ShareThis Page

Memo: Consider civil rights home of Evers in Mississippi for national monument

| Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017, 10:33 p.m.
Mississippi civil rights sites, including the home of slain civil rights leader MedgarEvers, should be considered for national monument designation, the U.S. interior secretary says in a memo to President  Trump.
Mississippi civil rights sites, including the home of slain civil rights leader MedgarEvers, should be considered for national monument designation, the U.S. interior secretary says in a memo to President Trump.
This June 12, 1963 file photo shows, Medgar Evers, 37, Mississippi field secretary for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in Jackson, Miss. Mississippi civil rights sites, including the home of slain leader Evers, should be considered for national monument designation, the U.S. interior secretary says in a memo to President Donald Trump. In Feb. 2017, the National Park Service designated the Evers home a national historic landmark.
This June 12, 1963 file photo shows, Medgar Evers, 37, Mississippi field secretary for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in Jackson, Miss. Mississippi civil rights sites, including the home of slain leader Evers, should be considered for national monument designation, the U.S. interior secretary says in a memo to President Donald Trump. In Feb. 2017, the National Park Service designated the Evers home a national historic landmark.

JACKSON, Miss. — Mississippi civil rights sites, including the home of slain leader Medgar Evers, should be considered for national monument designation, the U.S. interior secretary says in a memo to President Donald Trump.

Secretary Ryan Zinke makes the recommendation in a 19-page memo that was leaked.

In the memo, Zinke recommends shrinking six national monuments — mostly large expanses of Western land.

Evers, the state's first NAACP field secretary, organized protests and boycotts to fight segregation. He was assassinated by a white supremacist outside his Jackson home in 1963.

In February, the National Park Service designated the Evers home a national historic landmark.

If the modest ranch-style home becomes a national monument, the federal government will take it over from Tougaloo College, bringing more money for preservation. The private college in Jackson was a haven for civil-rights activists during violent backlash to the movement in the 1960s, and school leaders support the federal role in protecting the historic site.

Mississippi's two Republican U.S. senators, Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker, have been working with Democratic U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson to make the Evers home a part of the National Park Service. Cochran is chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and Zinke's memo says that a federal spending bill directs the park service to do “resource studies” for Mississippi civil rights sites.

Alan Spears is cultural resources director for the National Parks Conservation Association, a private, nonprofit group that supports the parks. He said there are two ways to establish a national park: through legislation passed by Congress or through the president using a century-old law to establish a national monument.

“In a period where Congress won't act or fails to act, this is a good power for the president to have,” Spears said Wednesday.

Cochran spokesman Chris Gallegos said if Evers' home becomes part of the National Park Service, it likely will draw more visitors because some tourists make an effort to visit park service sites.

“We're interested in seeing what the president will do with the secretary of interior's recommendations,” Gallegos said.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.