In June 2023, the National Park Service (NPS) held a ceremonial opening at the Medgar and Myrlie Evers Home National Monument in Jackson, Mississippi, marking significant progress in preserving the place where the civil rights leaders lived with their family and the site where Medgar Evers was assassinated in 1963.
Representatives from NPS, the Evers family, the National Park Foundation (NPF), the Trust for Public Land, and other partners commemorated the 60th anniversary of Medgar Evers’ assassination with an official grand opening of the visitor amenities and a series of public events at the new park. Myrlie Evers-Williams and other family members attended and participated in the commemoration. Partners including the Medgar and Myrlie Evers Institute, Tougaloo College, and the city of Jackson held additional events.
The event also showcased Myrlie’s Garden, a beautiful community garden near the home featuring educational exhibits and space for gathering and reflection.
NPF has been instrumental in establishing and supporting the new park, which became a national park site in 2019, helping ensure the Evers’ home and legacy are preserved and shared for present and future generations.
NPF provided funds necessary for due diligence on the home to acquire the property and enable its transfer to NPS, and has provided infrastructure, programmatic, and new park support, as well as support for programming surrounding the 60th commemoration. The park also received an Inclusive Storytelling grant focused on highlighting the history of women in the Mississippi Movement.
Sharing the Evers’ Story and Legacy with Park Visitors
Medgar and Myrlie Evers were leaders in the civil rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s, with Medgar Evers serving as the first Mississippi field secretary for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), fighting against racial inequality and discrimination, leading boycotts, and organizing voter registration events.
On June 12, 1963, Medgar Evers was murdered in the driveway of his carport by a white supremacist, marking the first such assassination of a national civil rights leader. The tragedy helped propel legislation including the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which outlawed discrimination on the basis of race and other traits, though Myrlie Evers did not see justice for her husband’s murder until 31 years later. Myrlie Evers continued her activism, becoming one of the first African American women to run for Congress and eventually serving as chairwoman of the NAACP.
The Medgar and Myrlie Evers Home National Monument preserves the family’s history, acknowledges their significant contributions to the modern civil rights movement, and interprets their legacies as part of the ongoing struggle for freedom, equality, and justice for all.
Learn more about NPF’s African American Experience Fund projects, which aim to bring African American stories to the forefront of our national history, and how the program supports NPF’s broader History & Culture area of work that fully reflects on our past to understand America today.
African American Experience Fund