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President creates national monument for Emmett Till and his mother

Venita Halbert speaks at the Tallahatchie County Second District Courthouse, a site of a national monument for Emmett Till and his mother. Associated Press/Photo by Rogelio V. Solis

President creates national monument for Emmett Till and his mother

Emmett Till was a 14-year-old boy who was kidnapped, tortured, and brutally murdered in a racially motivated attack in 1955. Because of his mother’s insistence on holding an open-casket funeral, images of Till’s mutilated and decomposed body received national coverage and contributed to the start of the Civil Rights movement. Tuesday would have been his 82nd birthday.

Where will the monument be? President Joe Biden signed a proclamation Tuesday to create The Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley National Monument, which will be comprised of three separate historic sites across 5.7 acres in Illinois and Mississippi. The first site is Graball Landing in Mississippi, where Till’s body was likely recovered. The second is the church in Chicago where several thousand attended Till’s open-casket funeral. The third is a courthouse in Sumner, Mississippi, where an all-white jury acquitted two white men of murdering Till. The two men later admitted in a paid interview with Look magazine that they had killed Till. They were never incarcerated for Till’s murder.

Dig deeper: Read Collin Garbarino’s review of Till, a movie about Emmet Till, in WORLD Magazine.

Johanna Huebscher

Johanna Huebscher is a student at Bob Jones University and a graduate of the World Journalism Institute.

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