New U.S. Navy ship named for Medgar Evers

Nov. 13, 2011 at 3:12 PM
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SAN DIEGO, Nov. 13 (UPI) -- The widow of civil rights leader Medgar Evers said the ship she christened in San Diego this weekend will keep her late husband's memory alive.

Myrlie Evers Saturday cracked a ceremonial champagne bottle over the bow of the USNS Medgar Evers, a cargo ship that will haul supplies for the U.S. Navy.

"I will not have to go to bed ever again wondering whether anyone will remember who Medgar Evers is," Myrlie Evers said at the ceremony at the National Steel and Shipbuilding Co. on San Diego Bay.

Evers was on the front lines of the civil rights movement and was shot to death in his driveway in 1963. Fellow activists Vernon Jordan and Julian Bond were among the crowd at Saturday's christening.

Evers told The San Diego Union-Tribune the naming of the ship originated with a promise Mississippi Gov. Ray Mabus, now secretary of the Navy, made to her in the 1990s. She said Mabus told her he would find a way to keep Evers' name alive.

"I thought he was just saying something to be nice," Evers said. "But he made good on his word."

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