June 12 - 1963 - The Murder of Medgar Evers
As Medgar Evers got out of his car in front of his house in the early morning hours of June 12, 1963, a bullet entered his back and ripped through his heart. Evers was the most significant leader in the Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi, who had helped integrate universities, protest segregated bus lines, and registered large numbers of black voters. For all of this, many white supremacists were targeting Evers in the lead up to his murder, and he even received some law enforcement protection, although it was not present the morning he was shot. Evers' wife Myrlie heard the gunshot and saw her husband laying in their yard and began talking about how "they killed him." The "they" was fairly obvious, as many white supremacists were around. The specific killer was also soon found, as Byron de la Beckwith's fingerprints were found on the gun left near Evers' home. Despite this and his connections to white supremacist groups, de la Beckwith would not be convicted of Evers' murder in two separate trials in 1964, as both ended in hung juries. Finally, over thirty years later, de la Beckwith would be convicted in 1994 due to the persistence of Myrlie Evers' in finding justice for her husband.