Excerpt from Beckwith v. State of Mississippi (1998 appeal)
THE DEATH OF MEDGAR EVERS
3. The last hours of Medgar Evers were recounted by the testimony of his widow, Myrlie. On direct examination, Ms. Evers testified as follows:
Q. Okay. When was the last time that you saw your husband, Medgar Evers, alive?
A. The last time that I saw Medgar alive was on June the 11th, 1963, when he left home that morning to go to work.
Q. Okay. And did the NAACP have an office that he worked out of, or what– when you say he went to work, where would he go?
A. Well, there was an office. Office was located on Lynch Street here in Jackson. I recall that he left that morning after telling us goodbye with a very special embrace. And he went out to his car and was out there for a second or so, and came back in and told us to be sure to take good care of ourselves and to be sure to watch President Kennedy’s address that night, and hugged and kissed us all again and–and left.
Q. Okay. Did you get an opportunity to talk with him at any time later on during the day?
Q. When–without telling us what he said, when approximately was the last time you talked with him?
A. Well, it was late that evening, afternoon I should say. It was before President Kennedy’s speech that night.
Q. Okay. Did you watch President Kennedy’s speech?
Q. Did you watch it together? Was he with you?
A. No, he was not. He–he–he didn’t–had not returned home at that time. Just the children and myself.
Q. Okay. Did there come a time that he did return home?
A. Yes, he did return home.
Q. If you would, just take a minute and tell the jury about what time it was and what you remember hearing and seeing at that time.
A. Well, he returned home on the 12th of June. It was slightly after midnight when he came home. We heard the car, the motor, which we were very familiar with, and the children said, “There’s Daddy.” I might add we were in the bedroom. And we heard the car pull in the driveway, and this horrible blast. And the children fell to the floor, as he had taught them to do. The baby was on the bed with me, and I bolted up off the bed and ran to the front door, and opened the door, and there was Medgar at the steps leading to the front door with his keys in his hand. It appeared that the force of the bullet had pushed him past his car, my car, and he had pulled himself around to–to the doorsteps.
The children–I screamed, I guess uncontrollably, and the children ran out shortly after I did, and they called, “Daddy, Daddy, get up. Please get up, Daddy.” I recall going back in the house for a second to call someone–I don’t even know who it was. At the time, I couldn’t get through. I ran back out, and I kept calling to him, and the children were calling to him. I do recall, however, that when I first got out to him that there was another shot that was fired, and I remember dropping down to my knees again because I thought someone was trying to–to shoot me as well. By the time I ran back out the second time, neighbors had come out and were over at the house. There were a couple of people helping to put Medgar on a mattress, and to put him in a vehicle to take him to a hospital for treatment.
The Medgar Evers House still stands in northwest Jackson, just off Medgar Evers Blvd (formerly Delta Drive). It’s a place that all Mississippians should make a point to visit.
You can tour the house virtually, read more about Medgar Evers, and see more crime scene photos at http://www.everstribute.org/index.php.
You can read more about the recent preservation project at the house and its rededication on June 10, 2013 at the Clarion-Ledger.