Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-43) released the following statement in recognition of the 50th anniversary of the assassination of civil rights activist Medgar Evers, who was 37 years old when he was killed by a sniper's bullet on June 12, 1963:
"Today marks 50 years since the assassination of civil rights leader Medgar Evers. The horror of Mr. Evers' untimely death made national news, galvanized the nation and pushed the Civil Rights Movement forward. "After being named the NAACP's first Field Secretary for Mississippi in 1954, Mr. Evers spearheaded local efforts to enact social change. In the particularly oppressive racial climate of Mississippi, Mr. Evers organized boycotts of businesses that denied services to African-Americans, set up new chapters of the NAACP and led voter registration drives. His murder was a loss to his family, the state of Mississippi and to the entire nation.
"I was pleased to join my dear friend, his widow Myrlie Evers-Williams, former President Bill Clinton, and many others last Wednesday at a wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery to commemorate his life and legacy. Although his life was cut short, it was clear to all that Mr. Evers did not die in vain. Today, Myrlie works to continue her husband's legacy through the Medgar & Myrlie Evers Institute.
"I thank Medgar Evers for his courage, dedication and resolve in the face of virulent racism. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said that "before the victory of justice is a reality that some may even face physical death.' To no one is this quote more applicable than to Medgar Evers, whose death compelled this nation forward on its march towards justice and equality for all citizens."