U.S. Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt recently announced the establishment of the Medgar and Myrlie Evers Home National Monument in Jackson, Mississippi as the 423rd unit of the National Park System.
The monument was authorized by the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act (P.L. 116-9), which was signed by Pres. Donald Trump in 2019.
Acquired by the National Park Service (NPS) by way of conveyance from Tougaloo College on June 18, 2020, the new monument commemorates the legacies of two civil rights activists who, from their modest, three-bedroom ranch home, devoted their lives to ending racial injustice.
“It is an honor to establish the Medgar and Myrlie Evers Home National Monument,” says Secretary Bernhardt. “Medgar Evers was a true American hero who fought the Nazis at Normandy and fought racism with his wife Myrlie on the home front. It is our solemn responsibility as caretakers of America’s national treasures to tell the whole story of America’s heritage for the benefit of present and future generations.”
While the home is not currently open to public tours, in the coming months the National Park Service will work with partners and the community to develop plans to accommodate visitors. The national monument consists of an approximately 0.15-acre parcel of land and the Evers’ home.
“Living a life of service, our parents didn’t make sacrifices for accolades or awards. Our father fought for his country during World War II, and our mother equally served on the battlefields here in America. The battle continues to ensure that all Americans deserve life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” said Reena and James Van Evers, the two surviving children of Medgar and Myrlie Evers. “We are delighted that our house, always enclosed in love and respect, is nestled in a community that provides hope and opportunity. It’s still serving as a reminder of our divided past and an educational tool to bring knowledge, excellence, and positive participation to all who visit to study icons in American history: our parents, Medgar and Myrlie Evers.”
The newly acquired property will be managed and operated by the National Park Service.
“The Medgar and Myrlie Evers Home designation as a national monument and its management by the National Park Service is another significant and historic milestone in Tougaloo College’s history,” says Tougaloo College President Carmen J. Walters. “We are honored to partner with the National Park Service to advance the legacy of Medgar and Myrlie Evers and preserve their home, both of which are significant to the Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi.”