Marker commemorating death of Emmett Till replaced

Published 3:46 pm Friday, August 24, 2007

The historical roadside marker commemorating the civil rights-era death of Emmett Till was replaced Thursday on U.S. Highway 49 near Greenwood.

The marker disappeared a week ago and has not been recovered.

Sen. David Jordan, D-Greenwood, one of the sponsors of a bill in 2005 that named a portion of U.S. 49 in Tallahatchie County the “Emmett Till Memorial Highway,” said the Department of Transportation put up a new sign Thursday.

“It’s just like it was,” Jordan said. “I wish it could have been erected a little stronger … with cement to anchor it better and make it more stable. The important thing is it is back like it was.”

Till, a 14-year-old from Chicago, was abducted from a relative’s home in the tiny town of Money on Aug. 28, 1955. He was tortured and killed, purportedly for whistling at a white woman. His body was found a few days later weighted down with a cotton-gin fan in the Tallahatchie River.

No one has ever been convicted of the crime. In 1955, an all-white jury acquitted two men, who later confessed to the killing in a magazine interview. They have since died.

The Justice Department reopened the case in 2005 but no federal charges were brought.

A Leflore County grand jury earlier this year declined to indict anyone in the case.