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Widow of civil rights leader to deliver inaugural invocation

The widow of civil rights icon Medgar Evers will deliver the invocation at President Barack Obama's second inauguration, the Presidential Inaugural Committee announced Tuesday.

Myrlie Evers-Williams, who headed the NAACP from 1995-1998, fought tenaciously for justice for her husband, the famed Mississippi activist killed in the driveway of their home in 1963. The man immediately suspected of murdering Evers was convicted and sentenced to life in prison in 1994, more than three decades after the crime.

"I am humbled to have been asked to deliver the invocation for the 57th inauguration of the President of the United States—especially in light of this historical time in America when we will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Movement,” she said in a statement. “It is indeed an exhilarating experience to have the distinct honor of representing that era."

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In 2009, Obama chose Rev. Rick Warren to give the invocation, causing some outcry from the left because of Warren's opposition to same-sex marriage.

The president's formal inauguration will be held privately on Sunday, January 20, as dictated by law. But the ceremonial swearing-in -- where Evers-Williams will give the invocation -- will take place on Jan. 21, coinciding with Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

The Inaugural Committee also announced Tuesday that Rev. Louie Giglio, an Atlanta pastor and founder of youth faith movement Passion Conferences, will deliver the benediction at the ceremony.