Navy Honors Civil Rights Martyr Medgar Evers

Emily Wagster Pettus, Comcast News, October 10, 2009

The widow of slain civil-rights pioneer Medgar Evers fought tears Friday as Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, a former Mississippi governor, announced he’s naming a new Navy supply ship for Evers’ late husband.

“I think of those who will serve on this ship and those who will see it in different parts of the world. And perhaps they, too, will come to know who Medgar Evers was and what he stood for,” Myrlie Evers-Williams said at Jackson State University, where Mabus made the announcement.

Evers was Mississippi field secretary of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People when he was assassinated outside his Jackson home on June 12, 1963. He was 37.

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The USNS Medgar Evers will be built at General Dynamics NASSCO in San Diego, and Mabus said construction of the 689-foot vessel would take up to two years. The ship will deliver food, ammunition and parts to other ships at sea.

During the 1950s and early 1960s, Medgar Evers organized nonviolent protests, voter registration drives and boycotts in his home state.

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