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Medgar Evers to be honored with Presidential Medal of Freedom

Civil rights icon and Mississippi native Medgar Wiley Evers will posthumously receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Evers, a World War II veteran, was assassinated on June 12, 1963, in the driveway of his Jackson home.  After returning from war, Evers held several leadership roles in civil rights groups. He recruited volunteers, led demonstrations, and organized voter registration drives. The civil rights hero even staged boycotts of gas stations that refused to welcome Black customers.

In recognition of his role in the civil rights movement, he was posthumously awarded the NAACP Spingarn Medal for outstanding achievement and featured in the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.

The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the highest U.S. civilian honor awarded to individuals who have made “an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.” The current president is tasked with selecting awardees with President Harry S. Truman giving out the first Medal of Freedom recipient in 1946.

Each member of Mississippi’s congressional delegation paid homage to the late Evers after it was announced that he would be receiving the award.

Senator Roger Wicker

“This is a powerful way to honor Medgar Evers’ life and legacy. The fact that he is receiving this award sixty years after his death is proof that he has inspired the generations that followed. His work did not die with him in 1963. I am grateful to the president for selecting this native son of our state for this well-deserved distinction.”

Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith

“Medgar Evers, who is already remembered for his pursuit of equality and justice as part of the civil rights movement, now joins a most distinguished group of Americans who are forever singled out for their life’s work. I applaud the award of this Presidential Medal of Freedom, which I hope will renew our commitment to strive for the values for which Medgar Evers gave his life.”

Congressman Trent Kelly (District 1)

“Medgar Evers has earned and deserves to be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. His

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