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Unknown Photographer

Myrlie Evers, wife of slain Civil Rights leader Medger Evers, talks with students at Boston University as she campaigns for presidential candidate Senator Edmund Muskie, March 27, 1972
Vintage wire photograph on paper
7 x 9 3/16 in. (17.78 x 23.34 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: P2021.13.169

Myrlie Louise Evers–Williams is an American Civil Rights activist and journalist who worked for over three decades seeking justice for the 1963 murder of her husband, Civil Rights leader Medgar Evers.

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.

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.

On recto: typewritten title and date.
On verso: date stamp.

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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  • Image Dimensions: 7 x 9 3/16 in. (17.78 x 23.34 cm) Measured by Cornejo-Reynoso, Aitzin
  • Sheet Dimensions: 7 15/16 x 9 5/8 in. (20.16 x 24.45 cm) Measured by Cornejo-Reynoso, Aitzin

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