JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi’s congressional delegation is urging President Joe Biden to award the Presidential Medal of Freedom posthumously to civil rights leader Medgar Wiley Evers.
U.S. Sens. Roger Wicker and Cindy Hyde-Smith, and U.S. Reps. Bennie Thompson, Trent Kelly, Michael Guest and Mike Ezell on Tuesday sent a letter to Biden encouraging him to bestow the honor on Evers.
Evers was assassinated outside his home in Jackson, Mississippi, on June 12, 1963, as a result of his work to promote racial equality, voting rights and social justice.
“Mr. Evers dedicated his life to the defense of civil rights in Mississippi and the United States,” the legislators wrote. “His sacrifice inspires Americans to this day, and he furthered the cause of freedom for all humankind.”
The Presidential Medal of Freedom 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.” Awardees are selected by the president.
President Harry S. Truman selected the first Medal of Freedom recipient in 1946.
There was no immediate word on when or if Biden would respond to the request.
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