JUNE 12, 1963
Hours after President John Kennedy told the nation that the grandchildren of those enslaved are “not yet freed from the bonds of injustice,” NAACP leader Medgar Evers was assassinated outside his home in Jackson, Mississippi, and protests followed, including a march of 5,000 people with Martin Luther King Jr., after his funeral.
Hundreds of African Americans rushed to courthouses to register to vote, only to be arrested and jailed. As for Evers’ assassin, Klansman Byron De La Beckwith was tried twice by all-white juries in 1964, but each trial ended in a hung jury. In 1989, the case was reopened, and Beckwith was convicted and sentenced to life in prison, where he died in 2001.