Byron de la Beckwith (1920-2001) was an American white supremacist and Klansman who was convicted of killing civil rights leader Medgar Evers on June 12, 1963 in Jackson, Mississippi. De la Beckwith was tried for the murder twice in 1964, but in both cases an all-white jury was unable to return a verdict, resulting in mistrials. In 1994 a third jury convicted him of first-degree murder. The 1996 film Ghosts of Mississippi tells the story of the murder and de la Beckwith's eventual conviction.
This collection, which dates from circa 1990, contains newsletters from white supremacist organizations and photocopies of articles about Byron de la Beckwith. These items were used as stationery by de la Beckwith while he was in prison in Mississippi and most are liberally covered with his handwriting. On them, de la Beckwith expounds on his ideas of racial segregation and white power. Also present are notes in de la Beckwith's hand, as well as a copy of the Watchdog, a white supremacist newspaper.
Byron de la Beckwith papers, Anacostia Community Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution, gift of Mike Ferraiuolo
White supremacy movements
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