WASHINGTON, D.C. (WJTV) – The Mississippi congressional delegation made a request to President Obama to posthumously award the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Medgar Wiley Evers.
The medal “is the highest U.S. civilian honor awarded to individuals who have made “an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.” according to a press release by the Mississippi Congressional Delegation.
Evers is a civil rights leader who was assassinated outside of his home about 50 years ago.
U.S. Senators Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), and Representatives Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.), Gregg Harper (R-Miss.), Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.), and Trent Kelly (R-Miss.) made the request to the President Obama in a letter.
Seven Mississippi natives have received the Presidential Medal of Freedom since its inductions; civil rights activist James Earl Chaney, Representative G.V. (Sonny) Montgomery, Apollo 13 astronaut Fred Haise, historian Dumas Malone, musical artists Leontyne Price, B.B. King, writers Eudora Welty, Tennessee Williams, and media mogul Oprah Winfrey.
The first Medal of Freedom recipient was selected by President Harry S. Truman in 1946.
To see the letter, click here.