President Biden establishes Emmett Till National Monument at sites in Illinois, Mississippi

ByJessica D'Onofrio WLS logo
Tuesday, July 25, 2023
President Biden establishes Emmett Till National Monument
The Emmett Till National Monument was established by President Joe Biden Tuesday, on what would have been Till's 82nd birthday.

CHICAGO -- President Joe Biden established a national monument honoring civil rights icon Emmett Till and his mother Tuesday on what would have been his 82nd birthday.

President Biden signed a proclamation to establish the Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley National Monument across sites in Illinois and Mississippi.

One site will include the Roberts Temple Church of Christ in Chicago's Bronzeville neighborhood, where thousands gathered to mourn Till's death.

Mamie Till-Mobley sculpture, memorial for son Emmett unveiled at Summit high school she attended

The Black teenager from Chicago was murdered in 1955 after he was accused of whistling at a white woman in Mississippi.

Till's best friend, younger cousin and witness to his abduction, Reverend Wheeler Parker, Junior will introduce the president Tuesday at the White House.

He recently spoke to GMA about his memories.

"How could that happen in America, but it happened," Rev. Parker said. "If you didn't live during that time or experience what I'm talking about, you have no idea it means, what it was like. You could be killed for anything and nobody is going to say anything to help you."

Emmett Till remembered in Chicago ahead of what would have been 82nd birthday

The monument will protect places that are central to the story of Till's life and death at age 14, the acquittal of his killers and his mother's activism which helped catalyze the civil rights movement.

In addition to the Illinois site, the other two monument sites will be in Mississippi at Graball Landing in Glendora and the Tallahatchie County Second District Courthouse in Sumner.. The courthouse is where Till's murderers were wrongfully acquitted by an all-white jury.

Graball landing is believed to be the site where Till's body was discovered in the Tallahatchie River.

Members of Till's family were among the guests at the White House event.