Evers Home National Monument officially now part of NPS

The Southern Company and Mississippi Power foundations have made significant donations to the Trust for Public Land that were directed for the Medgar and Myrlie Evers Home National Monument that is now officially part of the National Park Service.

A grand opening ceremony was held in June near the Evers' home in Jackson, Miss., where the civil rights leader was slain in the carport 60 years ago. It was one of several events around the city marking the anniversary of his assassination on June 12, 1963.

As part of the partnership between the Trust for Public Land, the National Park Service and the Alliance for Civil Rights Historic Sites, the funds from the company foundations were used to help renovate the Evers home and Myrlie's Garden. Both will be accessible for scheduled public tours.

“Medgar and Myrlie Evers are icons of the civil rights movement in Mississippi and the nation,” said Billy Thornton, Mississippi Power Vice President of External Affairs and Shared Services, who gave remarks at the ceremony. “As a very young boy growing up in nearby Copiah County, I sadly witnessed some of the injustices they shined a light upon and sought to change. When I reflect back to those times, I see how far we have come. There is still work to do but there has been a lot of progress.”

Thornton also pointed to the adoption of the new Mississippi state flag a few years ago as another example of that progress, telling the attendees how Mississippi Power CEO Anthony Wilson was one of the influential state leaders in the movement to replace the flag with the inclusive “In God We Trust” design.

“I believe Medgar would have been proud the day that old flag was taken down above the capitol,” Thornton said.