Hall of Fame: Medgar Evers

On September 20, 2011, in Portraits, by Amanda

Nominations are currently being sought for the 2011 class of the Mississippi Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame honors women and men who made noteworthy contributions to the state. Consideration for the Hall of Fame takes place only once every five years and any Mississippian—native or adopted—deceased at least five years may be nominated. The deadline for nominations is October 1, and elections will be held at a special meeting of the MDAH board of trustees in December. Click here for complete nomination guidelines.

This series recognizes members of the Hall of Fame, whose portraits hang in the Old Capitol Museum. Special thanks to Anna Todd, University of Southern Mississippi student and MDAH summer intern, for researching this post.

It is the responsibility of the nominating entity to fund the portraits, thus some members of the Hall of Fame, including Medgar Evers, do not have portraits.

Medgar Evers (1925-1963) was one of the most prominent and effective leaders in the civil rights movement. Born in 1925 in Decatur, Mississippi, Evers was the son of a farmer and sawmill worker. In 1943, he was inducted into the United States Army and fought in the European Theater of World War II. After being honorably discharged as a sergeant in 1945, he enrolled at Alcorn Agricultural and Mechanical College in 1946. Evers majored in business administration and was involved in sports, choir, and the student government. He married his classmate Myrlie Beasley in 1951.

Evers joined the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1952, and two years later became the organization’s first field secretary for Mississippi. In his position, Evers recruited new members, organized local NAACP chapters, and investigated instances of racial injustice. He played a crucial role in bringing the civil rights movement in Mississippi to the nation’s attention through his work in attempting to desegregate the University of Mississippi.

During his years with the NAACP, Evers’s public support of James Meredith and Clyde Kennard and his investigation into the riots following Meredith’s admission to the University of Mississippi and the murder of Emmett Till led to numerous threats on his life. On June 12, 1963, Medgar Evers was assassinated at his home. He was buried at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors on June 19, 1963, with more than 3,000 people in attendance. Today Evers is memorialized in Jackson with a statue erected in his honor, and his name has been given to a major thoroughfare in the city, as well as the state’s largest airport. He was inducted into the Mississippi Hall of Fame in 1991.

Chaney, Goodman, Schwerner "Missing, Call FBI" Poster. Call Number: 	Ephemera/Civil Rights/1964/Box 5, 1961-1969 (MDAH Collection)

Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner "Missing, Call FBI" poster. Call Number: Ephemera/Civil Rights/1964/Box 5, 1961-1969 (MDAH Collection)

At the time this poster was printed, Civil Rights workers James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner were still missing after leaving Meridian to investigate a church burning in Philadelphia. Their bodies would not be found until August 4, 1964.

Click the image to view the poster as a Zoomify JPEG or view the catalog record of the poster.

Tagged with:

Blog Roundup

On August 2, 2011, in Digital Archives, Photographs, by Amanda
What are archivists up to these days?

What are archivists up to these days? Photograph from Dept. of Archives and History Records: Series 1349, Box 5562 (undated folder) MDAH.

Check out these recent posts from various archives and Mississippi related blogs:

  • Genealogists will be interested in these posts:
  1. Confederate POWs who died in federal custody during the Civil War from NARAtions
  2. Release date (April 2, 2012) of the 1940 United States Census from NARAtions
  3. “Tracing African-American History” from the “Local History Announcements” blog of the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library.
Tagged with:

Dr. A. H. McCoy

On June 15, 2011, in Photographs, Portraits, by Amanda
Dr. A. H. McCoy. Call Number: PI/1986.0029, No. 1 (MDAH Collection)

Dr. A. H. McCoy. Call Number: PI/1986.0029, No. 1 (MDAH Collection)

Many Jacksonians associate the name of Dr. A. H. McCoy (1903-1970) with the federal building located downtown. It was indeed named for Dr. McCoy in 1984, making the structure the first federal building in the country to be named for an African American. His remarkable life and accomplishments prompted a local grassroots movement to name the building after him.

McCoy was born in Jackson where his parents operated a large dairy farm near present day County Line road. He attended Tougaloo College and Meharry Medical College in Nashville. In 1930, McCoy returned to Jackson and started a dentistry practice. It was located near the corner of Farish and Capitol Street, on part of the present day site of the federal building. In addition to his successful dentistry practice, McCoy co-founded the Security Life Insurance Company in 1938, two movie theaters, and helped develop the Farish Street business district. McCoy was also active in the Mississippi chapter of the NAACP.


“McCoy, A. H.,” Subject File, MDAH.

“Jackson Federal Building, Dr. A. H. McCoy Building,” Subject File, MDAH.

Our new temporary exhibit “The Freedom Rides: Journey for Change” is open!

The public is invited to participate in the “Speak Now” audio recording program component of the exhibit. Participants will share their memories of the Civil Rights Era on audio recording for inclusion in the MDAH collection. To schedule an appointment, please call 601-576-6838; walk-ins are also welcome. Recording times are:


Thursday, May 26 from 3:00-7:00 p.m.

Friday, May 27 from 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

Saturday, May 28 from 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.


Wednesday, June 15 from 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

Thursday, June 16 from 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

Friday, June 17 from 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

Saturday, June 18 from 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Tagged with: