Medgar and Myrlie Evers Home National Monument

Summary

The Medgar and Myrlie Evers Home National Monument, also known as Medgar Evers House, is a historic house museum at 2332 Margaret Walker Alexander Drive in Jackson, Mississippi. Built in 1956, it was the home of African-American civil rights activist Medgar Evers (1925-1963) at the time of his assassination. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2017. The John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act, signed March 12, 2019, by President Donald Trump, authorized it as a national monument,[2] and it was established on December 10, 2020, after the National Park Service acquired it from Tougaloo College.[3]

Medgar and Myrlie Evers Home National Monument
Medgar Evers house, Jackson, MS, US.jpg
2018 photo
Location2332 Margaret Walker Alexander Drive, Jackson, Mississippi
Coordinates32°20′27″N 90°12′46″W / 32.34097°N 90.21265°W / 32.34097; -90.21265Coordinates: 32°20′27″N 90°12′46″W / 32.34097°N 90.21265°W / 32.34097; -90.21265
Arealess than one acre
Built1956 (1956)
Built byLeroy Burnett
Architectural styleRanch
Part ofMedgar Evers Historic District (ID13000737)
NRHP reference No.000001459, 100000791
Significant dates
Added to NRHPDecember 5, 2000[1]
Designated NHLFebruary 16, 2017
Designated CPSeptember 18, 2013

Description and historyEdit

The Medgar Evers House stands in northern Jackson, in what is called the Elraine Subdivision. This area was developed as the first planned middle-class subdivision for African-Americans in Mississippi after World War II. The house is on the north side of Margaret Walker Alexander Drive, a few doors east of its junction with Missouri Street. It is one of 36 similar single-story ranch-style houses built by Leroy Burnett and Walter J. Thompson. It is a single-story wood-frame structure, set on a foundation of brick piers. It has a broad shallow-pitch gabled roof, with a built-up covering of gravel. The roof has extended eaves with the rafters exposed. To the left side, the roof extends across a carport which is accessed via the original concrete driveway; the main entrance is under the carport shelter. Part of the facade is faced in brick veneer, while the rest is finished in asbestos siding. Interior features include a bullet hole in the wall separating the kitchen and living room.[4]

The house was purchased new by Medgar and Myrlie Evers in 1956, and remained their home until 1963. The Everses were both active civil rights activists, and had for some time been specific targets of racist violence. They chose this house in part for features that improved its security: it was not on a corner lot, and its entrance under the carport provided better cover than a front door would. On May 28, 1963, a Molotov cocktail was thrown onto the carport. On June 11, 1963, Evers attended a meeting of civil rights groups in Jackson to formulate a response to actions taken by George Wallace, then Governor of Alabama, to prevent African-Americans from enrolling at the University of Alabama. Arriving home around midnight, Evers, standing in the carport, was shot by Byron de la Beckwith, using a sniper rifle from an undeveloped lot about 200 feet (61 m) away. The bullet passed through the house's picture window, and through the wall between the living room and kitchen before coming to rest. Evers died early the next morning.[4]

Myrlie Evers moved to California in 1964, continuing the civil rights crusade. She maintained ownership of the house for thirty years, using it as a rental property. She donated the property to Tougaloo College in 1993. The house underwent repairs and stabilization in 1995–96, and was restored to its appearance during the Evers residency in 2013.[4]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. January 23, 2007.
  2. ^ "Text - S.47 - John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act". United States Congress. 2019-03-12. Retrieved 2019-03-12.
  3. ^ "Medgar and Myrlie Evers Home Officially Established As National Monument | Delta Democrat-Times". Delta Democrat-Times. December 10, 2020. Retrieved 2020-12-10.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. ^ a b c "NHL nomination for Medgar Evers House" (PDF). National Park Service. Retrieved 2017-04-27.

External linksEdit

  Media related to Medgar and Myrlie Evers Home National Monument at Wikimedia Commons

  • Official National Park Service site