President Joe Biden wants to erect a national memorial for Emmett Till – the 14-year-old boy who was lynched in Mississippi after allegedly referencing a white woman.
Biden is expected to make the announcement on Tuesday, on Till’s 82nd birthday, according to the Associated Press.
Chicago-born Till was kidnapped, tortured and killed in 1955 after he was accused of flirting with a woman outside a grocery store.
After his murder, Till’s mutilated body was displayed in an open coffin. The images of his remains helped spark protests against civil rights.
The latest memorials are being erected in Illinois and Mississippi and are meant to honor both Till and his mother.
Emmett Till, lynched in Mississippi in 1955, to be honored with a national monument
Joe Biden is expected to make the announcement on Tuesday, on Till’s 82nd birthday
Officials say the memorials will protect sites that were central to Till’s life and death. They will also mark the acquittal of his white killers and his mother’s activism.
In August 1955, Till was visiting relatives near Money, Mississippi. He spoke to Carolyn Bryant, a white woman who was married to a grocery store owner. Till was accused of flirting with her.
Nights after the incident, her husband, Roy, and half-brother, JW Millam, set out to kidnap Till. They took him away, beat and mutilated his body. Then Till was shot in the head and his body sank in the Tallachatchie River.
Till’s body was recovered days later. His mother, Mamie Till-Mob, held an open-casket funeral in Chicago. The images of Till’s remains helped inspire support for black civil rights and sympathy from whites.
Roy and JW were acquitted of the murder but later admitted the crime.
His mother, Mamie Till-Mob, held an open-casket funeral in Chicago. Both are honored with the new monuments
The images of Till’s remains helped inspire support for black civil rights and sympathy from whites.
Outside Bryant’s Grocery in Mississippi, Till was accused of flirting with a white woman
In August 2022, a grand jury dismissed charges against Carolyn Bryant Donham, 88, whose allegations sparked the series of events that ended in Till’s death.
After seven hours of testimony, they concluded there was insufficient evidence to charge Donham. Both kidnapping and manslaughter charges were discussed.
exclusively revealed that Donham, 88, lives in a small gated community in Kentucky. She is suffering from cancer, is officially blind and is being cared for at the end of her life in a hospice – and photos showed her with oxygen tubes over her ears.
When asked if she or her son Thomas Bryant would speak about Till and the events that have shattered and reshaped the worlds of so many people, Bryant shook his head while Donham stood by in silence.
Following their acquittal in the Emmett Till trial, defendant Roy Bryant (right) smokes a cigar as his wife happily hugs him and his half-brother JW Milam (left) and wife cheer
In August 2022, a grand jury dismissed charges against Carolyn Bryant Donham, 88, whose allegations sparked the series of events that ended in Till’s death
The news that the grand jury had declined to indict Donham made it increasingly unlikely that she would ever be prosecuted for her role in the events leading up to Till’s death.
A group searching the basement of the Leflore County Courthouse in June discovered the unissued warrant for the arrests of Donham, his then-husband Roy Bryant and brother-in-law JW Milam for Till’s 1955 kidnapping.
The warrant was based on the sheriff’s belief that Donham was involved in the kidnapping of Till, that she drove through the town of Money, Mississippi to seek him out, and eventually identified the terrified teenager when he was brought to her, dragged from his bed, and tortured and murdered by Bryant and Milam on the night of Sunday, August 28 of that year.
A police note on the back of the warrant states that she was not arrested because she was not in the county.
But a local sheriff told reporters at the time that he didn’t want to “bother” her because she had two young boys to care for.
Donham’s former husband, Bryant, who died in 1994, was eventually acquitted of the murder charge. However, Donham managed to evade prosecution or any consequences in a case that shocked the world for its brutality.