For the second week in a row, the country lost an icon of the Civil Rights Movement with the passing of Charles Evers on Wednesday, July 22, 2020. While the death of Congressman John Lewis received national media attention, the passing of Evers on Wednesday is of particular significance to the Museum, as he was a WWII veteran and one of the true heroes of the “Double V for Victory” campaign that fought for freedom and democracy abroad and at home in the United States.
The older brother of assassinated Civil Rights leader Medgar Evers, Charles served in the Pacific theater of operations during the war. He rose to the rank of Battalion Sergeant Major and saw service in both New Guinea and the Philippines. After the war, and his brother’s murder, he became a leading figure in the Civil Rights Movement by promoting voter registration efforts and speaking out against racism throughout his home state of Mississippi and the country as a whole.
In April 2016, the Museum was honored to host Mr. Evers, along with moderator Dr. Raphael Cassimere, former Mississippi Governor William Winter, and journalist Hodding Carter III, at our “Fighting for the Right” Symposium that coincided with our special exhibition on the African American experiences in World War II.
The National WWII Museum mourns his passing, but is committed to ensuring that his story and words live on.
Below is the entire panel, with the beginning starting at the 11:30 mark, and Mr. Evers at the 49:15 mark. It was an enlightening, educational, and inspiring experience to have him on our campus sharing some of his personal accounts.
Symposium Panel Discussion: Beyond World War II - The Fight for Double Victory
Jeremy Collins joined The National WWII Museum in 2001 as an intern, and now oversees the institution’s public programming initiatives.