary of the NAACP. On the morning of June 12, 1963, he was shot in his driveway by Byron De La Beckwith who became a member of the Ku Klux Klan.
Medgar Evers had been born in Decatur, Mississippi in 1925. He served in World War II in Europe. After the war, he received a BA from Alcorn State University. He became active in the Civil Rights Movement and in 1954 he became the NAACP’s field secretary for Mississippi. He was a very outspoken leader of the Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi being very involved in the efforts to enroll James Meredith at the University of Mississippi. He was thus a frequent target of white nationalists
Early on the morning of June 12th, 1963 Evers returned from a meeting. His wife and children were waiting for him. As he emerged from his car, he was struck in the back with a bullet fired from an Enfield Rifle. His family rushed him to a nearby hospital that at first refused to treat him because he was black, but when they realized whom he was, they tried without success to save him.
Evers was buried with full military honors on June at Arlington National Cemetery.
Byron De La Beckwith, a member of the White Citizens Council and later a member of the Ku Klux Klan, was arrested for the murder. Two all-white juries deadlocked and failed to reach a verdict. Based on new evidence Le Beckwith was tried again in 1994 and this time convicted. He died in jail at the age of 80 in 2001.