The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is proud to announce that Mississippi's largest airport, Jackson International, has been renamed Jackson-Evers International Airport, in honor of assassinated NAACP leader Medgar Evers.
Evers, the first Mississippi NAACP Field Director, was gunned down in the driveway of his Jackson home in 1963, following a successful civil rights rally. His death prompted President John F. Kennedy to urge Congress to adopt a comprehensive civil rights bill which went into effect during President Lyndon Johnson's term.
Dennis Hayes, NAACP Acting President and CEO said, "The memory of Medgar Evers is important for his commitment to equal opportunity and he was someone whose work had an expanded sense of purpose."
The Jackson Branch NAACP President, Ineva May-Pittman, originally requested the airport be renamed the Medgar Evers International Airport. After several meetings with the Jackson Municipal Airport Authority and the city planning board the Jackson City Council unanimously voted earlier this week to add Evers to the existing airport name. The airport authority plans to create an exhibit honoring Evers exhibit in the terminal.
Rev. Charles White, NAACP Region V Director said, "The NAACP family rejoices in the commemoration of one of our own in such a high honor. It is nice to see in 2005 and beyond that Medgar Evers will continue to be a living icon."
Since his slaying, Evers has been memorialized in statues and documented in libraries. Many historical artifacts, such as his writings, are available in the Henry Lee Moon Library at the NAACP National Headquarters. These items were donated by his widow, Myrlie Evers-Williams, Chairman Emeritus, the NAACP National Board of Directors.
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