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Medgar Evers

Medgar Evers (1925-1963) was an African American civil rights activist from Mississippi. Upon completing his degree, he applied to the then-segregated University of Mississippi Law School, basing his attempt on the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the case of Brown v. Board of Education that segregation was unconstitutional. When his application was rejected on grounds of race, Evers became the focus of an NAACP campaign to desegregate the school.

Evers himself became the NAACP's first field officer in Mississippi. He was involved in a boycott campaign against white merchants in Jackson and instrumental in eventually desegregating the University of Mississippi when it was finally forced to enroll James Meredith in 1962.

In 1963, Medgar Evers was assassinated by a white racist Byron De La Beckwith. His death was mourned nationally, and he was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. Bob Dylan wrote the song "Only a Pawn in their Game" about Evers and his assassin. Nevertheless, the assassin was twice acquitted, when the all-white jury could not reach agreement. Byron De La Beckwith was finally convicted on February 5, 1994, more than three decades after the murder.



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