Wicker, Cochran Reintroduce Medgar Evers House Study Act

Cochran-Wicker Bill Authorizes Study on Adding Home of Slain Civil Rights Leader to National Park System

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Thad Cochran, R-Miss., today resumed their legislative effort to authorize a study that could result in designating the home of slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers as a National Park Service unit.

The Senators on Wednesday reintroduced their Medgar Evers House Study Act, which gained committee approval last July but was not considered by the full Senate before the end of the 114th Congress.

“Achieving a National Park Service unit designation is not an easy feat, but the historic home of the slain civil rights leader is certainly worthy of this recognition,” Wicker said. “This honor would be a fitting tribute to the life and work of Medgar Evers and his family. I am hopeful that my colleagues will join us in helping to make this a reality.”

“We are committed to securing congressional authorization for the National Park Service to confirm the importance of the Medgar and Mylie Evers home in the history of the American civil rights movement,” Cochran said.

The Senate bill would authorize a special resource study to evaluate the national significance of the Jackson home where Medgar Evers, a World War II veteran and civil rights leader, was murdered in June 1963.

The review would be used to determine the suitability and feasibility of designating the Evers home as a unit of the National Park System. The National Park Service would also be directed to consider alternatives for preserving, protecting and interpreting the site by federal, state, or local governments, or private entities and organizations.

Congressman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., is expected to introduce a companion bill in the House of Representatives. Last year, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee approved the Cochran-Wicker legislation. The House approved Thompson’s companion measure by voice vote in September.

Tougaloo College, which acquired the Evers home in 1993 and designated it as a museum in 1997, supports the legislation. The college has preserved the home and items related to Evers’ work and legacy. The site is a designated Mississippi landmark under the State Antiquity Law and is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.