The Senate passes bills to honor Emmett Till and his mother

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Senate has passed a bill to award the congressional gold medal posthumously to Emmett Till, the Chicago teenager murdered by white supremacists in the 1950s, and his mother, Mamie Till-Mobley, who insisted on an open coffin funeral to demonstrate brutality in his killing.

Till was abducted, tortured and killed after witnesses said he whistled to a white woman in Mississippi, a scenario contradicted by others who were with Till at the time.

The killing sparked the civil rights movement after Till’s mother insisted on an open coffin, and Jet magazine published photos of his brutalized body.

Sens. Cory Booker, DN.J. and Richard Burr, RN.C., presented the bill to honor Till and his mother with the highest civilian honor bestowed on Congress. They described the legislation as a long-awaited recognition of what the Till family endured and what they accomplished in their fight against injustice.

The House version of the legislation is sponsored by Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill. He has also sponsored a bill to issue a commemorative stamp in honor of Mamie Till-Mobley.


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