This national park site honors the family of Emmett Till, preserves the history of one of the country's most horrific hate crimes, and commemorates the struggle for civil rights that continues today.
In the summer of 1955, 14-year-old Emmett Till was kidnapped, tortured and lynched while visiting relatives in Money, Mississippi. The determination of his mother, Mamie Till-Mobley, to show the world what had been done to her son became a catalyst that launched the modern Civil Rights Movement.
The murderers, who later admitted their brutal acts, were acquitted in a matter of minutes, leaving the Till family without the justice they deserved. By preserving key sites related to Emmett Till, his murder and its aftermath, this park site helps ensure that his story is honored and remembered.
The national park site is comprised of three anchor sites in two states.
Tallahatchie County Courthouse in Sumner, Mississippi
The five-day murder trial of Roy Bryant and his half-brother J.W. Milam, the two men who kidnapped and killed Till, took place in this courthouse in 1955.
NPCA and its partners advocated for years for the establishment of a national park site to honor Emmett Till, a 14-year-old Chicago native murdered in Mississippi, and his mother, Mamie…See more ›
With the support of local Black leaders, Mamie Till-Mobley traveled to Tallahatchie County for the trial of her son’s killers. Despite her powerful testimony, Bryant and Milam were acquitted. They later bragged about committing the murder in a controversial magazine interview.
Thanks to a fundraising effort by Tallahatchie County and the Emmett Till Memorial Commission, the courthouse’s interior has been restored to its 1955 appearance.
The courthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2007. That same year, the Emmett Till Memorial Commission issued a public apology on behalf of the residents of Tallahatchie County to the Till family.
Graball Landing near Glendora, Mississippi
Graball Landing is where Emmett Till’s disfigured body is believed to have been found early in the morning of Aug. 31, 1955, by a Black teenager fishing. Located across from the confluence of the Tallahatchie River and the Black Bayou, the spot has become a recognized commemorative site.
Signs placed here by the Emmett Till Memorial Commission have been vandalized three times — the first one torn down and thrown in the river and two more signs shot up with bullets. The current sign, installed in 2019, is bulletproof and observed by security cameras.
Roberts Temple Church of God in Christ in Chicago
Till’s open-casket memorial service was held in this church in early September 1955, drawing tens of thousands of people. The church was filled to capacity, while an estimated 10,000 people stood outside listening to the service over loudspeakers.
That Emmett Till’s body even made it to Chicago from Mississippi demonstrates Mamie Till-Mobley’s determination and resilience. She paid nearly a year’s salary to have his body transported by train and insisted the casket be opened, despite signed agreements by undertakers in both states to keep it sealed.
In 2006, city leaders declared Roberts Temple Church of God in Christ a City of Chicago Landmark in recognition of the funeral’s impact on American history.
NPCA has been a proud partner in the community-led effort to create the Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley National Monument to preserve the family’s legacy, while sharing the story that reopened the nation’s eyes to the brutal realities of racism.