MDAH Commemorates Life and Legacy of Medgar Evers

In observance of the sixtieth anniversary of the death of Medgar Wiley Evers, the Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH) will commemorate the life and legacy of the slain civil rights leader during the month of June.

 This is Home: Medgar Evers, Mississippi, and the Movement will be open June 1–30 at the Two Mississippi Museums in Jackson. This special exhibit examines the life, death, and legacy of Evers, who participated in every major civil rights action in the state as Mississippi field secretary for the NAACP from 1954 to 1963.

“Medgar Evers’s work and message still resonate today,” said Pamela Junior, director of the Two Mississippi Museums. “In honor of his life and enduring legacy, the exhibit is open through the month of June to allow visitors to learn more about this American hero of the Civil Rights Movement.”

Additionally, the Eudora Welty House & Garden (EWHG) will open the new, permanent exhibit Out of Outrage: Processing the Murder of Medgar Evers on Thursday, June 1, in the Eudora Welty Education and Visitor Center at 1109 Pinehurst Street in Jackson. This free exhibit examines how the murder of Evers impelled Eudora Welty to write “Where is the Voice Coming From?”, published in The New Yorker after Evers was shot in the driveway of his home and died on June 12, 1963. The impact of Evers’s murder was immediate and widespread, influencing the work of writers, poets, musicians, and other artists.

“In Jackson, Mississippi, the legacy of Medgar Evers is felt strongly to this day,” said Eudora Welty House & Garden director Jessica Russell. “This exhibit shares his story with our visitors and illustrates how some of the most powerful tools we will ever have—whether for processing personal grief or fighting publicly for justice—are imagination, creativity, and the written word.”

On Wednesday, June 7, at noon, the Two Mississippi Museums will host History Is Lunchpresenting “The Evers Archive: Voices, Justice, Legacies” with guests Reena Evers-Everette and MDAH Evers fellows Bobby J. Smith II (2017), T. Dionne Bailey (2018), and Pamela Walker (2019) discussing the work and continuing legacy of the Evers family. The History Is Lunch series is sponsored by the John and Lucy Shackelford Charitable Fund of the Community Foundation for Mississippi.

MDAH also holds in its collections the Medgar Wiley and Myrlie Beasley Evers Papers, donated by Myrlie Evers-Williams. The collection is divided into four subgroups: papers of Evers as Mississippi field secretary for the NAACP, the Medgar Evers and family papers, Myrlie Beasley Evers papers, and the records of the State of Mississippi v. Byron De La Beckwith trials of 1964 and 1994. Evers’s papers as field secretary illustrate how closely he worked with national, state, and local NAACP leaders to facilitate organizational goals in Mississippi during the early years of the Civil Rights Movement.   

For more information call 601-576-6850 or email


2023 Evers Research Fellow Chosen

Kymara Sneed, a doctoral candidate in history at Mississippi State University, has been named the Medgar and Myrlie Evers Research Fellow for 2023.

Sneed will research archival holdings in the Medgar Wiley and Myrlie Beasley Evers Papers and The Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation Collections (MFBF) housed at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH) in Jackson.

By examining the MFBF collection and the records and correspondence of Medgar Evers during his time as Mississippi field secretary for the NAACP, Sneed hopes to gain insight into the various hierarchies and perspectives—Mississippi’s Cooperative Extension Service agents, the MFBF, civil rights activists, and Black farmers—operating during the Jim Crow era.

“Because my topic covers this intersection of race and civil rights as it pertains to Mississippi State University’s Cooperative Extension Service and its relationship with Black farmers, the Evers Papers are integral to this project,” said Sneed. “This specific collection will be helpful in illustrating what civil rights activism looked like from a local perspective, how it might have clashed with the regimented duties of cooperative extension agents, and its reception within Mississippi’s Black farming community.” 

The Medgar and Myrlie Evers Research Scholars Program is a collaboration between MDAH and the Medgar and Myrlie Evers Institute that seeks to nurture upper-level graduate students and faculty scholars at the beginning of their academic careers, to increase their life-long interest in history, and to promote continued academic and public appreciation of Medgar Evers’s life and work, the Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi, and the struggle for human rights.

Sneed will use the $5,000 fellowship to cover travel, housing, and other expenses incurred while doing primary research at the archives.

Medgar Wiley and Myrlie Beasley Evers Papers may be accessed at the William F. Winter Archives and History Building, 200 North Street, in Jackson. For more information on the fellowship or about the collection contact Laura Heller at 601-576-6850, or by email at



Exhibit Honoring Slain Civil Rights Leader Medgar Evers to Open on Permanent View at the Eudora Welty House & Garden

On June 1, 2023, the Eudora Welty House & Garden (EWHG) will unveil a new permanent exhibit honoring slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers in response to the sixtieth anniversary of his assassination on June 12, 1963, outside his Jackson, Mississippi, home.  

 Immediately after the news broke in Jackson, renowned Mississippi author Eudora Welty wrote “Where Is the Voice Coming From?”, a short story about the attack, which The New Yorker published on July 6, 1963—just 25 days after the crime. The new EWHG exhibit, titled Out of Outrage: Processing the Murder of Medgar Evers, follows the making of Welty’s piece. 

Through this work of fiction, written before the crime was solved, Welty painted a startlingly accurate picture of Evers’s assassin, his motives, and his movements. In fact, before The New Yorker would publish the story, Welty said, “The fiction’s outward details had to be changed where, by chance, they had resembled those of actuality, for the story must not be found prejudicial to the case of a person who might be on trial for his life.”  

This exhibit compares Welty’s original draft with the final version, highlighting changes. Story quotes pair with actual crime scene photographs, seemingly as captions, though Welty’s words predate the images. A photograph of Evers at work as Mississippi’s first field secretary for the NAACP opens the exhibit, along with an overview of his accomplishments.  

“In Jackson, Mississippi, the legacy of Medgar Evers is felt strongly to this day,” said Eudora Welty House & Garden director Jessica Russell. “This small but impactful exhibit shares his story with our visitors and illustrates how some of the most powerful tools we will ever have—whether processing personal grief or fighting publicly for justice—are imagination, creativity, and the written word.”  

The Eudora Welty Collection, housed in the William F. Winter building of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH), consists principally of drafts (including “Where is the Voice Coming From?”), revised copies, and printer's versions of Welty's works, including stories, books, essays, reviews, lectures, speeches, and drama. The collection also contains incoming and outgoing correspondence of Welty, negatives and photographs taken by Welty and her father, and memorabilia.   

In addition to the exhibit at EWHG, MDAH holds in its collections the Medgar Wiley Evers and Myrlie Beasley Evers Papers, including papers of Medgar Evers as Mississippi field secretary of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and records relating to the case, State of Mississippi v. Byron de la Beckwith.  

About the Eudora Welty House & Garden 

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Eudora Welty donated her manuscripts, letters, and home of 76 years at 1119 Pinehurst Street in Jackson to MDAH. The National Historic Landmark is open to the public for tours. For more information, visit  

Support programming for this exhibit begins in July, the month of Evers’ birthday, with a free #WeltyatHome Virtual Book Club discussion of the short story, led by Welty’s friend and biographer, Dr. Suzanne Marrs. To register for the Zoom link, email

Out of Outrage: Processing the Murder of Medgar Evers will be on permanent view at the Eudora Welty House & Garden Visitor Center, 1109 Pinehurst Street, Jackson, Mississippi. The Visitor Center is free and open to the public Tuesday–Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday, from 12:30 to 4 p.m.   


Gardening Papers of Chestina Andrews Welty Available at Mississippi Department of Archives and History

A new subseries of the Welty Family Papers is now available for study at the William F. Winter building of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH). This new addition features the gardening papers of Eudora Welty's mother, Chestina Andrews Welty.

Included in Subseries 45.8 is Chestina's garden journal containing notes on flower arrangements and formulas, sketches of her garden, weather logs, a Valentine’s poem, and more. Additional materials in the series include garden notes, the Jackson Garden Club meeting minutes, drafts of the “History of the Jackson Garden Club,” photographic negatives of the Welty garden [circa 1930s], and glass slides of Jackson garden scenes. Chestina was a founding member of the Jackson Garden Club who served as both vice-president and president in the 1930s.

Beginning in 1957, and over the course of more than forty years, Eudora Welty donated materials to the department, primarily literary manuscripts and photographs. At her death, her remaining papers were bequeathed to MDAH and included unpublished manuscripts and 14,000 items of correspondence with family, friends, scholars, young writers, and noted writers.  

The Eudora Welty Collection is the world’s finest collection of materials related to Welty and one of the most varied literary collections in the United States. The collection includes manuscripts, letters, photographs, drawings, essays, and film and video footage that spans Welty’s entire life.

For more information on the archival collection, contact Elisabeth Cambonga at 601-576-6868, or by email at


Mississippi Department of Archives and History to Support Faith-Based Group Visits with Lilly Endowment Grant

Jackson, Miss.—Faith-affiliated communities in Mississippi—groups who attend churches, mosques, synagogues, temples, house churches, and more—may now visit the Two Mississippi Museums for free with groups of 10 or more persons.

Groups making reservations at least two weeks in advance may receive the added benefit of an in-depth overview of the museums by a museum guide during their visit.

These free group visits are made possible thanks to a $2.5 million grant awarded by Lilly Endowment Inc. to the Foundation for Mississippi History to help the Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH) support and promote programs, activities, and projects focused on the understanding and interpretation of the role of religion in Mississippi history and culture.

Additionally, support from Lilly Endowment will enable MDAH to broaden its audience and engage them in new ways by providing a 35 percent discount to faith-affiliated entities for facility rentals.

Lilly Endowment made the grant through its Religion and Cultural Institutions Initiative, a nationwide effort to help museums and other cultural institutions improve the public’s understanding of religion.

“We are grateful to Lilly Endowment for this major support,” said Katie Blount, MDAH director. “Lilly Endowment’s generosity will help more Mississippians experience these outstanding museums.” 

The Museum of Mississippi History and Mississippi Civil Rights Museum both address the history of religion. From the spiritual beliefs of Native Americans to the conflicting religious convictions of slaveholders and enslaved people, to the leadership of people of faith during the Civil Rights Movement, religion has been integral to the development of Mississippi.

“Museums and cultural institutions are trusted organizations and play an important role in teaching the American public about the world around them,” said Christopher Coble, Lilly Endowment’s vice president for religion. “These organizations will use the grants to help visitors understand and appreciate the significant impact religion has had and continues to have on society in the United States and around the globe. Our hope is that these efforts will promote greater knowledge about and respect for people of diverse religious traditions.”

Lilly endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based, private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by J. K. Lilly and his sons, Eli and J.K. Jr., through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. While those gifts remain the financial bedrock of the Endowment, the Endowment is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff, and location. In keeping with its founders’ wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community development, education, and religion. Although the Endowment funds programs throughout the United States, especially in the field of religion, it maintains a special commitment to its hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana.

For more information about faith-affiliated group visits please call 601-576-6850, or visit, to make a reservation.

For more information about rentals at the Two Mississippi Museums please call 601-576-6850, or email,



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