President Biden designates new national monument in honor of Emmett Till and his mother

July 25, 2023
Black and white photo of Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley. Photo credit: Library of Congress

Only with truth comes healing, justice, repair and another step forward towards forming a more perfect union.

United States President Joe Biden in a speech after signing a proclamation naming a new national monument honoring Emmett Till and his mother, Mamie Till-Mobley. Today would have been Emmett Till’s 82nd birthday.

Why It Matters: Emmett Till, a Black teenager, was lynched in 1955 in Mississippi. His murder and his mother's subsequent advocacy helped ignite the civil rights movement. President Biden signed a proclamation on Tuesday establishing the Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley National Monument in Mississippi and Illinois; the given sites are each tied to Emmett Till's murder and the events that followed.

Something To Consider: Prior to today's announcement, there have been 130 designated National Monuments in the U.S. since President Theodore Roosevelt established the first monument – Devils Tower National Monument in Wyoming. The ability for a president to establish a national monument became possible with the 1906 Antiquities Act, which "was the first U.S. law to provide general legal protection of cultural and natural resources of historic or scientific interest on federal lands" (NPS). Seventeen presidents – from both political parties – have created national monuments. The Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley National Monument joins the list alongside other national monuments, including the Statue of Liberty National Monument and the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Monument.

FACT SHEET: President Biden Designates Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley National Monument

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by Jenna Lee,