Text: S.Con.Res.54 — 108th Congress (2003-2004)All Information (Except Text)

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Agreed to Senate (06/11/2003)

[Congressional Bills 108th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[S. Con. Res. 54 Agreed to Senate (ATS)]

  1st Session
S. CON. RES. 54

Commending Medgar Wiley Evers and his widow, Myrlie Evers-Williams for 
 their lives and accomplishments, designating a Medgar Evers National 
              Week of Remembrance, and for other purposes.



                             June 11, 2003

 Mr. Cochran (for himself and Mr. Lott) submitted the following 
        concurrent resolution; which was considered and agreed toYYYYYY


                         CONCURRENT RESOLUTION

Commending Medgar Wiley Evers and his widow, Myrlie Evers-Williams for 
 their lives and accomplishments, designating a Medgar Evers National 
              Week of Remembrance, and for other purposes.

Whereas a pioneer in the fight for racial justice, Medgar Wiley Evers, was born 
        July 2, 1925, in Decatur, Mississippi, to James and Jessie Evers;
Whereas, to faithfully serve his country, Medgar Evers left high school to join 
        the Army when World War II began and, after coming home to Mississippi, 
        he completed high school, enrolled in Alcorn Agricultural and Mechanical 
        College, presently known as Alcorn State University, and majored in 
        business administration;
Whereas, as a student at Alcorn Agricultural and Mechanical College, Evers was a 
        member of the debate team, the college choir, and the football and track 
        teams, was the editor of the campus newspaper and the yearbook, and held 
        several student offices, which gained him recognition in Who's Who in 
        American Colleges;
Whereas, while a junior at Alcorn Agricultural and Mechanical College, Evers met 
        a freshman named Myrlie Beasley, whom he married on December 24, 1951, 
        and with whom he spent the remainder of his life;
Whereas, after Medgar Evers received a bachelor of arts degree, he moved to 
        historic Mound Bayou, Mississippi, became employed by Magnolia Mutual 
        Life Insurance Company, and soon began establishing local chapters of 
        the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (referred 
        to in this resolution as the ``NAACP'') throughout the Delta region;
Whereas, moved by the plight of African-Americans in Mississippi and a desire to 
        change the conditions facing them, in 1954, after the United States 
        Supreme Court ruled school segregation unconstitutional, Medgar Evers 
        became the first known African-American person to apply for admission to 
        the University of Mississippi Law School, but was denied that admission;
Whereas, as a result of that denial, Medgar Evers contacted the NAACP to take 
        legal action;
Whereas in 1954, Medgar Evers was offered a position as the Mississippi Field 
        Secretary for the NAACP, and he accepted the position, making Myrlie 
        Evers his secretary;
Whereas, with his wife by his side, Medgar Evers began a movement to register 
        people to vote in Mississippi and, as a result of his activities, Medgar 
        Evers received numerous threats;
Whereas, in spite of the threats, Medgar Evers persisted, with dedication and 
        courage, to organize rallies, build the NAACP's membership, and travel 
        around the country with Myrlie Evers to educate the public;
Whereas Medgar Evers' passion for quality education for all children led him to 
        file suit against the Jackson, Mississippi public schools, which gained 
        him national media coverage;
Whereas Medgar Evers organized students from Tougaloo and Campbell Colleges, 
        coordinated and led protest marches, organized boycotts of Jackson 
        businesses and sit-ins, and challenged segregated bus seating, and for 
        these heroic efforts, he was arrested, beaten, and jailed;
Whereas the violence against Medgar Evers came to a climax on June 12, 1963, 
        when he was shot and killed in front of his home;
Whereas, after the fingerprints of an outspoken segregationist were recovered 
        from the scene of the shooting, and 2 juries deadlocked without a 
        conviction in the shooting case, Myrlie Evers and her 3 children moved 
        to Claremont, California, where she enrolled in Pomona College and 
        earned her bachelor's degree in sociology in 1968;
Whereas, after Medgar Evers' death, Myrlie Evers began to create her own legacy 
        and emerged as a national catalyst for justice and equality by becoming 
        active in politics, becoming a founder of the National Women's Political 
        Caucus, running for Congress in California's 24th congressional 
        district, serving as Commissioner of Public Works for Los Angeles, using 
        her writing skills to serve as a correspondent for Ladies Home Journal 
        and to cover the Paris Peace Talks, and rising to prominence as Director 
        of Consumer Affairs for the Atlantic Richfield Company;
Whereas Myrlie Evers became Myrlie Evers-Williams when she married Walter 
        Williams in 1976;
Whereas, in the 1990's, Evers-Williams convinced Mississippi prosecutors to 
        reopen Medgar Evers' murder case, and the reopening of the case led to 
        the conviction and life imprisonment of Medgar Evers' killer;
Whereas Evers-Williams became the first female to chair the 64-member Board of 
        Directors of the NAACP, to provide guidance to an organization that was 
        dear to Medgar Evers' heart;
Whereas Evers-Williams has published her memoirs, entitled ``Watch Me Fly: What 
        I Learned on the Way to Becoming the Woman I Was Meant to Be'', to 
        enlighten the world about the struggles that plagued her life as the 
        wife of an activist and empowered her to become a community leader;
Whereas Evers-Williams is widely known as a motivational lecturer and continues 
        to speak out against discrimination and injustice;
Whereas her latest endeavor has brought her home to Mississippi to make two 
        remarkable contributions, through the establishment of the Evers 
        Collection and the Medgar Evers Institute, which advance the knowledge 
        and cause of social injustice and which encompass the many lessons in 
        the life's work of Medgar Evers and Myrlie Evers-Williams;
Whereas Evers-Williams has presented the extraordinary papers in that Collection 
        and Institute to the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, 
        where the papers are being preserved and catalogued; and
Whereas it is the policy of Congress to recognize and pay tribute to the lives 
        and accomplishments of extraordinary Mississippians such as Medgar Evers 
        and Myrlie Evers-Williams, whose life sacrifices have contributed to the 
        betterment of the lives of the citizens of Mississippi as well as the 
        United States: Now, therefore, be it
    Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), 
            (1) Congress commends Medgar Wiley Evers and his widow, 
        Myrlie Evers-Williams, and expresses the greatest respect and 
        gratitude of Congress, for their lives and accomplishments;
            (2) the Senate--
                    (A) designates the period beginning on June 9, 
                2003, and ending on June 16, 2003, as the ``Medgar 
                Evers National Week of Remembrance''; and
                    (B) requests that the President issue a 
                proclamation calling on the people of the United States 
                to observe the week with appropriate ceremonies and 
                activities; and
            (3) copies of this resolution shall be furnished to the 
        family of Medgar Wiley Evers and Myrlie Evers-Williams.