The Mississippi home where civil rights leader and World War II veteran Medgar Evers lived at the time of his assassination was declared a national monument in 2019. The three-bedroom house in Jackson was already a national historic landmark as well as a stop on the Mississippi Freedom Trail. However, it also has the distinction of being known as the Medgar and Myrlie Evers Home National Monument.
Evers and his wife, Myrlie, moved into the home with their two children after Evers became Mississippi’s first NAACP field secretary in 1954. As an outspoken activist, he also staged boycotts and voter registration drives, and helped desegregate the University of Mississippi.
The couple welcomed their third child into the world while living in their Jackson home, but due to Evers’s high profile, they had to take extra precautions. The home doesn’t have a front door because Evers believed this small barrier would help protect his family (the door was located on the side of the house instead). It wasn’t enough to protect him, though. On June 12, 1963, Evers was shot in his driveway by Klansman Byron De La Beckwith. A bullet hole can still be seen in a kitchen wall.
Evers’s murder helped prompt the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, according to historians. Myrlie Evers also went on to play a crucial role in the movement, serving as national chairwoman of the NAACP from 1995 to 1998. “Medgar and Myrlie Evers are heroes whose contributions to the advancement of civil rights in Mississippi and our nation cannot be overstated,” U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, who co-sponsored the proposal for the national monument, said in 2019.
The home is not currently open for tours. You can see more about it in the video below:
A version of this story ran in 2019; it has been updated for 2021.