Gov. Phil Bryant says slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers helped create a "vastly different Mississippi," and a better one, by increasing black voter registration.
Republican Bryant spoke Wednesday during a memorial service on the 50th anniversary of Evers' assassination.
More than 150 people gathered outside the Mississippi Museum of Art for speeches, gospel singing and the ringing of bells.
Evers was the first Mississippi field secretary for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. A sniper killed him just after midnight June 12, 1963, as Evers returned home from a community meeting.
Simeon Wright is a cousin of Emmett Till, a Chicago 14-year-old killed in 1955 in Money, Miss.
Wright said Wednesday that Evers was "a light in a dark place" during the investigation of Till's death.
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