Mississippi in History

Mississippi: Jackson, MS

Historical Events


Event of interestEvent 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.
  • 1795-10-27 Pinckney's Treaty [Treaty of San Lorenzo] signed by Spain and US, establishing the southern boundary of the US and giving Americans right to navigate the Mississippi River
  • 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 by American geographer Henry 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

Event of interestEvent 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

Event of interestEvent 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
  • 1862-12-20 Confederate raid on Union supplies at Holly Springs, Mississippi
  • 1863-04-24 Skirmish at Okolona/Birmingham, Mississippi (Grierson's Raid)
  • 1863-05-01 Battle of Port Gibson, Mississippi
  • 1863-05-16 Battle of Champion's Hill, Mississippi-bloodiest action of Vicksburg Campaign
  • 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

Electoral defeatElection 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
  • 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

Event of interestEvent 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

Event of interestEvent 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

Event of interestEvent 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
  • 1988-12-09 Premiere of fact based crime drama film "Mississippi Burning"
  • 1995-03-16 Mississippi House of Representatives formally abolishes slavery & ratifies 13th Amendment
  • 1997-07-03 Mississippi becomes 1st state to settle tobacco suit
  • 1998-12-05 7th SEC Championship Game: #1 Tennessee beats #23 Mississippi State, 24-14
  • 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.

Event of interestEvent 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

  • 2016-01-01 After floods along the Mississippi River kill 31, Exxon Mobil Corp decides to close a plant in flood threatened Memphis

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

1897-09-08 Jimmie Rodgers [James Charles], American country singer and singing brakeman, born in Meridian, Mississippi (d. 1933)

Country Singer Jimmie Rodgers
Country Singer
Jimmie Rodgers

Person of interestPerson of Interest

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

Author and Nobel Laureate William Faulkner
Author and Nobel Laureate
William Faulkner
  • 1899-12-05 Sonny Boy Williamson II [Aleck Miller], American blues harmonica player, singer and songwriter, born in Tallahatchie County, Mississippi (d. 1965) (year of birth disputed)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

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

Baseball player Cool Papa Bell
Baseball player
Cool Papa Bell
  • 1904-01-12 Mississippi Fred McDowell, jazz artist
  • 1906-07-01 Edward Lansing Gordon Jr, long jumper (Olympic-gold-32), born in Jackson, Mississippi
  • 1906-11-12 Bukka [Booker T. Washington] White, blues guitarist, born in Houston, Mississippi (d. 1977)
  • 1909-01-01 Dana Andrews, American actor (Battle of the Bulge, Laura), born in Covington County, Mississippi (d. 1992)
  • 1909-12-08 Cleo Brown, jazz pianist, born in Meridian, Mississippi (d. 1995)
  • 1910-09-14 Lehman Engel, conductor/comp (Streetcar Named Desire), born in Jackson, Mississippi

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1911-03-26 Tennessee Williams, American playwright (Cat on a Hot Tin Roof), born in Columbus, Mississippi (d. 1983)

Playwright Tennessee Williams
Playwright
Tennessee Williams

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1911-05-08 Robert Johnson, American blues singer (King of Delta Blues Singers), born in Hazlehurst, Mississippi (d. 1938)

Singer and guitarist Robert Johnson
Singer and guitarist
Robert Johnson

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1913-04-04 Muddy Waters [McKinley Morganfield], American blues guitarist (Hoochie Coochie Man), born in Jug's Corner (Issaquena County) or Rolling Fork, Mississippi (d. 1983)

Blues Musician Muddy Waters
Blues Musician
Muddy Waters

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1913-12-13 Archie Moore, light-heavyweight boxing champion (1952-60), born in Benoit, Mississippi, (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
  • 1915-06-28 David "Honeyboy" Edwards, American delta blues guitarist, born in Shaw, Mississippi (d. 2011)
  • 1915-07-01 Willie Dixon, American blues musician ("Hoochie Coochie Man"), born in Vicksburg, Mississippi (d. 1992)
  • 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)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1925-09-16 B.B. King, blues guitarist and singer (Thrill is Gone), born in Itta Bena Mississippi

Blues Musician B.B. King
Blues Musician
B.B. King
  • 1926-12-10 Guitar Slim [Eddie Jones], blues guitarist ("The Things That I Used to Do"), born in Greenwood, Mississippi (d. 1959)
  • 1927-11-11 Mose Allison, jazz artist (Black Country Suite), born in Tippo, Mississippi (d. 2016)
  • 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)
  • 1933-11-10 Mack Rice, musician and songwriter (Mustang Sally), born in Clarksdale, Mississippi (d. 2016)
  • 1934-09-07 Little Milton [James Milton Campbell], Inverness Mississippii, blues singer and guitarist

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1935-01-08 Elvis Presley, American singer and King of Rock and Roll (Blue Suede Shoes, Hounddog), born in Tupelo Mississippi (d. 1977)

Singer & Cultural Icon Elvis Presley
Singer & Cultural Icon
Elvis Presley
  • 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

1936-09-24 Jim Henson, muppeteer (Sesame Street, Muppet Show), born in Greenville, Mississippi (d. 1990)

Muppeteer Jim Henson
Muppeteer
Jim Henson
  • 1939-04-04 Ernie Terrell, American boxer (WBA champ 1965-7), born in Belzoni, Mississippi, (d. 2014)

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")

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1942-05-05 Tammy Wynette [Virginia Pugh], American country singer (Stand by your Man), born in Itawamba County, Mississippi (d. 1998)

Country singer Tammy Wynette
Country singer
Tammy Wynette
  • 1942-09-16 Linda G Miller, actress (Night of the Juggler, Mississippi), born in NYC, New York
  • 1943-06-11 Buster Mathis, American heavyweight boxer, born in Sledge, Mississippi (d. 1995)
  • 1944-07-27 Bobbie Gentry, Mississippi, singer/songwriter (Ode to Billy Joe)
  • 1945-03-03 Hattie Winston, actress (Nurse, Electric Company), born in Greenville, Mississippi
  • 1945-10-22 Leslie West, [Weinstein] rocker (Mountain-Mississippi Queen)
  • 1946-05-16 Jessi B Wilson, Mississippi, murderer (FBI Most Wanted List)
  • 1947-08-19 Gerald McRaney, American actor (Simon & Simon, Major Dad), born in Collins, Mississippi
  • 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)
  • 1951-08-23 Jimi Jamison, rocker (Survivor), born in Durant, Mississippi (d. 2014)
  • 1952-05-08 Beth Henley, actress/playwright (Miss Firecracker), born in Jackson, Mississippi
  • 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, American NFL running back (Chicago Bears), born in Columbia, Mississippi (d. 1999)

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, American actress (Empty Nest, Mississippi Burning), born in Nashville, Tennessee
  • 1959-12-25 Missy Cleveland, playmate (April, 1979), born in Jackson, Mississippi

Person of interestPerson of Interest

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

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)
  • 1973-10-27 Monica Louwerens, Miss America (Miss-Top 10-1996), born in Greenville, Mississippi
  • 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)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1991-04-04 Jamie Lynn Spears, American actress (Zoey 101), born in McComb, Mississippi


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 and KKK Grand Wizard Nathan Bedford Forrest
Confederate General and 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
  • 2015-10-24 Comedian Tig Notaro (44) weds girlfriend Stephanie Allynne in Pass Christian, Mississippi

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, American blues singer and guitarist, 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