Sunday, December 15, 2013

Courthouse where trial of Emmett Till's killers held is being restored

One of the most notorious trials in American history was the one in October 1955, in which the two men who killed Emmett Till, Roy Bryant and E. W. Milam, despite overwhelming evidence, were found not guilty of his murder.

The courthouse in which that trial was held, the Sumner County, Mississippi Courthouse, is being restored to the shape it was in 58 years ago.

The restoration and improvements, which largely will be completed in the spring, culminate a journey that began more than six years ago with a formal apology from the county to Till's family. It's all part of a process, residents and officials say, to help the community face the tragic legacy of the Till case and move beyond it.
"It's part of our history," said Frank Mitchener, 80, a retired farmer and member of the bi-racial Till commission. "He (Till), of course was the catalyst that started the civil rights movement."
Funded with more than $1.8 million in federal earmark money, plus other grants, the courthouse renovation and associated improvements should lure more of the visitors who already travel to sites made famous during the civil rights struggle, supporters say. Even in its current state, the courthouse has been attracting regular bus tours and school groups.

No comments: