During a visit to see his great uncle in Mississippi, 14-year-old Emmett Till, of Chicago, was brutally lynched Aug. 28,1955.

Find out more about this horrible crime and it’s affect on civil rights in America at the Smithsonian’s American Museum of History in Washington D.C. The exhibit Reckoning with Remembrance: History, Injustice, and the Murder of Emmett Till opens runs from April 6 through September 15, 2024.

When his mutilated body was recovered from the Tallahatchie River, his mother, Mamie Till-Mobley insisted on an open-casket funeral in Chicago to “let the people see what they did to my boy.”

In Mississippi, citizens of Tallahatchie County formed the Emmett Till Memorial Commission in 2006 and erected nine historical markers to remember Till. Over the years, the signs have been stolen, riddled with bullets, or thrown in the river but have always been replaced.

This temporary display of the defaced River Site historical marker preserves the memory of Till while demonstrating the contested nature of racism’s violent legacy in America. The 317 bullet punctures further serve as a reminder that the racism that caused Till’s death still exists today and that his murderers were never truly brought to justice.

In July 2023, the decades-long activism of Mamie Till-Mobley, members of the Till family and Tallahatchie County citizens resulted in the establishment of the Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley National Monument which includes the site along the Tallahatchie River.