For America, Wednesday marked the 50th anniversary of the death of the civil rights leader Medgar Evers, but for his widow, Myrlie Evers-Williams, the old wounds are still fresh. This week Evers-Williams reflected on her experiences and her late husband’s legacy on NPR.
The family moved to Jackson when Evers accepted a job as the NAACP’s first field secretary in the South — a job that made him a target of the white supremacists who would stop at nothing to preserve Jim Crow.
“Medgar became No. 1 on the Mississippi ‘to kill’ list,” Evers-Williams says. “And we never knew from one day to the next what would happen. I lived in fear of losing him. He lived being constantly aware that he could be killed at any time.”
The house was firebombed. The kitchen phone rang constantly with threats. Scars from the attacks still remain today.
Finally, just after midnight on June 12, 1963, a bullet struck Medgar Evers as he pulled into the driveway. Inside the house, the Evers’ three young children heard the gunfire.
Listen to more at NPR.