1955 August 28

Emmett Till, 14, Murdered in Mississippi


Emmett Till, a 14-year-old African-American boy from Chicago, was kidnapped and brutally murdered on this day for allegedly whistling at a white woman in the town of Money, Mississippi. He was visiting members of his family in Mississippi at the time. The brutal murder became a national cause célèbre over the issue of Southern racism. Till’s mother insisted on an open casket at the funeral so that people could see his face, and photographs of his brutally disfigured face created an international sensation. The alleged murderers were acquitted at trial.

In 2004, the U.S. Department of Justice reopened an investigation of the case to determine if any other people besides those originally acquitted had been involved in the murder.

In January 2017, the author of a forthcoming book on the Till murder revealed that one of the key witness in the trial of the murderers admitted to him that she had lied at the trial.

Read about the famous case: Stephen J. Whitfield, A Death in the Delta: The Story of Emmett Till (1991)

Learn about President Eisenhower’s response to the Till Murder at the Eisenhower Presidential Library: http://www.eisenhower.archives.gov/research/online_documents/civil_rights_emmett_till_case.html

Watch a documentary on Emmett Till’s murderhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-X4is9jMYk

Learn more about the trial of his murderers: http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/till/tillhome.html

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