Memorial marker of civil-rights icon defaced in Mississippi

By Ed Adamczyk Contact the Author   |   June 27, 2017 at 9:23 AM
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June 27 (UPI) -- Vandals defaced a historical sign on the Mississippi Freedom Trail explaining the death of civil-rights icon Emmett Till over the weekend, officials said.

The metal sign in Money, Miss., erected in 2011, was scraped by vandals to remove most of its text and photographs.

Till, 14, was lynched in 1955 by white vigilantes, one of whom accused Till of wolf-whistling at his wife in a local grocery store. Two men accused of the killing were acquitted of murder, and later admitted to a magazine reporter they indeed killed Till. In a recently published book about the incident, the wife, Carolyn Donham, admitted she lied about Till's alleged advances to the FBI and to other law enforcement officers.

"Nothing that boy did could ever justify what happened to him," Donham, now 83, told the author in an interview.

Till's death was a pivotal moment in the rise of the civil rights movement.

Another sign, marking the spot where Till's body was pulled from a nearby river, was pockmarked with gunfire in 2016.

The signage defaced over the weekend cost $8,500 to create and erect, and will be repaired for less than $500, the Jackson, Miss., Clarion-Ledger reported Monday.

Cultural Leadership, a group of St. Louis high school students, visited the area on Sunday, and quickly covered the vandalized sign with text of their own. They wrote Till's story on paper and attached the sheets to the defaced marker.

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