President Biden on July 25 — what should have been Emmett Till’s 82nd birthday — signed a proclamation creating the Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley National Monument.
Till, a Black Chicago native, was 14 years old in 1955 when at least two white men lynched him in segregated Mississippi after a white woman accused him of flirting with her. Nobody was held legally accountable for Till’s murder, a tragedy that helped galvanize the Civil Rights Movement.
“We should know … the truth of who we are as a nation,” Biden said. “… For only with truth comes healing, justice, repair, and another step forward toward forming a more perfect union.”
The national monument will comprise three historic sites:
- Graball Landing near Glendora, Mississippi, where authorities found Till’s mutilated body.
- Roberts Temple Church of God in Christ in Chicago, where Mamie Till-Mobley held an open-casket funeral for her son to “let the people see what I’ve seen.”
- The Tallahatchie County Second District Courthouse in Sumner, Mississippi, where two of Till’s killers were put on trial. An all-white jury acquitted the killers, who later admitted to lynching Till.
“As patriots, we know that we must remember and teach our full history, even when it is painful — especially when it is painful,” Vice President Harris said at the proclamation signing.