The murder of Emmett Till in 1955 galvanized many who laid eyes upon his mangled body to action, including many who had preferred safety by staying on the sidelines. Medgar Evans was a prominent NAACP field leader in Mississippi who urged the national organization to get involved. Their search produced black witnesses to Till's fate that took serious risks coming forward.
After the two accused whites' trial and acquittal, a doctor and civil rights leader named T.R.M Howard had to relocate to Chicago following his criticism of the result. He had protection for him and his family, but hearing that several on a KKK list had already been killed compelled him to move from his home in Mississippi.
Perhaps most famous was an incident that occurred in Montgomery, Alabama, in which a woman named Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white man, promoting the citywide bus boycotts that became a defining event. It was also the start of a young minister's career who had been called to help: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.