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Mrs. Byron De La Beckwith, wife of the man accused of Medgar Evers' murder, said she was an "arch segregationist" as she left court

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Fred Waters



Mrs. Byron De La Beckwith, wife of the man accused of Medgar Evers' murder, said she was an "arch segregationist" as she left court, February 7, 1964
Vintage wire photograph on paper
9 3/16 x 6 5/8 in. (23.34 x 16.83 cm)

Creation Place: North America
Technique: Photography
Credit Line: Restricted gift of Michael Mattis and Judy Hochberg in honor of Myrlie Evers-Williams.
Accession Number: P2021.13.641

Commentary
Arch Segregationist: Mrs. Byron De La Beckwith, wife of the man accused of Medgar Evers' murder, said she was an "arch segregationist" as she left court this morning. Her husband's trail was a mistrial and he was remanded to custody, Jackson, Mississippi.

Byron De La Beckwith, Jr. (1920-2001) was a white supremacist and Klansman from Greenwood, Mississippi. He assassinated Civil Rights leader Medgar Evers on June 12, 1963. Two murder trials in 1964 resulted in hung juries. In 1994, he was tried by the state in a new trial based on new evidence; Beckwith was convicted of the murder and sentenced to life in prison. De La Beckwith died in prison in 2001 at age 80.

Medgar Wiley Evers (July 2, 1925 – June 12, 1963) was an black Civil Rights activist in Mississippi and the state's field secretary of the NAACP. He was a World War II veteran, having served in the United States Army. Evers worked to overturn segregation at the University of Mississippi, to end segregation in public facilities, and to expand opportunities for blacks, including enforcement of voting rights. He was assassinated by Byron De La Beckwith, Jr., a white supremacist Klansman.

Marks
On recto: typewritten title and date.
On verso: manuscript date and newspaper stamp.

Materials
Wire photographs were originally transmitted over phonelines, then later, by satellite. They were first used in the early 1920s. Associated Press became a leader with this. After pigment touch-ups, etc., the print is put into a drum (like a drum scanner). The image gets converted into audio tones that are transmitted. The tones are received and beamed onto photo-sensitive paper. Wire photographs are copies without originals---they are hybrid, transmitted objects. (Britt Salvesen, Curator and Department Head, Photography Department, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, March 30-31, 2022)

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Dimensions
  • Image Dimensions: 9 3/16 x 6 5/8 in. (23.34 x 16.83 cm) Measured by Cornejo-Reynoso, Aitzin
  • Sheet Dimensions: 10 x 8 1/8 in. (25.4 x 20.64 cm) Measured by Cornejo-Reynoso, Aitzin


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