Today in Mississippi History

Mississippi: Jackson, MS

Historical Events


Person-of-interestPerson of Interest

1541-03-18 Hernando de Soto observes 1st recorded flood in America (Mississippi River)

Spanish Explorer and Conquistador Hernando de Soto
Spanish Explorer and Conquistador
Hernando de Soto
  • 1541-05-08 Hernando de Soto discovers Mississippi River
  • 1673-05-17 Louis Joliet & Jacques Marquette begin exploring Mississippi
  • 1679-07-02 Europeans first visit Minnesota and see headwaters of Mississippi in an expedition led by Daniel Greysolon de Du Luth.
  • 1682-04-09 Robert La Salle claims lower Mississippi (Louisiana) for France
  • 1687-03-19 Explorer Robert Cavelier de La Salle, searching for the mouth of the Mississippi River, is murdered by his own men.
  • 1729-11-28 Natchez Indians massacre 138 Frenchmen, 35 French women, and 56 children at Fort Rosalie, near the site of modern-day Natchez, Mississippi.
  • 1795-10-26 Pinckney's Treaty between Spain & US is signed, establishing southern boundary of US & giving Americans right to send goods down Mississippi
  • 1795-10-27 Treaty of San Lorenzo provides free navigation of Mississippi
  • 1798-04-07 Mississippi Territory organized
  • 1804-03-26 Congress orders removal of Indians east of Mississippi to Louisiana
  • 1817-03-03 Mississippi Territory is divided into Alabama Territory & Mississippi
  • 1817-05-16 Mississippi River steamboat service begins
  • 1817-10-20 1st Mississippi "Showboat" leaves Nashville on maiden voyage
  • 1817-12-10 Mississippi admitted as 20th state of the Union
  • 1823-05-10 1st steamboat to navigate the Mississippi River arrives at Ft Snelling
  • 1832-07-13 Source of Mississippi River discovered (Henry R Schoolcraft)
  • 1834-11-01 First published reference to poker (as Mississippi riverboat game)
  • 1835-12-29 The Treaty of New Echota is signed, ceding all the lands of the Cherokee east of the Mississippi River to the United States.
  • 1837-05-09 "Sherrod" burns in Mississippi River below Natchez Miss; 175 dies
  • 1855-01-23 The first bridge over the Mississippi River opens in what is now Minneapolis, Minnesota, a crossing made today by the Father Louis Hennepin Bridge.
  • 1861-01-09 Mississippi secedes from the Union (US Civil War)
  • 1861-01-10 US forts & property seized by Mississippi

Person-of-interestPerson of Interest

1861-01-21 Jefferson Davis of Mississippi and 4 other southern senators resign (U.S Civil War)

President of the Confederate States of America Jefferson Davis
President of the Confederate States of America
Jefferson Davis
  • 1861-10-12 Confederate ironclad Manassas attack Union's Richmond on Mississippi

Person-of-interestPerson of Interest

1862-02-06 Ulysses S. Grant begins military campaign in Mississippi

US President & Union General Ulysses S. Grant
US President & Union General
Ulysses S. Grant
  • 1862-03-31 Civil War action at Island #10 on Mississippi River
  • 1862-07-01 Battle at Booneville Mississippi: Confederate superior power driven out
  • 1862-09-19 Battle at Iuka Mississippi (1,700 casualties)
  • 1862-10-03 -10] Battle of Corinth, Mississippi
  • 1862-11-20 Confederate armies of Mississippi and Kentucky merge as Army of Tennessee, under General Braxton Bragg
  • 1863-04-24 Skirmish at Okolona/Birmingham, Mississippi (Grierson's Raid)
  • 1863-05-01 Battle of Port Gibson, Mississippi
  • 1863-07-04 Vicksburg, Mississippi surrenders to Union forces
  • 1863-11-14 Skirmish at Danville, Mississippi
  • 1864-02-03 Sherman's march through Mississippi
  • 1864-02-04 Skirmish at Big Black River Bridge, Mississippi
  • 1864-02-05 Federals occupy Jackson, Mississippi
  • 1864-02-13 Miridian Campaign fighting at Chunky Creek & Wyatt, Mississippi
  • 1864-02-21 -22] Battle at Okolona, Mississippi
  • 1865-04-27 Steamboat "SS Sultana" explodes in the Mississippi River, killing up to 1,800 of the 2,427 passengers in the greatest maritime disaster in United States history. Most were paroled Union POWs on their way home.
  • 1865-06-02 At Galveston, Kirby-Smith surrenders Trans-Mississippi Dept
  • 1868-01-07 Mississippi constitutional convention meets in Jackson

Person-of-interestPerson of Interest

1870-01-20 Hiram R. Revels elected to fill unexpired term of Jefferson Davis as US Senator for Mississippi

Minister and US Senator Hiram R. Revels
Minister and US Senator
Hiram R. Revels
President of the Confederate States of America Jefferson Davis
President of the Confederate States of America
Jefferson Davis
  • 1870-02-17 Mississippi becomes 9th state readmitted to US after Civil War
  • 1870-02-23 Mississippi is readmitted to US
  • 1874-01-14 I. D. Shadd elected Speaker of lower house of Mississippi legislature
  • 1883-03-04 John Gordon Cashmans begins "Vicksburg Evening Post" in Mississippi
  • 1884-03-12 Mississippi establishes 1st US state college for women
  • 1886-03-17 Carrollton Massacre (Mississippi) 20 African Americans killed
  • 1893-10-01 3rd worst hurricane in US history kills 1,800 (Mississippi)
  • 1894-03-12 Coca-Cola is sold in bottles for the first time in Vicksburg, Mississippi
  • 1898-06-01 Trans-Mississippi International Exposition opens in Omaha
  • 1900-04-30 Casey Jones dies in a train wreck in Vaughn, Mississippi, while trying to make up time on the Cannonball Express.
  • 1910-03-30 Mississippi Legislature founded The University of Southern Mississippi.
  • 1915-09-29 Hurricane claims 275 in Mississippi Delta
  • 1918-01-08 Mississippi becomes 1st state to ratify 18th amendment (prohibition of alcohol) of the US Constitution
  • 1920-04-20 Tornadoes kill 219 in Alabama & Mississippi
  • 1921-05-21 Oldest radio station west of Mississippi River licensed in Greeley Co
  • 1930-07-29 115°F (46°C), Holly Springs, Mississippi (state record)
  • 1930-12-29 Fred P Newton completes longest swim ever (1826 miles), when he swam in the Mississippi River from Ford Dam, Minn, to New Orleans
  • 1935-09-24 Earl Bascom and Weldon Bascom produce the first rodeo ever held outdoors under electric lights at Columbia, Mississippi
  • 1936-04-05 Tupelo Mississippi virtually annihilated by a tornado, 216 die
  • 1940-07-25 John Sigmund begins swimming for 89 hrs 46 mins in the Mississippi River
  • 1942-05-12 Nazi U-boat sinks American cargo ship at mouth of Mississippi River
  • 1947-01-22 1st commercial TV station west of Mississippi opens, Hollywood CA
  • 1947-05-05 Mississippi Valley flooding kills 16 & causes $850M in damage
  • 1950-02-19 Ground-breaking ceremony held for Mississippi Vocational College (later Mississippi Valley State University)
  • 1951-08-11 100,000 acres flooded from Mississippi River in Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Illinois
  • 1952-03-26 F Durrenmatt's "Die Ehe des Herrn Mississippi" premieres in Munich

Person-of-interestPerson of Interest

1955-08-21 Emmett Till arrives in Money, Mississippi, a week before he is murdered

Murder Victim Emmett Till
Murder Victim
Emmett Till
  • 1961-05-24 27 Freedom Riders arrested in Jackson, Mississippi
  • 1961-09-20 James Meredith refused access as a student in Mississippi

Person-of-interestPerson of Interest

1962-09-29 JFK authorized use of federal troops to integrate U of Mississippi

35th US President John F. Kennedy
35th US President
John F. Kennedy
  • 1962-09-30 JFK routes 3,000 federal troops to Mississippi
  • 1962-09-30 James Meredith registers for classes at University of Mississippi
  • 1962-10-01 James Meredith became 1st black at U of Mississippi
  • 1963-08-18 James Meredith becomes 1st black graduate from U of Mississippi
  • 1964-06-21 Three civil rights workers, Michael H Schwerner, Andrew Goodman & James E Chane, disappeared after release from a Mississippi jail
  • 1964-08-04 Civil rights workers Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman & James E Chaney, bodies discovered in an earthen Mississippi dam
  • 1966-01-30 -19°F (-28°C), Corinth, Mississippi (state record)
  • 1966-06-06 Activist James Meredith wounded by white sniper in Mississippi
  • 1967-10-20 All white federal jury convicts 7 in murder of 3 civil rights workers in Meridan Mississippi
  • 1969-08-17 Hurricane Camille strikes US coastline and kills 259 people (mainly in Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana)
  • 1970-05-15 Mississippi Highway Patrol kills 2 at Jackson State College
  • 1977-10-20 Six killed in Lynyrd Skynyrd plane crash in McComb, Mississippi including band members Ronnie Vanzant, Steve Gains, Cassie Gaines and Dean kilpatrick

Person-of-interestPerson of Interest

1987-01-21 B.B. King donates his 7,000 record collection to the University of Mississippi

Blues Musician B.B. King
Blues Musician
B.B. King
  • 1987-07-21 Kristi Addis, of Mississippi, crowned 5th Miss Teen USA
  • 1988-06-25 Kristen Logan, 17, of Mississippi, crowned America's Junior Miss
  • 1995-03-16 Mississippi House of Representatives formally abolishes slavery & ratifies 13th Amendment
  • 1997-07-03 Mississippi becomes 1st state to settle tobacco suit
  • 2005-01-06 Mississippi Civil Rights Workers Murders: Edgar Ray Killen is arrested as a suspect for the 1964 murders of three Civil Rights workers.
  • 2007-08-01 The I-35W Mississippi River Bridge spanning the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, Minnesota, collapses during the evening rush hour.

Person-of-interestPerson of Interest

2008-08-03 Morgan Freeman is injured in an automobile accident near Ruleville, Mississippi, when his car flipped over several times on the highway


Famous Birthdays

  • 1880-06-15 Mahlon Hamilton, VA, actor (Honky Tonk, High School Girl, Mississippi)
  • 1893-07-03 Mississippi John Hurt, Teoc Mississippi, American blues singer and guitarist
  • 1895-05-11 William Grant Still, Woodville Mississippi, composer (Afro-American)

Person-of-interestPerson of Interest

1897-09-25 William Faulkner, New Albany Mississippi, author (Sound & Fury-Nobel 1949), (d. 1962)

Author and Nobel Laureate William Faulkner
Author and Nobel Laureate
William Faulkner

Person-of-interestPerson of Interest

1903-05-17 James "Cool Papa" Bell, Starkville, Mississippi, baseball center fielder in Negro league baseball, considered by many to have been one of the fastest men ever to play the game (d. 1991)

Baseball player Cool Papa Bell
Baseball player
Cool Papa Bell
  • 1904-01-12 Mississippi Fred McDowell, jazz artist

Person-of-interestPerson of Interest

1913-12-13 Archie Moore, Benoit, Mississippi, light-heavyweight boxing champ (1952-60), (d. 1998)

Boxing Champion Archie Moore
Boxing Champion
Archie Moore
  • 1914-07-29 Dovie Hudson, community activist in rural Mississippi
  • 1914-11-25 Eddie Boyd, blues vocal/pianist (Mississippi)
  • 1915-04-12 [Theodore Roosevelt] Hound Dog Taylor, Natchez Mississippi, American Chicago blues guitarist and singer
  • 1916-11-17 Winson Hudson, community activist (rural Mississippi)
  • 1917-08-22 John Lee Hooker, Clarksdale Mississippi, blues guitarist (Boogie Chillen)
  • 1919-06-15 Van Barfoot, Edinburg, Mississippi, Army colonel and Medal of Honour recipient, (d. 2012)
  • 1920-08-05 G V [Sonny] Montgomery, (Rep-D-Mississippi, 1967- )
  • 1923-04-25 Albert King, Indianola, Mississippi, American blues singer/guitarist (Bad Look Blues)
  • 1924-06-03 Jimmy Rogers, Ruleville, Mississippi, Blues musician (Muddy Waters' Band), (d. 1997)
  • 1925-09-06 Jimmy Reed, Mississippi, blues singer (Soulin', Big Boss Man)
  • 1927-11-11 Mose Allison, Tippo Mississippi, jazz artist (Black Country Suite)
  • 1929-03-05 J. B. Lenoir, Monticello, Mississippi, African American blues guitarist and singer-songwriter, active in the 1950s
  • 1930-08-09 Milt Bolling, Mississippi City, Mississippi, MLB shortstop (Red Sox, 1952-7), (d. 2013)
  • 1931-01-22 Sam Cooke, soul singer (You Send Me), born in Clarksdale Mississippi (d. 1964)
  • 1933-02-23 Lee Calhoun, Laurel, Mississippi, American 110m hurdler (Olympic-gold-1956, 60)
  • 1933-03-18 Unita Blackwell, 1st African American mayor in Mississippi
  • 1933-10-22 Donald Herod Peterson, Winona Mississippi, Col USAF/astronaut (STS 6)
  • 1934-09-07 Little Milton [James Milton Campbell], Inverness Mississippii, blues singer and guitarist
  • 1935-10-12 William Raspberry, Okolona, Mississippi, columnist (Pulitzer 1994), (d. 2012)
  • 1936-05-07 Jimmy Ruffin, American soul singer (What Becomes of the Brokenhearted), born in Collinsville, Mississippi

Person-of-interestPerson of Interest

1940-01-19 Mary Mills, Laurel Mississippi, LPGA golfer

LPGA Golfer Mary Mills
LPGA Golfer
Mary Mills
  • 1941-01-18 David Ruffin, Whynot Mississippi, early lead singer for The Temptations ("My Girl")
  • 1942-09-16 Linda G Miller, actress (Night of the Juggler, Mississippi), born in NYC, New York
  • 1944-07-27 Bobbie Gentry, Mississippi, singer/songwriter (Ode to Billy Joe)
  • 1945-10-22 Leslie West, [Weinstein] rocker (Mountain-Mississippi Queen)
  • 1946-05-16 Jessi B Wilson, Mississippi, murderer (FBI Most Wanted List)
  • 1947-10-22 Haley Barbour, American politician, governor of Mississippi
  • 1949-10-31 Mike Parker, (Rep-D-Mississippi)
  • 1951-03-23 Dick Mast, Bluffton OH, Nike golfer (1990 Mississippi Gulf Coast)
  • 1952-07-14 Stan Shaw, actor (Mississippi, Roots Next Generation), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • 1953-09-16 Gene Taylor, (Rep-D-Mississippi)
  • 1953-11-30 Mike Espy, (Rep-D-Mississippi)

Person-of-interestPerson of Interest

1954-01-29 Oprah Winfrey, Kosciusko Mississippi, Talk show host and actress ('The Oprah Winfrey Show' 'Colour Purple')

Talk show host Oprah Winfrey
Talk show host
Oprah Winfrey

Person-of-interestPerson of Interest

1954-07-25 Walter Payton, Columbia Mississippi, NFL running back (Chicago Bears)

NFL Running Back Walter Payton
NFL Running Back
Walter Payton
  • 1955-07-22 Willem Dafoe, Wisc, actor (Platoon, Roadhouse 66, Mississippi Burning)
  • 1955-11-17 Yolanda King, actress (Fluke, Ghosts of Mississippi)
  • 1956-07-29 Ronnie Musgrove, Former Governor of Mississippi
  • 1957-03-15 Park Overall, Nashville, Tennessee, American actress (Empty Nest, Mississippi Burning)

Person-of-interestPerson of Interest

1962-10-13 Jerry Rice, Starkville Mississippi, NFL wide receiver (San Francisco 49ers)

NFL Wide Receiver Jerry Rice
NFL Wide Receiver
Jerry Rice
  • 1965-05-15 Glen Hnatiuk, Selkirk Manitoba, Nike golfer (1992 Mississippi Gulf)
  • 1966-01-08 Andrew Wood, Columbus Mississippi, American singer (Mother Love Bone) (d. 1990)

Person-of-interestPerson of Interest

1967-09-21 Faith Hill [Audrey Faith Perry], American country pop singer ("Breathe", "Cry"), born in Ridgeland, Mississippi

Country Singer Faith Hill
Country Singer
Faith Hill
  • 1969-03-26 Beth Howell, Clinton Mississippi, Miss Mississippi-America (1991)
  • 1972-01-16 Joe Horn, Tupelo, Mississippi, American NFL wide receiver (KC Chiefs)
  • 1973-03-30 Caroline Ramagos, Miss Mississippi USA (1996)
  • 1973-08-03 Kari Litton, Pontotoc Miss, Miss America (Mississippi-Top 10-1997)
  • 1975-03-02 Arleen McDonald, Miss USA-Mississippi (1997)
  • 1977-12-26 Brandee Layne Loving, Miss Mississippi Teen USA (1996)
  • 1980-03-28 Cara Lewis, Miss Mississippi Teen USA (1997)
  • 1981-01-17 Ray J [William Ray Norwood Jr.], McComb, Mississippi, American singer and actor (Everything You Want, Sex tape)

Famous Weddings


HeartWedding of Interest

1845-09-25 Confederate army Nathan Bedford Forrest (24) weds Presbyterian minister's daughter Mary Ann Montgomery (18) in Hernando, Mississippi

Confederate General/KKK Grand Wizard Nathan Bedford Forrest
Confederate General/KKK Grand Wizard
Nathan Bedford Forrest

HeartWedding of Interest

1929-06-20 Author William Faulkner (31) weds Estelle Oldham at College Hill Presbyterian Church outside Oxford, Mississippi

Author and Nobel Laureate William Faulkner
Author and Nobel Laureate
William Faulkner
  • 2009-09-12 Platinum-selling rock band "3 Doors Down" lead singer Brad Arnold weds horseback rider Jennifer Sanderford in Escatawpa, Mississippi

HeartWedding of Interest

2012-03-09 Rock 'n' roll legend Jerry Lee Lewis (76) weds his cousin's ex Judith Brown (62) in Natchez, Mississippi

Country Singer Jerry Lee Lewis
Country Singer
Jerry Lee Lewis

Famous Deaths


Person-of-interestPerson of Interest

1542-05-21 Hernando de Soto, dies while searching for gold, near Mississippi River

Spanish Explorer and Conquistador Hernando de Soto
Spanish Explorer and Conquistador
Hernando de Soto

Person-of-interestPerson of Interest

1955-08-28 Emmett Till, kidnapped & lynched at 14, in Money Mississippi

Murder Victim Emmett Till
Murder Victim
Emmett Till
  • 1966-11-02 Mississippi John Hurt, rocker, dies at 73
  • 1972-07-03 Mississippi Fred McDowell, jazz artist, dies at 68
  • 1984-05-06 Mary Cain, Mississippi newspaper editor and politician (b. 1904)
  • 1989-08-13 Larkin Smith, U.S. Representative from Mississippi (b. 1944)
  • 2006-05-12 Gillespie V. Montgomery, former U.S. representative from Mississippi (b. 1920)
  • 2011-11-30 William L. Waller, American politician and ex-Governor of Mississippi, dies at 85