1541 Mar 14, In the area of the
state of Mississippi Hernando de Soto and his men were attacked by
hundreds of Chickasaw Indians. 11 Spaniards were killed along with
15 horses and 400 pigs.
(ON, 4/01, p.5)
1717 In France John Law
proposed a company with exclusive rights to trade with and exploit
the resources of the Mississippi territory and to pay down the
government's debt from company profits. The regent and Parliament
approved and the Companie d’Occident (Company of the West) was
(WSJ, 7/19/00, p.B4)(Econ, 8/15/09, p.63)
1720 Mar 24, In Paris, banking
houses closed in the wake of financial crisis. The "Mississippi
Bubble" burst as panicked investors withdrew their money from John
Law's bank and Mississippi Company [see South Sea Bubble, Jan,
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R8)(HN, 3/24/99)(WSJ, 7/19/00,
1736 May 26, British and
Chickasaw Indians defeated the French at the Battle of Ackia. In
northwestern Mississippi the Chickasaw Indians, supported by the
British, defeated a combined force of French soldiers and Chocktaw
Indians, thus opening the region to English settlement.
(AHD, 1971, p.11)(AP, 5/26/98)
1755-1835 Louis Zara (d.2001 at 91) covered this
period of the Eastern Mississippi Valley in his 1940 historical
novel “This Land Is Ours."
(SFC, 10/24/01, p.C6)
1798 Apr 7, Territory of
Mississippi was organized.
1798 In Natchez the House on
Ellicott's Hill was built.
(SFEC, 6/6/99, p.T4)
1807 Sep 1, Former Vice
President Aaron Burr was found innocent of treason. [see 1806] Burr
had been arrested in Mississippi for complicity in a plot to
establish a Southern empire in Louisiana and Mexico. Burr was then
tried on a misdemeanor charge, but was again acquitted.
1812 The Auburn mansion in
Natchez was built.
(SFEC, 6/6/99, p.T4)
1817 Mar 3, Mississippi
Territory was divided into Alabama Territory and Mississippi.
1818 The Monmouth mansion in
Natchez was built. It was later turned into a bed-and-breakfast inn.
(SFEC, 6/6/99, p.T4)
1820 The Rosalie mansion in
Natchez was built. It later served as the headquarters for Ulysses
(SFEC, 6/6/99, p.T4)
1833 John Anderson, a
Kentucky-based slave trader, was one of 10 dealers who, during a
cholera epidemic, petitioned to move the Natchez, Miss., slave
market outside the city limits.
(WSJ, 12/2/04, p.D12)
1836 Isaac Wade Ross,
Revolutionary war hero, died in Mississippi. His will stipulated
that his slaves should be emancipated upon his death, but only if
they agreed to go to Liberia. The 1st of almost 200 were finally set
free in 1848. In 2004 Alan Huffman authored "Mississippi in Africa:
The Saga of the Slaves of Prospect Hill Plantation and Their Legacy
in Liberia Today."
(SSFC, 2/1/04, p.M1)
1837 May 9, "Sherrod" burned in
Mississippi River below Natchez, Miss., and 175 died.
1840 May 7, A tornado struck
Natchez, Miss., killing 317 people and causing over a million
dollars in damage.
(SFC, 5/7/09, p.D8)
1840 A US no-bail-out policy
forced some state into default. Several US states had loaded up on
unsustainable debt following an extended period of easy credit.
These states consequently found payments on their existing bonds
increasingly unaffordable. Between 1841 and 1843 Arkansas, Illinois,
Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Pennsylvania
and one territory – a proto-state called Florida – defaulted.
(Econ, 2/11/12, p.57)(http://tinyurl.com/6pgf4wq)
1841 Mar 1, Blanche K. Bruce,
senator of Mississippi 1875-1881, was born in Farmville, Va.
(HN, 3/1/98)(SC, 3/1/02)
1842 The governor’s mansion in
Jackson was built.
(WSJ, 10/14/97, p.A22)
1850 The Greek revival mansion,
later known as the Longfellow House, was built by a New Orleans
slave trader in Pascagoula.
(WSJ, 7/30/99, p.B1)
1852 A Greek revival mansion
overlooking the Tombigbee River was built by cotton planter Charles
McLaren. In 2004 the 8k square foot house was for sale at $1.5
(WSJ, 11/19/04, p.W14)
1855 Apr 21, The 1st train
crossed the Mississippi River's 1st bridge.
1857 Jul 12, George E. Ohr
(d.1918), ceramics artist (the mad potter of Biloxi), was born in
1857 The Stanton Hall mansion
in Natchez, one of the loveliest homes in America, was built.
(SFEC, 6/6/99, p.T4)
1858 The Magnolia Hall mansion
in Natchez was built.
(SFEC, 6/6/99, p.T4)
1860 Nov, Abraham Lincoln won
the US presidential elections with a majority of the electoral votes
in a 4-way race. Following his election South Carolina seceded from
the Union followed by Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia,
Louisiana and Texas.
(WSJ, 9/19/97, p.A13)
1860 Longwood mansion, one of
the strangest in America, was built.
(SFEC, 6/6/99, p.T4)
1860 The number of slaves in
Mississippi numbered over 400,000.
(Econ, 2/13/10, p.85)
1861 Jan 9, Mississippi
became the 2nd state to secede from the Union.
(HN, 1/9/98)(AP, 1/9/99)(MC, 1/9/02)
1861 Jan 10, US forts &
property were seized by Mississippi.
1861 Jan 21, U.S. Senator
Jefferson Davis of Mississippi and five other Southern senators made
emotional farewell speeches. Just weeks after his home state of
Mississippi seceded from the Union, Davis prepared to leave
Washington, D.C., and the country he had served as a soldier,
cabinet member and member of Congress. One more time, Davis
enumerated the reasons why the South felt secession was its only
recourse: "...when you deny to us the right to withdraw from a
Government which...threatens to be destructive to our rights, we but
tread in the path of our fathers when we proclaim our
independence...." Davis then apologized to any senators he may have
offended, and finished his address by saying, "...it only remains
for me to bid you a final adieu."
(AP, 1/21/98) (HNPD, 1/21/99)
1861 Feb 4, Delegates from six
southern states met in Montgomery, Ala., to form the Confederate
States of America. They included Mississippi, Florida, Alabama,
Georgia, Louisiana and Texas. They elected Jefferson Davis as
president of Confederacy.
(AP, 2/4/97)(ON, 11/00, p.1)
1861 Feb 9, The Confederate
Provisional Congress, meeting in Alabama, declared all laws under
the US Constitution were consistent with constitution of Confederate
states. The Congress elected Jefferson Davis of Mississippi as
president and Alexander H. Stephens vice president. Jefferson Davis'
Mexican War exploits led him to the Confederate White House. In 2001
William C. Davis authored "The Union That Shaped the Confederacy:
Robert Toombs and Alexander H. Stephens."
(HN, 2/9/97)(AP, 2/9/99)(WSJ, 6/13/01, p.A18)(AH,
1861 Sep 1, Ulysses Grant
assumed command of Federal forces at Cape Girardeau, MI.
1862 Feb 6, Ulysses S. Grant
began a military campaign in Mississippi. The Battle of Fort Henry,
Tenn., began the Mississippi Valley campaign.
(HN, 2/6/99)(MC, 2/6/02)
1862 Apr 29, 100,000 federal
troops prepared to march into Corinth, Miss.
1862 May 29, Confederate
General P.T. Beauregard retreated to Tupelo, Mississippi. He had
taken command of the Trans-Mississippi area after the death of
General Albert Sidney Johnson.
1862 May 30, Confederate
General Beauregard evacuated Corinth, Mississippi.
1862 May 30, Union troops under
Union General Henry Halleck entered Corinth, Mississippi.
1862 Jul 15, Lt. Isaac Brown
took the Confederate ironclad C.S.S. Arkansas into the Mississippi
River and engaged 3 Union ships near Vicksburg. The CSS Arkansas vs.
USS Carondelet and Queen of the West engaged at Yazoo River.
(ON, 10/02, p.12)(MC, 7/15/02)
1862 Jul 24, Union fleets
abandoned their attack on Vicksburg, Miss.
(ON, 10/02, p.12)
1862 Oct 3, At the Battle of
Corinth, in Mississippi, a Union army defeated the Confederates.
1862 Oct 4, Battle of Corinth,
1862 Dec 5, Union general
Ulysses Grant’s cavalry received a setback in an engagement on the
Mississippi Central Railroad at Coffeeville, Mississippi.
1862 Dec 15, Nathan B. Forrest
crossed the Tennessee River at Clifton with 2,500 men to raid the
communications around Vicksburg.
1862 Dec 20, A relatively small
force of Southern cavalry troops made an unexpected raid on the
Union Arsenal at Holly Springs, Mississippi. This caused General
Grant to withdraw his entire army of 75,000 troops from Mississippi.
1862 Dec 27, Battle of
Chickasaw Bluffs, Miss. (Chickasaw Bayou), began.
1862 Dec 29, Battle of
Chickasaw Bayou was fought by Sherman’s troops in order to gain the
north side of Vicksburg. Confederate armies defeated Gen. Sherman.
(HN, 12/29/98)(MC, 12/29/01)
1862 Confederate General Earl
Van Dorn attacked Union forces at the Mississippi railroad town of
Corinth in an effort to help Braxton Bragg’s invasion of Kentucky.
With Union interest concentrated chiefly on Bragg’s invasion of
Kentucky, Union General Grant’s command was scattered about western
Tennessee and northern Mississippi in several garrisons. Impetuous
and aggressive (he was a former Indian fighter), Van Dorn evaluated
potential objectives before deciding to attack the strongest, the
one at Corinth, Miss. Two strategic railroads, the Mobile & Ohio
and the Memphis & Charleston, linked up there, and control of
the rails was, as always, a paramount concern in the war.
1863 Mar 11, Union troops under
General Ulysses S. Grant gave up their preparations to take
Vicksburg after failing to pass Fort Pemberton, north of Vicksburg.
1863 May 4, War correspondents
Richard T. Colburn, Junius H. Brown and Albert Dean Richardson were
captured enroute to Grant’s headquarters by a Confederate patrol
near Vicksburg, Miss. Colburn was soon released but Brown and
Richardson were sent to Libby Prison in Richmond, Va., and later to
Salisbury Prison in North Carolina. They managed to escape in Dec
1864 and arrived in Knoxville, Tenn., on Jan 13, 1865.
(ON, 4/03, p.12)
1863 May 5, Battle of Tupelo,
1863 May 12, With a victory at
the Battle of Raymond, Mississippi, Grant closed in on Vicksburg.
(SC, internet, 5/12/97)(HN, 5/12/99)
1863 May 14, Battle of Jackson,
1863 May 16, At the Battle of
Champion's Hill, in Mississippi, the bloodiest action of the
Vicksburg Campaign, Union General Ulysses S. Grant repulsed the
Confederates, driving them into Vicksburg.
1863 May 17, Union General
Ulysses Grant continued his push towards Vicksburg at the Battle of
the Big Black River Bridge in Mississippi.
1863 May 18, Siege of
1863 May 19, Union General
Ulysses S. Grant's first attack on Vicksburg, Miss., was repulsed.
1863 May 22, U.S. Grant’s
second attack on Vicksburg failed and a siege began.
1863 Jun 8, Residents of
Vicksburg, Miss., fled into caves as Grant’s army began shelling the
1863 Jun 10, At the Battle of
Brice's Crossroads in Mississippi, Confederate General Nathan
Bedford Forrest with 3,500 troops defeated the Union troops of
(HN, 6/10/98)(MC, 6/10/02)
1863 Jun 18, After repeated
acts of insubordination, General John McClernand was relieved by
General Ulysses S. Grant during the siege of Vicksburg.
1863 Jul 4, General U.S.
Grant's Union army captured the Confederate town of Vicksburg,
Miss., after a long siege during the Civil War. In 2009 Winston
Groom authored “Vicksburg 1863."
(HN, 7/4/98)(IB, 12/7/98)(Econ, 4/4/09, p.88)
1863 Jul 5, Federal troops
occupied Vicksburg, Mississippi, and distributed supplies to the
citizens. The battles of Jackson and Birdsong Ferry, were fought in
(HN, 7/5/98)(MC, 7/5/02)
1863 Jul 10-Jul 16, In the
Battle of Jackson, MS, federals captured Jackson with 1000
casualties vs. 1339 for the Confederates.
1863 Jul 13-15, Battle of
Tupelo, MS (Harrisburg).
1863 Nov 14, There was a
skirmish at Danville, Mississippi.
1864 Feb 13, Miridian Campaign
fighting at Chunky Creek and Wyatt, Mississippi.
1864 Feb 21-1864 Feb 22, Battle
at Okolona, Mississippi.
1864 Feb 22, Nathan Bedford
Forrest's brother, Jeffrey, was killed at Okolona, Miss. Nathan
Bedford Forrest (1821-1877) was a Confederate cavalry general.
(HN, 2/22/98)(WUD, 1994, p.558)
1864 Jul 14, At Harrisburg,
Mississippi, Federal troops under General Andrew Jackson Smith
repulsed an attack by General Nathan Bedford Forrest, one of
Forrest's only two defeats.
1864 Sep 16, Confederate
General Nathan Bedford Forrest led 4,500 men out of Verona, Miss. to
harass Union outposts in northern Alabama and Tennessee.
1866 Apr 2, Pres. ended war in
Ala, Ark, Fla, Ga, Miss, La, NC, SC, Ten & Va.
1866 In Mississippi a fifth of
the state’s revenues were spent on artificial arms and legs for
(SFEC, 7/6/97, Z1 p.6)
1866 A white mob rushed a
courthouse in Carroll County, Miss., after 2 black men filed a
lawsuit against a white man. Over 20 blacks were murdered.
(WSJ, 10/17/08, p.A14)
1870 Feb 17, Mississippi became
the 9th state readmitted to US after Civil War. [see Feb 23]
1870 Feb 23, Mississippi was
readmitted to the Union. [see Feb 17]
1871 Mississippi purchased the
property of Oakland College and renamed it Alcorn University in
honor of James L. Alcorn, governor of the state. The college had
closed its doors at the beginning of the Civil War so that its
students could answer the call to arms.
1874 Mar 5, Blanche Kelso Bruce
(1841-1898), elected by the Mississippi Legislature, formally
entered the US Senate. Bruce was the first full-term African
American Senator (1874-1881). In 2006 Lawrence Otis Graham authored
“The Senator and the Socialite: The True Story of America’s First
1875 Jul 4, White Democrats
killed several blacks in terrorist attacks in Vicksburg.
1878 The name of Alabama’s
Alcorn University was changed to Alcorn Agricultural and Mechanical
College (Alcorn A&M).
1882 Feb 7, American pugilist
John L. Sullivan became the last of the bare-knuckle world
heavyweight champions with his defeat of Patty Ryan in Mississippi
1884 Feb 19, A series of
tornadoes left an estimated 800 people dead in 7 US states (Miss,
Ala, NC, SC, Tenn., Ky & In).
(WSJ, 9/13/01, p.B11)(MC, 2/19/02)
1884 Mar 12, Mississippi
established the first U.S. state college for women.
1884 Albert T. Morgan (d.1922),
a Union veteran who settled in Yazoo, Miss., authored his memoir
“Yazoo: On the Picket Line of Freedom in the South: A Personal
Narrative." He later became a Mississippi state senator.
1886 Mar 17, The Carrollton
Massacre in Mississippi occurred and 20 African Americans were
1880 Blanche Kelso Bruce
(1841-1898), US Senator from Mississippi, lost his senate seat.
Pres. Garfield appointed him registrar of the Treasury.
(WSJ, 7/12/06, p.D12)
1889 Jul 8, In Mississippi Jake
Kilrain (1859-1937) fought boxing champion John L. Sullivan in the
last world heavyweight championship prizefight decided with bare
knuckles under London Prize Ring rules in history. Sullivan defeated
Kilrain in a match that went to 75 rounds.
1890 Mississippi passed a new
racist constitution and set the pattern for Black disenfranchisement
“based on the perception of blacks as by nature inferior and
ignorant and hence unfit to vote."
(SFCM, 2/11/01, p.12)(Econ 7/15/17, p.28)
1891 Charley Patton, Delta
bluesman, was born.
(SFEM, 3/14/99, p.34)
1893 Oct 1, In the 3rd worst
hurricane in US history 1,800 people were killed in
1894 Apr, Mississippi adopted a
new state flag with a Confederate cross in its top left corner
replacing one from 1861. The flag was repealed in 1906 and readopted
1894 A great fire swept through
(ON, 11/06, p.11)
1897 Sep 25, William Faulkner
(d.1962), American author, was born in New Albany, Miss. His books
were mostly set in Yoknapatawpha County, Mississippi. and include
“The Sound and The Fury" (1929) and “Intruder in the Dust" (1948).
"The poet's voice need not merely be the record of man; it can be
one of the props, the pillars to help him endure and prevail."
(AP, 9/25/97)(HN, 9/25/98)
1898 Sep, Jimmy Rogers, country
singer, was born in Meridian, Miss. He died at 35 of tuberculosis.
In 1997 Bob Dylan produced the album “The Songs of Jimmy Rogers: A
Tribute" by a variety of artists. His biography was written by Nolan
Porterfield: “Jimmy Rogers: The Life and Times of America’s Blue
(SFEC, 8/17/97, DB p.56)(WSJ, 9/26/97, p.A20)
1888 Blanche Kelso Bruce
(1841-1898), former US Senator from Mississippi, was named recorder
of deeds in Washington DC under Pres. Benjamin Harrison.
(WSJ, 7/12/06, p.D12)
1900 Apr 30, Engineer John
Luther "Casey" Jones of the Illinois Central Railroad was killed in
a Cannonball Express wreck near Vaughan, Miss., after staying at the
controls in an effort to save the passengers.
1901 Aug 3, John Stennis,
Sen-D-Miss, was born.
1902 Nov 16, A cartoon appeared
in the Washington Star, prompting the Teddy Bear Craze, after
President Teddy Roosevelt refused to kill a captive bear tied up for
him to shoot during a hunting trip to Mississippi.
1903 Jan 2, President Theodore
Roosevelt closed a post office in Indianola, Mississippi for
refusing to hire a black postmistress.
1906 Gov. James Kimble
denounced black men as fiends and argued that lynching was the only
way to control a barbarous race.
(WSJ, 1/14/02, p.A16)
1907 Jul 7, Robert Heinlein
(d.1988), science-fiction author, was born in Butler, Miss.
"Goodness without wisdom always accomplishes evil."
(V.D.-H.K.p.383)(AP, 5/25/99)(AP, 7/7/07)
1908 Feb 17, Walter Lanier
“Red" Barber, baseball announcer for the Cincinnati Reds, the
Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Yankees, was born in Columbus,
(HN, 2/17/01)(AP, 2/17/08)
1908 Sep 4, Richard Wright
(d.1960), novelist who wrote about the abuses of blacks in white
society, best known for “Native Son" (1940), was born near Natchez,
(SSFC, 8/12/01, DB p.61)(AP, 9/4/08)
1909 Apr 13, Eudora Welty
(d.2001), Southern writer, was born in Jackson, Miss. Her books
included “Delta Wedding" and “The Optimist's Daughter" (1972).
In 1998 Ann Waldron published "Eudora Welty: A Writer’s Life."
(SFEC, 11/22/98, BR p.4)(SFEC, 12/6/98, BR
1910 Jun 20, Chester Arthur
Burnett (d.1976) was born in West Point, Mississippi. He later
became known as the blues singer Howlin’ Wolf.
(SSFC, 7/4/04, p.M6)(www.britannica.com)
1910 Dec 18, The first
dispensary for treating hookworm disease opened in Columbia,
1911 Mar 26, Tennessee Williams
(d.1983), American dramatist, was born in Columbus, Miss. His plays
included "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" and "A Streetcar Name Desire."
1911 May 8, Robert Johnson
(d.1938), bluesman, was born.
(HT, 5/97, p.40)(SFEM, 9/26/99, p.12)
1917 John Lee Hooker (d.2001),
blues musician, was born in Clarksdale.
(SFC, 6/22/01, p.A1)
1918 Jan 8,
Mississippi became the first state to ratify the proposed 18th
amendment to the US Constitution, which established Prohibition.
1918 William Faulkner
(1897-1962), American novelist, enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air
Force as a cadet pilot. Before he finished his basic training, World
War I ended and he returned to his home in Oxford, Mississippi.
Faulkner was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1949 and the
Pulitzer Prize in 1955.
1920 Apr 20, Tornadoes struck
northern Alabama and Mississippi. The final Alabama death toll
reached 92 people. As many as 219 people were reportedly killed.
1923 Apr 25, Albert King, blues
singer/guitar (Bad Look Blues), was born in Mississippi.
1925 Sep 16, Blues musician
B.B. King ("Blues Boy") was born in Mississippi. In the mid-1950s,
while King was performing in Twist, Arkansas, some audience members
got into a fight over a woman named Lucille. They knocked over a
kerosene stove and set the place on fire. Everybody ran
outside...but when King realized he left his guitar inside, he
rushed back to retrieve it. From then on, King named all his guitars
1926 Jul 2, Medgar Evers,
American civil rights leader in Mississippi, was born. He was
murdered in front of his house in 1963 by Byron DeLa Beckwith.
(HN, 7/2/99)(SFC, 1/22/01, p.A22)
1927 May 24, The final levee
breach of the 1927 flood occurred at McCrea, Louisiana, on the east
bank of the Atchafalaya levee. The flood along the Mississippi
killed some 500 people and displaced thousands. The levee system
broke in 145 places and caused 27,000 square miles of flooding in
Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee.
In 1997 the book "Rising Tide" by John M. Barry described the
catastrophe. It was also the subject of the Randy Newman song
p.A12)(SFC, 11/28/03, p.C7)(SSFC, 9/4/05, p.A7)(WSJ, 11/2/05,
p.A2)(Econ, 5/21/11, p.30)
1927 Aug 1, In Bristol,
Tennessee, the Carter Family (A.P., wife Sara, and cousin Maybelle)
came down from the mountains of Virginia and began recording their
country style “hillbilly" music for Ralph Peer of the Victor Talking
Machine Co. Jimmy Rogers (1898-1933) came from Mississippi to
(Hem., 4/97, p.68)(WSJ, 8/1/02, p.A1)
1928 Dec 30, Bo Didley, blues
composer and singer famous for his Mockingbird song, was born in
McComb, Mississippi. His music included “Pretty Thing," “Diddy Wah
Diddy," “Who Do You Love," “Hey Bo Didley," and “Hush Your Mouth."
The Bo came from boxing.
(SFEC, 8/25/96, DB p.71)(HN, 12/30/98)
1929 Charley Patton recorded
"Moon Goin' Down," "Pony Blues" and "When Your Way Gets Dark" for
Paramount's "race" records.
(SFEM, 3/14/99, p.34)
1929 Charles Henri Ford (d.2002
at 94) founded “Blues: A Magazine of New Rhythms," while living at
home in Columbus. He edited 8 issues.
(SFC, 10/1/02, p.A18)
1930 Mar 21, Otis Spann, blues
singer, was born in Jackson, Miss.
(WSJ, 6/28/00, p.A20)
1931 Jan 17, James Earl Jones,
actor (Darth Vader, Exorcist II, Soul Man), was born in Miss.
1932 The Natchez Garden Club
began the Pilgrimage old-house tours when a freeze killed all the
local flowers just as garden tours were scheduled to begin.
(SFEC, 6/6/99, p.T4)
1933 Mar 18, Unita Blackwell,
1st black mayor in Mississippi, was born.
1933 Sep 1, Conway Twitty
[Harold Jenkins], country singer (Hello Darlin'), was born in Miss.
1934 Feb 7, 1st contract for
TVA power was in Tupelo, Miss.
1934 Charlie Patton,
Mississippi bluesman, died. His music is on the album “Founder of
the Delta Blues" (Yazoo). His song “Dry Well Blues" described the
disastrous 1930 Lula draught.
(NH, 9/96, p.62)(NH, 10/96, p.66)
1935 Jan 8, Rock 'n' roll
legend Elvis Presley, “The King," was born in Tupelo, Miss. The most
popular singer of the 1950s and 60s. Best known for “Hound Dog,"
“Jailhouse Rock" and “Love Me tender." He also starred in over
(SFC, 8/11/97, p.A1)(AP, 1/8/98)(HN, 1/8/99)
1936 Apr 5, Tupelo,
Mississippi, was virtually annihilated by a tornado and 216 died.
1936 Nov, Robert Johnson,
Mississippi blues guitarist, his first of 5 sessions.
(SFC, 9/23/98, p.E3)
1937 Jun 27, Robert Johnson,
blues guitarist, recorded “Traveling Riverside Blues and 10 other
songs in Dallas for the American Record Corp. He also “Come On in My
(SFC, 7/25/97, p.D5)(BS, 5/3/98, p.7E)
1937 Sep 26, Bessie Smith,
known as the ‘Empress of the Blues,’ died in a car crash on Highway
61 near Clarksdale, Mississippi.
(HN, 9/26/00)(HT, 5/97, p.40)
1938 Aug 13, Robert Johnson,
blues guitarist, was poisoned by a bartender at a roadhouse outside
of Greenwood, Miss.
(SFC, 9/23/98, p.E3)
1938 Aug 16, Robert Johnson
(27), bluesman, musician and king of the Mississippi Delta blues,
died 3 days after ingesting whiskey laced with poison (probably
strychnine). He has 2 grave sites around Morgan City. Columbia
Records issued the first Robert Johnson LP in 1961 titled “King of
the Delta Blues Singers" and “Robert Johnson: The Complete
Recordings" in 1990. His music is on “The Complete Plantation
Recordings" (Chess/MCA). Peter Guralnick later wrote his biography.
His tunes included “Love in Vain," “Cross Road Blues" and “Ramblin
on My Mind." In 1998 the video documentary “Can’t You Hear the Wind
Howl? The Life and Music of Robert Johnson" was released. In 1999
Robert Mugge premiered his film "Hellhounds On My Trail: The
Afterlife of Robert Johnson."
(HT, 5/97, p.41)(NH, 9/96, p.54)(HT, 5/97,
p.41)(SFC, 9/23/98, p.E3)(WSJ, 10/16/98, p.W12)(SFEM, 9/26/99, p.12)
1939 Jun 6, Marian Wright
Edelman, first African-American woman to be admitted to the
Mississippi Bar, was born. She was the founder of the Children's
1939 In Jackson the weekly
Advocate newspaper, a news source for black residents, was founded.
(SFC, 1/27/98, p.A4)
1940 Apr 23, Some 200 people
died in a fire at the Rhythm Night Club in Natchez, Miss.
1941 Aug 31, Alan Lomax,
musicologist for the US Library of Congress, traveled to
Mississippi, introduced himself to McKinley Morganfield, aka Muddy
Waters, and began recording his Delta Blues songs.
(ON, 8/20/11, p.4)
1943 Jan 23, In Mississippi
Muddy Waters received two copies of “Country Blues," recorded by
Alan Lomax for the Library of Congress, along with a check for $20.
(ON, 8/20/11, p.5)
1943 Tammy Wynette (d.1998 at
55), country singer, was born as Virginia Wynette Pugh on a cotton
farm in Itawamba County. In 1968 she recorded her hit song “Stand by
(SFC, 4/798, p.A7)
1946 Dec 25, Jimmy Buffett,
singer and writer, was born in Pascagoula. He recorded
“Margaritaville" in 1977.
(SSFC, 4/28/02, Par p.22)
1947 Early Wright (d.1999 at
84) became the first black disc jockey in Mississippi at WROX Radio
(SFC, 12/15/99, p.B2)
1954 Jan 29, Oprah Winfrey,
actress, TV host (Color Purple, Oprah), was born in Mississippi.
1954 May 17, Blacks hailed the
Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka decision. Whites in the Deep
South called the day "Black Monday." A movement called Citizens’
Councils, led by Mississippi Circuit Court Judge Tom P. Brady, grew
to encompass virtually the state's entire white business class.
Council members published a book entitled “Black Monday" which
outlined their simple beliefs: African Americans were inferior to
whites and the races must remain separate. "If in one mighty voice
we do not protest this travesty on justice, we might as well
surrender," Brady wrote.
1954 Jul 25, Walter Payton,
Chicago Bear football running back, was born in Columbia, Miss.
1955 Mar 5, A truck driver from
Tupelo, Miss., made his first-ever TV appearance on this night.
Elvis Aron Presley was featured on "Louisiana Hayride". This
prompted promoters to send Elvis to New York City to audition for
Arthur Godfrey's immensely popular and career-making "Talent Scouts"
program. Talent coordinators and Godfrey are said to have passed on
Elvis appearing on the show. Not much later, he was tossed out of
the Grand Ole Opry as well, and told to "go back to driving a
truck." In a little over a year, however, the nation was caught up
in Presley-mania which continues even today.
1955 Aug 28, Emmett Till (14),
a black teenager from Chicago, was abducted from his uncle's home in
Money, Miss., by white men after he had supposedly whistled at
Carolyn Bryant, a white woman. Till’s beaten body was found three
days later. His left eye and an ear were missing, as were most of
his teeth. His nose was rushed and there was a hole in his right
temple. Eyewitnesses linked Carolyn’s husband Roy Bryant and
half-brother J.W. Milam to the murder. Bryant and Milam were
indicted Sep 10 for a trial on Sep 19. Both were acquitted by an
all-white jury. Bryant and Milan later confessed to the killing in a
magazine interview. The area was a cotton-trading center where the
white Citizens Councils maintained their regional headquarters. In
2004 the US Justice Dept. opened a criminal investigation into the
case. In 2005 the US Senate acknowledged a share in the boy’s death.
In 2017 Timothy Tyson authored "The Blood of Emmett Till." In 2018
the federal government reopened its investigation in the case.
(AP, 8/28/99)(SFC, 5/11/04, p.A4)(SFC, 6/14/05,
p.A2)(SFC, 9/9/05, p.F5)(SFC, 3/17/06, p.A5)(SFC, 7/25/13,
p.A20)(SFC, 7/13/18, p.A7)
1955 The father of serial
killer Gerald Gallego died in the gas chamber for killing 2 law
enforcement officials. Gerald Gallego was convicted for ten murders
committed between 1978-1980.
1956 Apr 18, Eric Roberts,
actor (Pope of Greenwich Village, King of Gypsies), was born in
1956 Dr. Arthur Guyton (d.2003
at 83) of the Univ. of Mississippi authored his “Textbook of
(SFC, 4/16/03, p.A20)
1957 Mississippi created the
Sovereignty Commission to fight against the Civil Rights movement.
It informed the police about planned marches and encouraged police
harassment of African-Americans who cooperated with civil rights
(WSJ, 6/11/99, p.A8)
1958 Sep 6, Miss Mississippi
Mary Ann Mobley was crowned Miss America 1959 in Atlantic City, N.J.
1961 May 24, The Freedom Riders
were arrested in Jackson, Mississippi.
1961 Sep 20, James Meredith was
refused access as a student in Mississippi. [see Sep 20 1962]
1961 Nov 29, Freedom Riders
were attacked by white mob at bus station in Miss.
Jul 6, William Cuthbert Faulkner (b.1897), US writer (Nobel 1949),
died in Oxford, Miss. In 2004 Jay Parini authored “One Matchless
Time: A Life of William Faulkner."
1962 Sep 20, Black student
James Meredith was blocked from enrolling at the University of
Mississippi by Governor Ross R. Barnett. Meredith was later
admitted. A Life Magazine photograph around this time showed 7
sheriffs gathered at Ole Miss to keep Meredith out. In 2003 Paul
Hendrickson authored “Sons of Mississippi: A Story of Race and Its
Legacy," in which he uncovered the lives of the 7 sheriffs.
(AP, 9/20/97)(SSFC, 4/6/03, p.M1)
1962 Sep 24, US Circuit Court
of Appeals ordered James Meredith admitted to the Univ. of Miss. The
University of Mississippi agreed to admit James Meredith as the
first black university student, sparking more rioting.
(HN, 9/24/98)(MC, 9/24/01)
1962 Sep 30, Black student
James Meredith succeeded on his fourth try in registering for
classes at the University of Mississippi. He became the first black
to enroll at Old Miss Univ. and 13,500 Federal troops were required
to back him up. U.S. Marshals escorted James H. Meredith into the
University of Mississippi; two died in the mob violence that
followed. Meredith was also noted for starting the "March Against
Fear" to encourage voter registration by Southern African Americans.
While on the march he was hit with a snipers bullet. Other Civil
Rights leaders including MLK continued the march. Meredith was able
to complete the march in Jackson, Mississippi.
(TMC, 1994, p.1962)(AP, 9/30/97)(HN, 9/30/98)
1962 Oct 1, James Meredith
became 1st black at U of Mississippi. [see Sep 30]
1963 Jun 12, Medgar Evers (37),
leader (field director) of the NAACP in Mississippi, was fatally
shot in front of his home in Jackson by the KKK. An informant in the
KKK, Delmar Dennis (1940-1996), later served as a key prosecution
witness in convicting Byron De La Beckwith for the slaying. Beckwith
was convicted of murdering Evers and sentenced to life in prison; he
died in 2001 at age 80. A book by Bill McIlhany titled “Klandestine"
recounts the story. In 1996 Whoopi Goldberg starred in the film
“Ghosts of Mississippi" as the widow of Medgar Evers. In 1998 Willie
Morris wrote “The Ghosts of Medgar Evers: A Tale of Race, Murder,
Mississippi, and Hollywood."
(SFC, 6/5/96, p.C5)(NYT, 6/7/96, p.B14)(AP,
6/12/97)(SFEC, 2/1/98, BR p.5)(SFC, 1/22/01, p.A22)
1963 Jul 22, John C.
Satterfield, a litigator from Yazoo City selected to lead the
Coordinating Committee for Fundamental American Freedoms, received
the first private contribution to its lobby, a $10,000 check from
Morgan Guarantee drawn on the account of Wickliffe Preston Draper of
(WSJ, 6/11/99, p.A8)
1963 Aug 18, James Meredith
became the first black to graduate from the University of
(AP, 8/18/97)(HN, 8/18/98)
1963 Sep 12, The Mississippi
State Sovereignty Commission, an agency created to fight the civil
rights movement, received a telegram from Morgan Guarantee Trust
concerning an anonymous gift for $100,000. The gift was later
discovered to be from Wickliffe Preston Draper of New York.
(WSJ, 6/11/99, p.A1)
1963 Ralph Roberts, former
marketer of Muzak and owner of a belts and suspenders company, and
his partners, Daniel Aaron and Julian A. Brodsky, purchased for
$500,000, a 1,200-subscriber cable TV operator in Tupelo,
Mississippi, called American Cable Systems. In 1969 it was
incorporated in Pennsylvania and renamed Comcast, a name Ralph
invented by combining the words communications and broadcasting. The
company went public in 1972.
1864 Feb 5, Federal forces
occupied Jackson, Miss.
1964 May 2, In Mississippi
Charles Moore (19) and Henry Dee (19) were beaten and killed by
local members of the Ku Klux Klan. Their mutilated bodies were later
found in the Mississippi River while federal authorities searched
for civil rights workers Goodman, Chaney and Schwerner. Charles
Marcus Edwards and James Ford Seale were arrested for the crime, but
neither was tried. In 2007 James Ford Seale (71) was arrested and
charged with two counts of kidnapping and one count of conspiracy to
commit kidnapping. In 2008 an appeals court ruled that the statue of
limitations had expired overturning Seale’s conviction.
(SFC, 7/15/05, p.A5)(AP, 1/25/07)(AP,
1964 Jun, Some 700 young
Americans began descending on Mississippi to teach in “freedom
schools" and register black voters. In 2010 Bruce Watson authored
“Freedom Summer: The Savage Season that made Mississippi Burn and
Made America a Democracy."
(Econ, 6/12/10, p.92)
1964 Jun 21, Civil rights
workers Michael H. Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James E. Chaney
disappeared in Philadelphia, Miss.; their bodies were found buried
in an earthen dam six weeks later.
1964 Jun 21, Byron de la
Beckwith was arrested for the murder of Medgar Evers. He was found
guilty 30 years later.
1964 Jun 21, Three civil rights
workers, Andrew Goodman (20), Michael Schwerner (24), and James
Chaney (21) disappeared near Meridian, Mississippi. Their car was
found burning late in the day. 40 days later their bodies were found
buried in an earthen dam near Philadelphia, Miss. 8 Klansman went to
prison on federal conspiracy charges but none served more than 6
years, and murder charges were never filed. The event inspired the
1988 film Mississippi Burning. In 2005 Edgar Ray Killen (80) was
arrested in Philadelphia, Miss., and convicted of manslaughter in
the abduction and killing of the 3 voter-registration volunteers. He
was sentenced to three 20-year terms. Billy Wayne Posey (73), a key
suspect in the killings, died in 2009. In 2016 federal prosecutors
closed their investigation into the killings that remained unsolved.
(SFEC, 2/16/97, p.A12)(AP, 6/21/97)(HN,
6/21/01)(SFC, 6/22/05, p.A1)(WSJ, 6/24/05, p.A1)(SSFC, 8/16/09,
p.A9)(SFC, 6/22/16, p.A1)
1964 Jun 25, President Lyndon
Johnson ordered 200 naval personnel to Mississippi to assist in
finding three missing civil rights workers.
1964 Aug 4, The bodies of
missing civil rights workers Michael H. Schwerner, Andrew Goodman
and James E. Chaney were found buried in an earthen dam in Nashoba
County, Mississippi. Schwerner and Goodman were Jewish-Americans
from Pelham and New York City respectively and Chaney was a Black
from Meridian, Mississippi. The three civil rights workers had
disappeared from Philadelphia, Mississippi, on June 21, 1964, not
long after they had been held for six hours in the Neshoba County,
Mississippi jail on charges of speeding. Their burned car was
discovered on June 23rd, prompting a search by the FBI for the
three young men. Their story became the basis for the movie
Mississippi Burning, starring Gene Hackman, Willem Defoe and Frances
McDormand in 1988. In 2005, on the forty-first anniversary of the
crime, Edgar Ray Killen (80) an ordained Baptist minister, was found
guilty of three counts of manslaughter.
(AP, 8/4/97)(WSJ, 1/16/98, p.A12)
1965 Jan 16, Eighteen were
arrested in Mississippi for the murder of three civil rights
1966 Jan 10, In Mississippi
Vernon Dahmer, a revered civil rights leader, was killed in a
firebombing. In 1998 Klansmen Sam Bowers (1924-2006), Deavours Nix
(72) and Charles Noble (55) were arrested for the murder. 8 men in 2
cars loaded with shotguns and 12 gallons of gasoline attacked
Dahmer’s home. Billy Roy Pitts participated and later testified how
Bowers had called meetings and presided over the planning of the
bombing. Bowers was convicted in his 5th trial and sentenced to life
in prison where he died.
(SFC, 5/29/98, p.A5)(SFC, 8/17/98, p.A5)(SFC,
8/20/98, p.A12)(WSJ, 8/24/98, p.A1)
1966 Mar 3, An F5 tornado hit
Jackson, Miss. 57 people were killed and nearly 1000 homes
destroyed. Damages were estimated at $18 million.
(SFC, 3/3/09, p.D6)
1966 Jun 6, Black activist
James Meredith was shot and wounded as he walked solo along a
Mississippi highway to encourage black voter registration.
(AP, 6//97)(HN, 6/6/98)
1966 Jun 23, Civil Rights
marchers in Mississippi were dispersed by tear gas.
1966 Ben Chester White (66) was
killed with 12 shots from an assault rifle and one shogun blow to
the head at Homochito National Forest near Natchez. In 1999 one of
the 3 alleged killers said the killing was orchestrated to bring
Martin Luther King to the area for assassination. Ernest Henry
Avants was acquitted of the killing in 1967. The jury had not been
informed that he had confessed. He was arrested again in 2000 by
(SFC, 11/29/99, p.A3)(SFC, 6/8/00, p.A6)
1967 Feb 28, In Mississippi 19
were indicted in the slayings of three civil rights workers in 1964.
Samuel H. Bowers and 6 others were convicted on federal charges in
1970. Bowers was released in 1976.
(HN, 2/28/98)(SFC, 8/18/98, p.A5)
1967 Aug 11, Roy M. Wheat
(20) led a team from Company K, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines,
providing security for a Navy construction crew on the Liberty Road
in Quang Nam Province, Vietnam. Lance Corporal Roy Wheat
accidentally triggered a well-concealed, bounding type
anti-personnel mine. He yelled for team members Lance Corporals
Vernon Sorenson and Bernard Cannon to run. Then he flung himself
onto the mine as it exploded, absorbing the tremendous impact with
his body. Roy Wheat was killed, but his companions were spared
certain injury and possible. Marine Roy M. Wheat was the only
Mississippian to earn the Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War.
1967 Oct 20, Seven men were
convicted in Meridian, Miss., of violating the civil rights of three
murdered civil rights workers.
1968 Feb 19, Mississippi state
troopers used tear gas to stop Alcorn A&M demonstrations.
1968 Apr 21, The First Baptist
Church of Oxford Mississippi voted to exclude black people from
(Econ, 10/24/15, p.29)
1969 Aug 17, Hurricane Camille
hit the Gulf Coast at Pass Christian, Miss., leaving 256 people
killed in Louisiana and Mississippi. 21 people were killed in an
apartment complex in Pass Christian, where they had taken refuge.
Damage was later estimated at $3.8 billion.
(AP, 8/17/97)(SFEC, 6/6/99, p.A17)(AP,
8/30/05)(Econ, 1/14/12, p.61)
1970 Apr 12, In Mississippi
Rainey Pool, a black one-armed farmer, was beaten and tortured by a
mob in Belzoni and his body was dumped off a bridge into the
Sunflower River. In 1999 James "Doc" Caston (66), Charles Caston
(64) and Hal Crimm (50) were sentenced to 20 years in prison for
their part in the killing. Joe Watson pleaded guilty and testified
in exchange for a reduced sentence.
(USAT, 11/18/99, p.3A)
1970 May 15, Phillip Lafayette
Gibbs and James Earl Green, two black students at Jackson State
University in Mississippi, were killed when police opened fire
during student protests.
1971 Feb 21, A series of
tornadoes cut through the lower Mississippi River Valley. The
two-day outbreak, which produced 19 tornadoes, killed 123 people
across 3 states, including 11 in Louisiana, 110 in Mississippi, and
2 in North Carolina.
1971 May 25, Jo Etha Collier
(18), a black woman, was killed by 3 drunken white males in Drew,
1971 Jun 1, The two-room shack
in Tupelo, Mississippi, where Elvis Presley was born, was opened to
the public as a tourist attraction.
1971 A 29-year litigation began
over a federal and state suit to desegregate Mississippi's public
universities. In 2004 a federal appeals court upheld a settlement to
allocate $503 million over 17 years toward balanced
integration. Continued litigation was denied.
(SFC, 1/28/04, p.A3)
1973 Oct, Charles Hickson (42)
of Mississippi, while fishing with 19-year-old Calvin Parker Jr. on
a pier near Pascagoula, was reportedly abducted and probed by
aliens. Hickson died in 2011 and never backed off the story despite
the ridicule he endured. In 1983 Hickson wrote a book about the
incident called "UFO Contact at Pascagoula" with William Mendez.
1974 Apr 3, A series of 148
deadly tornadoes struck wide parts of the South and Midwest before
jumping across the border into Canada; some 330 people were killed
in 13 states: Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky,
Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina,
Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. Total property damage was
estimated at $600 million. In 2007 Mark Levine authored “F5:
Devastation, Survival, and the Most Violent Tornado Outbreak of the
(AP, 4/3/99)(WSJ, 9/13/01, p.B11)(SSFC, 9/4/05,
p.A7)(WSJ, 6/16/07, p.P10)
c1975 Rev. Don Wildmon of
Tupelo founded the National Federation for Decency. It was later
renamed the American Family Association.
(WSJ, 8/14/01, p.A1)
1977 Mar 14, Fannie Lou Hamer
(b.1917), Mississippi civil rights champion, died. She had helped
register black voters when doing so put her own life in danger. She
was instrumental in organizing Mississippi Freedom Summer for the
Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and later became
the Vice-Chair of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party.
(SFC, 10/6/12, p.A5)(
1977 Oct 20, Three members of
the rock group Lynyrd Skynyrd were killed in the crash of a
chartered plane near McComb, Miss.
1979 The Delta Blues Museum
opened in Clarksdale.
(HT, 5/97, p.38)
1982 Aug 28, LeAnn Rimes,
country pop singer, was born in Jackson, Miss.
(SSFC, 1/23/05, Par p.14)
1983 Bernie Ebbers and other
founders worked out the details for starting Long distance Discount
Service (LDDS) in Hattiesburg, Miss. The company changed its name to
WorldCom in 1995 and merged with MCI in 1997. Ebbers resigned in
2002 and in 2003 WorldCom agreed to pay $500 million to settle civil
(SFC, 5/20/03, p.B10)
1987 Dec 6, In Missouri 3
Satanist teenagers bludgeoned a comrade to death for "fun."
1989 May 11, US Federal Judge
Walter Nixon (61) of Mississippi was impeached by the House of
Representatives. The US Senate voted to remove Nixon from the bench
on November 4, 1989. He had been convicted in 1986 on perjury
charges and sentenced to five years in prison.
(SFC, 9/18/08, p.A6)(http://tinyurl.com/3qfr28)
1990 May 10, Walker Percy
(b.1916), Mississippi-raised physician, novelist (Lancelot), died of
cancer in Covington, Louisiana. His book "The Moviegoer" was the
1962 winner of the National Book Award." His last book, The Thanatos
Syndrome, appeared in 1987.
1990 The Mississippi
Legislature passed the Mississippi Gaming Control Act allowing
casinos in counties along the Mississippi River and the Gulf Coast.
(SFC, 9/6/05, p.A8)
1991 Rev. Don Wildmon began his
American Family Radio network with a station in Tupelo.
(WSJ, 8/14/01, p.A1)
1992 Dec 7, The Supreme Court
rejected a challenge to a Mississippi abortion law that required
women to get counseling and then wait 24 hours before terminating
1992 Kirk Fordice (1934-2004)
began serving 2 terms as governor of Mississippi.
(WSJ, 9/7/04, p.A1)
1992 Casinos began appearing in
Tunica, Miss., not long after the state authorized gambling in
counties adjacent to the Mississippi River and the Gulf Coast. A 12%
state tax included 4% for local use.
(SSFC, 1/11/04, p.A3)
1994 Feb 5, White separatist
Byron De La Beckwith was convicted in Jackson, Miss., of murdering
civil rights leader Medgar Evers in 1963, and was immediately
sentenced to life in prison.
1995 Mar 16, Mississippi
formally ratified 13th Amendment and abolished slavery.
1995 Oct 14, In Mississippi
Rhonda Hatten Griffis (28), a mother of two, was found dead at her
home in Petal. Larry Matthew Puckett, a local landscaper, was
convicted of her murder in 1996 and sentenced to death. Puckett said
it was David Griffis who murdered his wife with the club after
accusing her of having an affair. Puckett (35) was executed on March
(SFC, 3/21/12, p.A5)(http://tinyurl.com/7nsuodd)
1995 Nov 21, In Mississippi
Patty Milliken (38) disappeared after walking out of the Majik Mart
convenience store where she worked to have a cigarette with William
Mitchell in Biloxi. Mitchell was convicted of murder in 1998 and was
executed on March 22, 2012.
(SFC, 3/23/12, p.A7)(http://tinyurl.com/7wbfdsx)
1995 Mississippi voted to
ratify the 13th amendment back, nearly 20 years after Kentucky, the
second-to-last state to ratify the amendment, held its vote.
However, through an apparent clerical error, Mississippi never
officially notified the United States Archivist of the ratification,
meaning that they've officially been on the side of slavery for a
century-and-a-half. In February, 2013, Mississippi finally sent in
the paperwork to complete its belated ratification of the Thirteen
1995 Mississippi passed a
“truth-in-sentencing" law that required all felons to serve 85% of
(WSJ, 9/6/01, p.A8)
1996 Apr 13, Larry Wayne
Shoemaker, a white supremacist, shot 11 people and killed one before
committing suicide inside an abandoned restaurant in Jackson, Miss.
He left behind neo-Nazi notes.
(SFC, 4/13/96, p.A1)
1996 Jul 16, In Mississippi
four people were shot to death in the Tardy Furniture store in the
northern town of Winona. Curtis Flowers was later convicted four
times; two other trials ended in a mistrial. As of 2019 even though
the convictions were overturned, the original murder indictment was
still active against him.
1997 Mar 1, Severe storms hit
Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi, and spawned tornadoes in
Arkansas blamed for two dozen deaths.
1997 Jun 3, Harvey Johnson
became the first black mayor of Jackson, the state capital. He took
his oath of office on Jul 7.
(SFC, 6/4/97, p.A3)(SFC, 7/8/97, p.A4)
1997 Jul 3, Mississippi became
the 1st state to settle its tobacco suit, less than one week before
the 1st scheduled trial.
1997 Oct 1, In Pearl,
Mississippi, Luke Woodham (16) stabbed his mother Mary (50) to death
and went to school and killed his former girlfriend and another
student and wounded 7 others. Later Grant Boyette (18) was
identified as the leader of the Kroth cult, a Satanist group
with a plan of destruction and killing. Woodham was found guilty in
1998 of killing 2 classmates and was sentenced to 2 life sentences
plus 20 years. He was also found guilty in the murder of his mother
in a separate trial and the sentence was raised to 3 life sentences
plus 140 years.
(SFC, 10/2/97, p.A3)(SFC, 10/15/97, p.A6)(SFC,
6/2/98, p.A3)(SFC, 6/13/98, p.A3)(AP, 10/1/07)
1997 Dec, Frederick and Steven
Barthelme, published authors, were charged with felony conspiracy to
defraud the Grand Casino in Gulfport. The charges were later dropped
and in 199 they published "Doubledown," reflection on their gambling
(WSJ, 11/19/99, p.W6)
1998 Jan 26, In Jackson the
weekly Advocate newspaper office was firebombed. The news source for
black residents was founded in 1939.
(SFC, 1/27/98, p.A4)
1998 Mar 17, After a 21-year
court fight the state unsealed over 124,000 pages of secret files of
the state Sovereignty Commission that revealed numerous illegal
methods to thwart the civil rights workers of the ‘50s, ‘60s and
(SFC, 3/18/98, p.A1)
1998 Apr 8, A line of storms
struck the southeast and killed at least 41 people. 32 were left
dead in Alabama, 8 in Georgia and 1 in Mississippi.
(SFC, 4/9/98, p.A3)(SFC, 4/10/98, p.A1)(WSJ,
1999 Aug 2, Willie Morris,
writer and editor for Harper's Magazine, died at age 64 in Jackson.
His work included "My Dog Skip" "The Courting of Marcus Dupree" and
the autobiography "North Toward Home."
(SFC, 8/4/99, p.C2)
1998 Aug 21, Samuel Bowers, a
73-year-old former Ku Klux Klan leader, was convicted in
Hattiesburg, Miss., of ordering a 1966 firebombing that killed civil
rights activist Vernon Dahmer. Bowers died in prison in November
2006 at age 82.
1998 Sep 15-Oct 1, Hurricane
Georges caused 602 deaths in the Caribbean and four in the United
States. The storm hit the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Cuba, Puerto
Rico, Antigua, Guadeloupe, St. Kitts and Nevis, Anguilla and British
and U.S. Virgin Islands before striking Alabama, Mississippi,
Louisiana, and Florida.
1999 Nov 2, In elections for
governor neither Ronnie Musgrove (43) nor Lt. Gov. Mike Parker won
over 50% of the vote and the state constitution dictated that the
House of Representatives vote for a winner.
(SFC, 1/5/00, p.A2)
2000 Jan 4, Democrat Ronnie
Musgrove won the House vote for governor.
(SFC, 1/5/00, p.A2)
2000 Jun 15, Raynard Johnson
(17) was found hanging from a tree in his front yard in Kokomo.
Investigators ruled it a suicide but there was suspicion that he was
hanged for dating white girls. It was later reported that his
17-year-old girlfriend told him that she loved someone else just 2
hours before his death.
(SFC, 6/28/00, p.A7)(SFC, 7/15/00, p.A7)
2000 At Moss Point a chain
reaction of collision involved 16 cars, 2 tour buses, and 2-18
wheelers. At least 5 people were killed.
(SFC, 5/8/00, p.A10)
2001 Feb 24, A tornado in
Pontotoc, Mississippi, left 5 people dead.
(SFC, 2/26/01, p.A3)
2001 Mar 23, Gov. Ronnie
Musgrove signed a law that mandated public schools to display “In
God We Trust" in classrooms, cafeterias and auditoriums.
(SFC, 3/24/01, p.C1)
2001 Mar 27, The state
legislature committed $75 million over the next 5 years for campus
improvements at 3 historically black universities following a
long-standing desegregation case.
(SFC, 3/28/01, p.A5)
2001 Apr 17, Voters decided to
keep the Confederate emblem on the state flag by a margin of 65 to
(SFC, 4/18/01, p.A3)
2001 cJul 23, Eudora Welty
(92), writer, died in Jackson, Miss. Her work included the 1941
collection “A Curtain of Green and Other Stories" and the 1973
Pulitzer Prize winning “The Optimist’s Daughter."
(WSJ, 7/24/01, p.A1)(SFC, 7/24/01, p.A17)
2001 Nov 10, In Independence
manslaughter charges were filed against Christie Rene Greenwood
(24), the mother of 6 children (1-9) who died in a house fire after
being left alone.
(SFC, 11/12/01, p.A14)
2001 The state found itself
with more prison beds than prisoners and lawmakers wrote legislation
that set aside millions for “ghost inmates.’
(WSJ, 9/6/01, p.A1)
2002 Apr 1, The American Rivers
environmental group listed the most endangered US rivers and
included the Missouri, Big Sunflower (Mississippi), and Klamath
(California) in the top 11.
(SFC, 4/2/02, p.A3)
2002 Nov 10, A series of
pulverizing storms barreled through more than a half-dozen US states
including Tennessee, Ohio, Alabama, Mississippi and Pennsylvania,
killing at least 36 people. More than 100 were injured.
(SFC, 11/12/02, p.A4)(AP, 11/10/07)
2002 Dec 4, The governor of
Mississippi signed legislation capping punitive damage awards at $20
(WSJ, 12/5/02, p.A1)
2002 Dec 5, Trent Lott, Senate
Republican leader from Mississippi, made remarks that supported Sen.
Strom Thurmond's 1948 segregationist platform. The resulting
firestorm prompted Lott to resign his leadership position. Strom
Thurmond, the oldest and longest-serving senator in history,
celebrated his 100th birthday on Capitol Hill.
(SFC, 12/13/02, p.A4)(AP, 12/5/03)
2002 Dec 20, Trent Lott (61) of
Mississippi stepped down as Senate Majority Leader two weeks after
igniting a political firestorm with racially charged remarks. Sen.
Bill Frist (50), a Tennessee heart surgeon, was expected to
(SFC, 12/20/02, p.A3)(SFC, 12/21/02, p.A1)(AP,
2002 Dec 19, A tornado in
Newton, Mississippi, hit stores and injured at least 50 people. Gov.
Musgrove declared a local state of emergency.
(WSJ, 12/20/02, p.A1)
2003 May, A Nissan factory in
Canton, Miss., rolled out its 1st car. Mississippi had lured in
Nissan with a $290 million package.
(Econ, 11/29/03, p.29)
2003 Jul 7, Robbers took
$760,000 from a casino in Tunica, Miss.
(SSFC, 1/11/04, p.A3)
2003 Jul 8, In Meridian, Miss.,
Doug Williams (48), a white factory worker known as a racist who
talked about murdering others opened fire with a shotgun and a rifle
at a Lockheed Martin plant, killing four blacks and one white before
(AP, 7/8/03)(SFC, 7/9/03, p.A6)
2003 Oct 1, A robber, dubbed
the "Honey Bun Bandit," struck the Grand Casino in Tunica, Miss.,
with a fake bomb in a box containing honey buns.
(SSFC, 1/11/04, p.A3)
2003 Oct 6, A fire in Yazoo
City, Miss., left 5 children (1½-10) dead. Their mothers were at a
(SFC, 10/7/03, p.A1)
2003 Nov 4, Republicans picked
up two governorships in the South. Haley Barbour ousted
Mississippi's Democratic incumbent Ronnie Musgrove.
(AP, 11/5/03)(SFC, 11/5/03, p.A16)
2003 Casinos in the Mississippi
Delta reported 16 robberies and 7 botched tries at its 9 casinos.
Gambling brought in an annual $1.1 billion to the state.
(SSFC, 1/11/04, p.A3)
2004 Jan 13, Haley Barbour was
sworn in as the 63rd governor of Mississippi. He became the 2nd
Republican governor to hold office since post Civil War
(SFC, 1/14/04, p.A3)
2004 Mar 12, A dam break at Big
Bay Lake caused flooding in Mississippi's Lamar and Marion counties.
Over 50 houses and mobile homes were destroyed.
(USAT, 3/23/04, p.11A)
2004 May 8, Former Iraq hostage
Thomas Hamill returned home to a chorus of cheering family and
friends in Mississippi.
2004 Jun 16, Gov. Barbour of
Mississippi singed a law capping jury awards in most lawsuits.
(WSJ, 6/17/04, p.A1)
2004 Aug 27, A fire at a
University of Mississippi fraternity house killed 3 students.
2004 Sep 7, Kirk Fordice (70),
former Mississippi Gov. (1992-2000) died in Jackson, Miss.
2004 Sep 17, The violent
remains of Hurricane Ivan pounded a large swath of the eastern
United States, drenching an area from Georgia to Ohio. Ivan left 70
dead in the Caribbean and 40 dead in the US including 4 in Alabama,
16 in Florida, 4 in Georgia, 4 in Louisiana, 3 in Mississippi, and 8
in North Carolina.
(AP, 9/17/04)(SFC, 9/18/04, p.A16)
2004 It was reported that
McDonald County, Miss., home to 13 million broiler chickens and a
few hundred thousand turkeys, had every stream on a government
“impaired water body" list.
(SSFC, 8/8/04, p.M2)
2005 Jan 6, Edgar Ray Killen
(b.1925) was arrested in Philadelphia, Miss., as a suspect in the
1964 abduction and killing of 3 voter-registration volunteers. He
was found guilty on June 21, 2005, the 41st anniversary of the
murders, along with Cecil Price (deputy sheriff of Neshoba at the
time), of three counts of manslaughter and gathering the group of
men who hunted down and killed two Jewish New Yorkers: Andrew
Goodman (20) and Michael Schwerner (24), and one black
Mississippian, James Chaney (21).
2005 Jun 23, Former Ku Klux
Klansman Edgar Ray Killen was sentenced to 60 years in prison for
the 1964 Mississippi slayings of three civil rights workers.
2005 Jul 10, In Mississippi 2
Canadian National Railroad freight trains collided outside Bentonia
and 4 crewmen were killed.
(WSJ, 7/11/05, p.A1)
2005 Aug 29, Hurricane Katrina
hit the Gulf Coast near Buras, La., as a Category 3 storm. Katrina
ripped two holes in the curved roof of the Louisiana Superdome,
letting in rain as thousands of storm refugees huddled inside. In
Mississippi many of the 13 floating casinos in Biloxi and Gulfport
smashed historic homes and buildings. The Grand Casino Biloxi
destroyed the historic Hotel Tivoli. Storm surges and winds from
Katrina unleashed at least 40 oil spills and some 193,000 barrels of
oil and other petrochemicals were driven across fragile marshy
ecosystems southeast of New Orleans. The death toll from Katrina
eventually reached at least 1,600. An estimated 300 Louisiana
residents died out of state; some 230 people perished in
Mississippi. Property damage estimates were in the hundreds of
billions of dollars.
(SFC, 9/6/05, p.A1)(WSJ, 9/23/05, p.A1)(WSJ,
3/21/06, p.A1)(AP, 8/29/06)(Econ, 9/6/08, p.36)
2005 Aug 30, The death toll in
Mississippi from Hurricane Katrina passed 100. Flooding reached 11
feet in Mobile, Ala. Breaches in at least 2 levees from Lake
Pontchartrain put parts of New Orleans under 20 feet of water. Mayor
Ray Nagin estimated that 80% of New Orleans was flooded. Tourists
snapped pictures of looters in the French Quarter.
(AP, 8/30/05)(SFC, 8/31/05, p.A10)
2005 Sep 2, Pres. Bush made a
tour of damages from Hurricane Katrina in Alabama, Mississippi and
New Orleans. He acknowledged that current relief results were not
(SFC, 9/3/05, p.A1)
2005 Dec 14, In Mississippi
John B. Nixon, Sr. (b.1928) was executed for the 1985 murder of
Virginia Tucker. At 77 years old, he was the oldest person executed
since 1976 and, according to the Espy File the oldest person
executed since Joe Lee in Virginia at the age of 83 on April 21,
2005 A US Census Bureau survey
showed that Mississippi had America’s highest poverty rate at 21.3%.
The national average was 13.3%.
(Econ, 1/6/07, p.27)
2006 Jun 15, Mississippi Gov.
Haley Barbour launched a Healthy Mississippi Summit to help fight
(Econ, 6/24/06, p.40)
2006 Sep 15, In Jackson,
Mississippi, Mayor Frank Melton was indicted along with 2 police
bodyguards on numerous felony charges stemming from his
(SFC, 9/16/06, p.A3)
2007 Feb 23, A Mississippi
grand jury refused to bring any new charges in the 1955 slaying of
Emmett Till, a black teenager who was beaten and shot after
whistling at a white woman, declining to indict the woman, Carolyn
Bryant Donham, for manslaughter. Democrat Tom Vilsack abandoned his
bid for the presidency.
2007 Jun 14, In Mississippi
Klansman James Ford Seale (71) was convicted on federal charges of
kidnapping and conspiracy in the 1964 deaths of Charles Moore and
Henry Hezekiah Dee. Seale faced life in prison with sentencing on
2007 Jul 10, Doug Marlette
(57), Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist and writer, died in a car
accident near Holly Springs, Mississippi.
(SFC, 7/11/07, p.B5)(AP, 7/10/08)
2007 Aug 24, In Mississippi
Klansman James Ford Seale (71) was sentenced to 3 life terms in
prison for his role in the 1964 deaths of Charles Moore and Henry
(WSJ, 8/25/07, p.A1)
2007 Oct 30,
The US Supreme Court halted a Mississippi execution, their 3rd
reprieve since agreeing to rule on Kentucky’s lethal injection
(WSJ, 10/31/07, p.A1)
2007 Nov 26, Mississippi Sen.
Trent Lott announced his retirement after a 35-year career in
2008 Jan 7, Jerry Fitch, a
Mississippi businessman, must pay more than 750,000 dollars in
damages to the man whose wife he wooed away, after the US Supreme
Court declined to hear an appeal in the case.
2008 Feb 5, Storms swept across
Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas as Super Tuesday
primaries were ending. 31 people were killed in Tennessee, 13 in
Arkansas, 7 in Kentucky and four in Alabama. It was one of the 15
worst tornado death tolls since 1950, and the nation's deadliest
barrage of tornadoes since 76 people were killed in Pennsylvania and
Ohio on May 31, 1985.
(AP, 2/6/08)(AP, 2/7/08)
2008 Mar 11, Sen. Barack Obama
picked up five more delegates than Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton in
Mississippi's Democratic primary.
2008 Mar 14, In Mississippi
Richard Scruggs, chief architect of the $206 billion tobacco
settlement in 1998, pleaded guilty to conspiring to bribe a judge
with $50,000 in a dispute over legal fees.
(SFC, 3/15/08, p.A2)
2008 Aug 25, US immigration
agents uncovered some 350 suspected undocumented workers in a raid
on the Howard Industries electrical equipment plant in Laurel,
(SFC, 8/26/08, p.A4)
2009 Jan 7, A new federal
report said Mississippi now has the nation's highest teen pregnancy
rate, displacing Texas and New Mexico for that lamentable title.
2009 May 7, In Mississippi
Jackson Mayor Frank Melton (60), elected in 2005, died just as polls
closed in his unsuccessful bid for re-election.
(SFC, 5/8/09, p.B6)
2009 Dec 28, In Mississippi a
fire in an apartment in Starkville killed 6 children and 3 adults.
(SFC, 12/29/09, p.A8)
2010 Jan 4, Bobby DeLaughter
(55), a former Mississippi prosecutor and judge whose legal
conquests became the subject of books and a movie, reported to
federal prison for lying to the FBI in a judicial bribery
investigation. DeLaughter was sentenced to 18 months in November
after pleading guilty to lying about secret conversations he had
with a lawyer while presiding over a dispute between wealthy
attorneys over legal fees. As part of a plea deal, prosecutors
dropped conspiracy and mail fraud charges.
2010 Jan 8, Lashonda Booker, a
former Federal Emergency Management employee and her cousin, Peggy,
Hilton were charged with stealing over $721,000 in Hurricane Katrina
relief money. Booker worked in FEMA’s Biloxi, Miss., office.
(SFC, 1/12/10, p.A4)(http://tinyurl.com/yer5crg)
2010 Jan 17, In Hoover,
Alabama, a fire at a Days Inn motel killed 4 college students from
Mississippi Univ. for Women in Columbus, Miss.
(SFC, 1/18/10, p.A6)
2010 Apr 21, In Mississippi
Richard Barrett (67), a white supremacist lawyer, was fatally
stabbed and beaten at his home in Pearl. The next morning the house
was set on fire and Vincent McGee (22), a black neighbor, was
charged with murder. On April 23 three others were charged with
accessories after the fact and arson. In 1966 Barrett had founded a
supremacist group called the Nationalist Movement, but it never
amounted to much.
(SFC, 4/24/10, p.A7)
2010 Apr 24, In Mississippi a
devastating tornado sliced through the state killing 10 people
including 3 children. Tornadoes also were reported in Louisiana,
Arkansas and Alabama with 2 deaths in Alabama.
(AP, 4/25/10)(AP, 4/26/10)
2010 May 2, In Tennessee more
rain and storms loomed as emergency officials coped with evacuations
and closed roads from heavy flooding that claimed five lives.
Weekend thunderstorms killed at least 31 people with 19 dead in
Tennessee, 6 in Mississippi and 6 in Kentucky. More than 13 inches
of rain fell in Nashville over two days, nearly doubling the
previous record of 6.68 inches that fell in the wake of Hurricane
Fredrick in 1979.
(AP, 5/2/10)(AP, 5/3/10)(AP, 5/4/10)(SFC, 5/8/10,
p.A5)(SSFC, 5/9/10, p.A8)
2010 Jun 17, Toyota said it
will restart the delayed construction of its Mississippi plant,
which will provide 2,000 jobs and be up and running by the fall of
2010 Aug 19, Jonathan Lee of
Ridgeland, Mississippi, returned from an 8-day visit to North Korea
during which he was taken on a tour of the DMZ. He said officials
there welcomed his idea for a "children's peace forest" in the
demilitarized zone dividing North and South Korea, although they
said it would only happen if the countries signed a peace treaty
2011 Feb 8, In Mississippi a
tractor-trailer sideswiped a school bus and collided head on with
another school bus south of Oxford. 3 people were killed and at
least 10 students were injured.
(SFC, 2/9/11, p.A5)
2011 Apr 15, Storms marched
into Tennessee, Louisiana and later into Georgia. At least three
twisters touched down in Mississippi, where a state of emergency was
declared in 14 counties, causing widespread damage.
2011 Apr 17, A furious storm
system that kicked up tornadoes, flash floods and hail as big as
softballs has left at least 45 people dead on a rampage that
stretched for days as it barreled from Oklahoma to North Carolina
and Virginia. 11 people were confirmed dead in Bertie County, NC,
bringing the state's death toll to at least 18 people. Authorities
have said 7 died in Arkansas; 7 in Alabama; 2 in Oklahoma; one in
Mississippi and at least 5 in Virginia.
(AP, 4/17/11)(AP, 4/18/11)
2011 Apr 27, The Mississippi
Emergency Management Agency reported three storm-related deaths
overnight from severe weather that damaged homes, downed trees and
power lines and sparked flash flooding in at least 23 counties
across the state.
2011 Apr 27, Dozens of
tornadoes spawned by a powerful storm system wiped out neighborhoods
across a wide swath of the South, killing at least 350 people in the
deadliest outbreak in nearly 40 years. Alabama had 254 deaths, 34 in
Mississippi, 34 in Tennessee, 15 in Georgia, 8 in Arkansas, 5 in
Virginia and one in Kentucky.
(AP, 4/28/11)(AP, 4/29/11)(AFP, 4/30/11)
2011 Apr 28, Pres. Obama
declared a major disaster in Alabama. Declarations for Mississippi
followed on Apr 29, Georgia on Apr 30, and soon followed for
Tennessee and Arkansas.
(Econ, 5/7/11, p.28)
2011 May 4, President Barack
Obama declared parts of Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee as
disaster areas due to flooding, freeing up federal aid to help those
2011 May 10, The Mississippi
River crested at Memphis, Tenn., at nearly 48 feet, just inches
short of the 48.7 feet record set in 1937. Vicksburg was forecast to
see its highest river level ever, slightly above the 56.2-feet mark
set in 1927. Farther south in Natchez, forecasters said the 1937
record could be shattered by 4 feet on May 14.
2011 May 18, In the Gulf of
Mexico off the Mississippi coast the Eurus London, a 660-foot
commercial cargo boat, and the Sandy Point, a 163-foot fishing boat,
collided about eight miles south of Gulfport between Cat Island and
Ship Island around 8:50 p.m. The Sandy Point sank after the
collision with 16 people aboard. 3 Sandy Point crew members drowned
in the accident.
(AP, 5/19/11)(AP, 5/23/11)
2011 May 19, The Mississippi
River crested at over 14 feet above flood stage in Vicksburg,
Mississippi. The flooding left one man dead.
(SFC, 5/20/11, p.A6)
2011 Jun 8, At Camp Shelby, a
military training base in southern Mississippi, a lightning strike
hit a power pole, near the tents of Air Force Reserve cadets. Nobody
was hit directly, but 77 cadets were sent to the hospital as a
2011 Jun 26, In Mississippi
James Craig Anderson (49), a black man, was run over a killed by
Deryl Dedmon, a white teenager, in a pickup truck in Jackson. The
event fueled anger and an FBI investigation after a surveillance
tape of the incident was made public. Dedmon was later charged with
capital murder. On March 21, 2012, Dedmon pleaded guilty received
two concurrent life sentences for the racially motivated murder of
Anderson. On Feb 10, 2015, Dedmon was sentenced to 50 years in
federal prison, Rice to 18.5 years and Butler to 7 years.
(SFC, 8/18/11, p.A8)(SFC, 8/20/11, p.A6)(Reuters,
3/21/12)(SFC, 2/11/15, p.A6)
2011 Nov 16, At least six
people were killed and dozens more injured as a storm system that
spawned several possible tornadoes moved across the Southeast.
Suspected tornadoes were reported in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama
and South Carolina.
2012 Jan 8, In Mississippi 4
convicted killers were released from prison following reprieves of
198 inmates by outgoing Gov. Haley Barbour. Only 26 of those
pardoned were still in prison. On march 8, 2012, the state Supreme
Court upheld the pardons.
(SFC, 1/10/12, p.A5)(SFC, 1/12/12, p.A6)(Econ,
1/21/12, p.36)(SFC, 3/9/12, p.A6)
2012 Jan 11, A Mississippi
judge temporarily blocked the release of 21 inmates who had been
given pardons or medical release by Gov. Barbour.
(SFC, 1/12/12, p.A6)
2012 Mar 13, Republican
presidential primaries were held in Alabama and Mississippi. Rick
Santorum won both state. Newt Gingrich placed second in both
contests with narrow leads over Mitt Romney.
(SFC, 3/14/12, p.A6)
2012 May 7, In Guntown,
Mississippi, the FBI identified two bodies found in a home
associated with Adam Mayes (35), as Jo Ann Bain and her 14-year-old
daughter, Adrienne Bain. Mayes has been charged in Tennessee with
abducting Bain and her 3 daughters (8,12,14), last seen on Aril 27.
Mayes shot himself in the head on May 10 as authorities found him in
New Albany, Miss. The two Bain younger girls were safely recovered.
(AFP, 5/7/12)(AP, 5/10/12)
2012 May 21, In Natchez,
Mississippi, a gang fight at the privately Adams County Correctional
Center for illegal immigrants escalated into a riot involving as
many as 300 inmates. One guard was beaten to death.
(SFC, 5/22/12, p.A6)
2012 Jun 5, Mississippi
executed Henry “Curtis" Jackson, convicted of killing 4 young nieces
and nephews in a 1990 stabbing rampage.
(SFC, 6/6/12, p.A5)
2012 Jun 7, The US Library of
Congress named Natasha Trethewey, Mississippi’s top poet, as the
nations poet laureate.
(SFC, 6/7/12, p.A9)
2012 Jul 1, A US federal judge
temporarily blocked Mississippi from enforcing a new law that
requires doctors who perform abortions at the state's sole abortion
clinic to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. The
Mississippi legislation, signed by Rep. Gov. Phil Bryant in April,
was due to go into effect today. Abortion clinic doctors had applied
to 7 area hospitals for admitting privileges.
(SFC, 6/23/12, p.A5)(Reuters, 7/1/12)
2012 Nov 16, The US National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration issued a "heads up" directive
putting officials on alert for an increase in human interaction with
dolphins in the waters across Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.
Authorities were investigating several attacks on dolphins in the
northern Gulf of Mexico after some were found with gunshot wounds,
cuts and missing jaws.
2012 Dec 28, In Mississippi an
SUV crashed into a creek in Neshoba County killing 5 children and
one adult. Driver Duane John (34) was later charged with with 6
counts of DUI manslaughter.
(SFC, 1/2/13, p.A5)
2013 Jan 27, A barge laden with
80,000 gallons of oil struck a railroad bridge in Vicksburg, Miss.,
spilling light crude into the Mississippi River and closing the
waterway for miles each way. A second barge was damaged.
2013 Feb 26, In Mississippi the
body of Marco McMillian (34), a mayoral candidate in Clarksdale, was
found beaten and burned. Lawrence Reed (22) was later charged with
(SFC, 2/5/13, p.A4)(http://tinyurl.com/bacbhaw)
2013 Mar 30, In Mississippi
nearly 50 people were arrested at a dogfight in Benton County
following a months-long investigation.
(SFC, 4/2/13, p.A4)
2013 Apr 4, In Jackson,
Mississippi, murder suspect Jerey Powell (23) attacked Detective
Eric Smith (40) during questioning, wrestled a gun away, then shot
and killed Smith before killing himself.
(SFC, 4/6/13, p.A4)
2013 Apr 11, A spring storm
left 3 people dead in the Midwest US. One person died following a
tornado in Kemper County, Mississippi, and another in blinding snow
(SFC, 4/12/13, p.A7)(SFC, 4/13/13, p.A6)
2013 Apr 16, A letter was
intercepted in Maryland, postmarked from Memphis and mailed to
Mississippi Republican Sen. Roger Wicker's DC office. It contained
the toxic substance ricin, forcing the temporary closure of a Senate
post office and prompting a federal investigation. The next day FBI
agents detained Paul Kevin Curtis at his home in Corinth, Miss.
(The Ticket, 4/17/13)
2013 Apr 23, Paul Kevin Curtis,
the Mississippi man charged with sending poisoned letters to
President Barack Obama, a US senator and a state judge, was released
from jail. The reason for the release wasn't immediately clear.
Focus shifted to Everett Dutschke, a longtime foe of Curtis in
(AP, 4/24/13)(SFC, 4/25/13, p.A5)
2013 Apr 27, The FBI arrested
Everett Dutschke (41) at his Tupelo, Miss., home in connection with
poisoned letters sent to the president and others.
2013 Jun 10, BP PLC said the
Coast Guard has concluded cleanup operations in Mississippi, Alabama
and Florida from the April 2010 oil well blowout. Work
continued along 84 miles of Louisiana’s shoreline.
(SFC, 6/11/13, p.A4)
2013 Jul 1, In Mississippi it
became legal to make beer at home. Home brewing remained illegal in
the state’s dry counties.
(Econ, 7/20/13, p.29)
2013 Dec 21, At least two
people were killed as wild storms and suspected tornadoes tore
through parts of Mississippi and Arkansas.
2013 Dec 23, In Mississippi a
bank robber killed Tupelo police officer Kevin Stauffer (38) and
injured another as he escaped. In Dec 28 Arizona police in Phoenix
shot and killed Mario Edward Garnett (40) following an attempted
bank robbery. He is believed to be the same man accused in the Dec
23 killing of Tupelo police officer Kevin Stauffer.
(SFC, 12/25/13, p.A7)(SFC, 12/30/13, p.A6)
2014 Jan 28, A rare blast of
snow, sleet and ice hit the US South, prompting schools to close,
airlines to cancel flights and emergency officials to warn of icy
roads. Forecasters predicted 1 to 2 inches of snow in parts of
middle and north Georgia including the Atlanta area, prompting
dozens of school closings. In Mississippi 4 people were killed in a
fire in a mobile home blamed on a faulty space heater.
(Reuters, 1/28/14)(SFC, 1/30/14, p.A8)
2014 Apr 3, Mississippi Gov.
Phil Bryant signed the Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration
Act. It banned the state government from limiting the free practice
of religion effective July 1.
(SFC, 4/26/14, p.A6)(http://tinyurl.com/lf9kcnu)
2014 Apr 28, One of several
twisters to tear across Mississippi struck Tupelo, damaging hundreds
of homes and businesses, downing power lines and shredding trees. At
least one person was killed in Tupelo. 6 people were killed in
Winston County, Miss. The storm system later pushed into parts of
Alabama, where at least 2 people were killed at a trailer park near
Athens. At least 9 people were killed in the Louisville area of
(Reuters, 4/29/14)(SFC, 4/29/14, p.A6)(SFC,
2014 Jun 27, In Mississippi
attorney and Tea Party official Mark Mayfield committed suicide
after facing charges for taking photos of US Sen. Thad Cochran’s
ailing wife inside a nursing home.
(SFC, 6/28/14, p.A5)
2014 Jul 29, A US federal
appellate court overturned Mississippi’s effort to close the last
abortion clinic in the state.
(SFC, 7/30/14, p.A5)
2014 Dec 19, Google sued to
block what it calls overly broad demands by Mississippi in its
investigation of online contraband sales, after accusing the state’s
attorney general of doing Hollywood’s bidding.
(SFC, 12/20/14, p.D1)
2014 Dec 23, In Mississippi 4
people were killed after tornadoes tore through the region.
(AFP, 12/23/14)(SFC, 12/26/14, p.A11)
2015 Feb, A US jury awarded
Sony Sulekha and four others $14 million in damages against Signal
Int’l. Shipyard in Mississippi. He and some 500 other Indians had
paid at least $10,000 in 2005 to work for Signal expecting jobs and
a green card. Instead they labored in inhumane conditions with
highly restricted work permits. This was the largest human
trafficking ever brought in America.
(Econ., 3/14/15, p.61)
2015 Mar 13, In Mississippi two
people were killed and 3 left injured in Brookhaven early today.
Jimmy Lyons (32) reportedly opened fire on a family he lived with
leaving Jermaine Sims (31) and a daughter (9) dead.
(SSFC, 3/15/15, p.A11)
2015 Mar 19, In Mississippi
Otis Byrd, a convicted killer, was found hanging by a sheet from a
tree about 200 yards behind his house in Claiborne County. His
family had reported him, missing over two weeks ago.
(SFC, 3/21/15, p.A6)
2015 Apr 9, In Mississippi a US
District Judge sentenced Farah Adelia Graves to five years in
federal prison for her role in a Jackson group that searched for
black people to assault. Shelbie Brooke Richards was sentenced to 8
years in prison for her part in the 2011 death of James Craig
Anderson, who died after being beaten and run over by a truck in
which Graves and Richards were riding.
(SFC, 4/10/15, p.A6)
2015 May 9, In Mississippi
police officers Benjamin Deen (34) and Liquori Tate (25) were shot
and taken to a hospital where they were confirmed dead. Brothers
Curtis Banks (26) and Marvin Banks (29) were arrested the next day
over the killing. Joanie Calloway (22) was also charged with two
counts of capital murder. A fourth man, identified as Cornelius
Clark, was also arrested in connection with the case and booked on
an obstruction of justice charge. Three more people were soon
arrested in the case. Marvin Banks (30) died in jail on Dec 11.
Officials said there were no signs of trauma on his body. An initial
autopsy showed an enlarged heart with scar tissue.
(AFP, 5/10/15)(Reuters, 5/11/15)(SSFC, 5/17/15,
p.A8)(SSFC, 12/13/15, p.A9)
2015 Jul 2, The US Department
of Justice said BP Plc has reached a settlement with US authorities
and will pay about $18.7 billion in damages for water pollution
caused by the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The agreement settles
claims against BP by the government and the states of Louisiana,
Mississippi, Alabama, Texas and Florida.
2015 Sep 14, In Mississippi
university instructor Shannon Lamb (45) died from a self-inflicted
gunshot wound in Greenville after fleeing police following the fatal
shooting in Gautier of Amy Prentiss (41), a woman he lived with, and
Ethan Schmidt (39), a professor at Delta State Univ.
(SFC, 9/15/15, p.A14)(SFC, 9/16/15, p.A7)
2015 Oct 26, The Mississippi
state flag was taken down from the Univ. of Mississippi after
student leaders, faculty and staff called for its removal because of
its prominent Confederate emblem.
(SFC, 10/27/15, p.A6)
2015 Dec 23, A storm system
packed high winds and triggered more than 20 tornadoes in Arkansas,
Illinois, Indiana, Mississippi and Tennessee. At least 15 people
were killed including at least 10 people in Mississippi, 6 in
Tennessee and one in Arkansas.
(Reuters, 12/24/15)(AFP, 12/26/15)
2016 Jan 23, In Mississippi a
gun shop owner and his 17-year-old son died in a shootout over a $25
service charge, and another man and his 29-year-old son were
2016 Feb 23, Several tornadoes
lashed southern Louisiana and Mississippi, killing at least three
people and injuring more than 30 as the storms destroyed dozens of
homes and businesses.
2016 Mar 2, In Mississippi
Rafael McCloud (33), a capital murder suspect, escaped from the
Warren County jail.
(SFC, 3/3/16, p.A4)
2016 Apr 5, Mississippi’s Gov.
Phil Bryant signed House Bill 1523 allowing religious groups and
some private businesses to refuse service to gay couples based on
religious beliefs. On May 9 a suit was filed against the measure due
to become law on July 1.
(SFC, 4/6/16, p.A12)(SFC, 5/10/16, p.A6
2016 Jun 3, In southern
Mississippi two workers disappeared in a landslide at a gravel pit
in Crystal Springs. Their bodies were recovered on June 9 and 11.
(SSFC, 6/12/16, p.A6)
2016 Jun 18, in Mississippi
Tupelo police Officer Tyler Cook shot and killed Antwun Shumpert
(37) following routine traffic stop and a foot chase. Cook later
said he believed his life was in danger.
(http://tinyurl.com/jwar77p)(SFC, 5/17/17, p.A6)
2016 Jul 1, A US federal judge
blocked a Mississippi law on religious objections to same-sex
marriage moments before it was set to take effect.
(SFC, 7/2/16, p.A6)
2016 Aug 12, Torrential
downpours in parts of Louisiana and Mississippi caused flooding that
killed at least two men, left two people injured and forced
residents to evacuate homes throughout the region.
2017 Jan 21, In Mississippi
four people were killed when a tornado hit the Hattiesburg area.
(SSFC, 1/22/17, p.A7)
2017 Feb 6, In Mississippi four
people were shot and killed following an argument at a nightclub in
Yazoo City. Briddell Barber (27) was soon arrested and charged with
four counts of first-degree murder.
(SFC, 2/7/17, p.A5)
2017 Mar 7, In Mississippi a
freight train hit a tour bus in Biloxi killing at least four people.
(SFC, 3/8/17, p.A5)
2017 Apr 30, Tornados and
flooding in the South and Midwest US killed another 10 people
including five in Arkansas, two in Missouri, two in Mississippi and
one in Tennessee. The death toll from the weekend of storms claimed
at least 16 lives.
(SFC, 5/1/17, p.A4)(SFC, 5/2/17, p.A5)
2017 May 15, In Mississippi
Joshua Vallum (29) was sentenced to 49 years in prison for the 2015
killing of Mercedes Williamson, a transgender woman, in the first
case prosecuted under the federal Hate Crimes Prevention Act.
(SFC, 5/16/17, p.A5)
2017 May 27, In Mississippi
Willie Corey Godbolt (35) began an argument with his estranged wife
over their children. Gunfire erupted after a deputy arrived and
eight people ended up dead including Deputy William Durr (36).
Godbolt was arrested the next day. In 2020 a jury convicted Godbolt
on all charges against him.
(SFC, 5/29/17, p.A5)(SFC, 2/26/20, p.A5)
2017 Jul 10, A US military
KC-130 air tanker crashed in rural Mississippi killing at least 15
Marines and a navy sailor.
(SFC, 7/11/17, p.A9)(SFC, 7/12/17, p.A5)
2017 Sep 17, In Mississippi a
man wearing a Jason Vorhees mask from the horror movie “Friday the
13th" shot three people in Jackson, killing Kendrick Hughes (30) and
injuring two others.
(SFC, 9/19/17 p.A5)
2017 Sep 18, Inmates James
Sanders (41) and Ryan Young (21) were discovered missing from
Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman.
(SFC, 9/19/17 p.A5)
2017 Oct 8, Tropical Storm Nate
rapidly weakened to become a tropical depression over Alabama,
although the fast-moving former hurricane left roads and buildings
flooded in Mississippi after coming ashore there. Nate killed at
least 30 people in Central America before entering the warm waters
of the Gulf of Mexico.
2017 Oct 21, Derrick Johnson
(49) of Jackson, Miss., was hired as the 19th president and CEO of
the NAACP after having served as interim leader since July.
(SSFC, 10/22/17, p.A8)
2017 Dec 9, Mississippi’s new
Civil Rights Museum opened in Jackson. A visit by Pres. Donald Trump
generated boycotts from some civil rights leaders.
(SSFC, 12/10/17, p.A10)
2018 Jan 11, Former Ku Klux
Klansman Edgar Ray Killen (92), sentenced in 2005 to 60 years in
prison for the 1964 Mississippi slayings of three civil rights
workers, died inside the Mississippi State Penitentiary.
(SFC, 1/13/18, p.A8)
2018 Mar 8, Mississippi
lawmakers passed the nation's most restrictive abortion law, making
the procedure illegal in most cases after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
(SFC, 3/9/18, p.A5)
2018 Mar 19, Mississippi Gov.
Phil Bryant signed banning abortion after 15 week's gestation
effectively immediately. A federal judge the next day granted a
Jackson clinic's request for a temporary restraining order blocking
(SFC, 3/21/18, p.A5)
2018 Apr 15, Deadly spring
storms that spawned tornadoes in the US South and blizzards in the
Plains and Midwest continued to blast across the region. About
70,000 homes and businesses were without power across Michigan, New
York, Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi.
2018 May 26, Alabama, Florida
and Mississippi declared states of emergency as Subtropical Storm
Alberto drove north toward the US Gulf Coast.
2018 Aug 23, Mississippi inmate
Nicole Rathmann (33) died after suffering a “massive" stroke and
bleeding on the brain. She had been attacked two days earlier by
another inmate as she lay on her bunk at the Central Mississippi
Correctional Facility. A lawsuit later claimed guards did not
intervene while she was being beaten with a sock filled with bars of
(The Independent, 1/25/20)
2018 Sep 5, Tropical Depression
Gordon weakened as it swirled over central Mississippi. The storm
was blamed for the death of a Florida baby.
(SFC, 9/6/18, p.A4)
2018 Sep 29, In Mississippi two
police officers were shot and killed early today as they responded
to a call about shots being fired at a home in Brookhaven. Suspect
Marquis Flowers (25) was wounded and taken into custody. On Nov 12,
2019, Marquis Flowers (26) made his first appearance in state court
since being indicted on capital murder charges. A body camera showed
Flowers shooting and killing the officers.
(SSFC, 9/30/18, p.A11)(AP,
2018 Nov 20, US federal judge
Carlton Reeves struck down a Mississippi law that bans most
abortions after 15 weeks.
2018 Nov 27, In Mississippi
Rep. US Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith won a divisive state runoff over Mike
Espy. The runoff was rocked by a video in which Hyde-Smith said of a
supporter: "If he invited me to a public hanging, I'd be on the
(SFC, 11/28/18, p.A4)
2019 Feb 16, In Mississippi
police found four people dead in a home in Clinton following a
12-hour standoff. Suspect Nam Lee was found wounded and soon died.
(SFC, 2/18/19, p.A4)
2019 Feb 23, Weekend storms
raked parts of the southern US leaving two people dead. In
Mississippi a woman was killed when a tornado hit Columbus. A man
died in Tennessee when he drove into floodwaters.
(SFC, 2/25/19, p.A4)
2019 Mar 21, Mississippi Gov.
Phil Bryant signed one of the strictest abortion laws in the nation.
The measure, effective July 1, bans most abortions once a fetal
heartbeat can be detected.
(SFC, 3/22/19, p.A5)
2019 Apr 13, In Texas two
children were killed and about a dozen people injured after powerful
stroms spawned at least one tornado in Lufkin. Over the next 24
hours the storm left at least 8 people dead and 90,000 people
without power in Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and
(SSFC, 4/14/19, p.A12)(SFC, 4/15/19, p.A5)
2019 Apr 18, In the southern US
strong storm system left three people dead in Mississippi and one
person in Alabama.
(SFC, 4/20/19, p.A4)
2019 Jun 3, In Mississippi a
head-on crash between a box truck and a passenger van killed eight
(SFC, 6/4/19, p.A4)
2019 Jul 1, Mississippi enacted
a new law that declares "a plant-based or insect-based food product
shall not be labeled as meat or a meat food product." A lawsuit
against Mississippi Republican Gov. Phil Bryant and the state's
Republican agriculture commissioner, Andy Gipson, was filed by the
Plant Based Foods Association and the Illinois-based Upton's
Naturals Co., which makes vegan products.
(http://tinyurl.com/y6a8k3rf)(SFC, 7/3/19, p.A4)
2019 Jul 19, Alexandria Kostial
(21), a Univ. of Mississippi student, was captured on video in The
Square late today. She was found the next morning by an on-patrol
Lafayette County Sheriff’s Department deputy near Sardis Lake in
Harmontown. Classmate Brandon Theesfeld (22) of Fort Worth was soon
arrested on a murder charge.
(Charlotte Observer, 7/25/19)
2019 Jul 30, In northern
Mississippi a gunman described as a disgruntled Walmart employee
fatally shot two co-workers and wounded a police officer. Martez
Tarrell Abram (39), recently fired from Walmart, was shot and
arrested at the Walmart store in Southaven.
(AP, 7/31/19)(SFC, 7/31/19, p.A5)
2019 Aug 7, US immigration
authorities arrested nearly 700 people at seven agricultural
processing plants across Mississippi in what federal officials said
could be the largest worksite enforcement operation in a single
2019 Oct 26, Remnants of
Tropical Storm Olga caused soggy conditions in Mississippi and
Alabama and dozens of flights were canceled or delayed at New
Orleans' main airport after two power outages.
2019 Nov 4, State elections in
Kentucky, Mississippi and Virginia tested the political waters ahead
of 2020. Democrats took control of the Virginia legislature for the
first time in more than two decades. In Mississippi GOP nominee Tate
Reeves defeated Democrat Jim Hood.
(Good Morning America, 11/5/19)(SFC, 11/6/19,
2019 Dec 16, A Mississippi man
whose murder conviction was overturned by the US Supreme Court for
racial bias was granted bond and will be free for the first time in
2020 Jan 3, In Mississippi a
3rd inmate was killed at the State Penitentiary at Parchman. He
became the fifth inmate to be killed in the state since Dec. 29 in
what was described as a feud between gangs.
(SFC, 1/4/20, p.A6)
2020 Jan 21, Mississippi
authorities two of the inmates beaten to death inside the troubled
Parchman Farm Penitentiary were killed in a fight with other
(SFC, 1/22/20, p.A4)
2020 Jan 27, During his first
state address Mississippi’s governor, Tate Reeves, pledged to move
towards closing unit 29 of the notorious Parchman penitentiary. He
had toured the facility last week.
(The Guardian, 1/29/20)
2020 Jan 29, Mississippi
officials announced late today that another inmate has died in the
state's prison system, marking the 13th state prisoner death since
2020 Feb 1, In Mississippi
inmate Jesus Garcia (39) was was found dead in his cell at the
Wilkinson Vounty Correctional Facility operated by the private
Management and Training Corp. This brought the total dead in the
state prison system to at least 15 since late December.
(SFC, 2/4/20, p.A5)
2020 Feb 6, Severe weather left
one dead in Alabama as more than six dozen damaging storms are
reported in the South from Louisiana to Tennessee -- including 12
reported tornadoes in Mississippi alone.
(Good Morning America, 2/6/20)
2020 Feb 10, In Mississippi
William Bynum Jr. (57), the president of Jackson State Univ.,
resigned after he was arrested over the weekend in a prostitution
sting in Clinton.
(SFC, 2/11/20, p.A5)
2020 Feb 15, Mississippi Gov.
Tate Reeves declared a state of emergency amid predictions that a
river running in the area around the state capital of Jackson could
burst its banks and spark widespread flooding.
2020 Mar 10, Five US states
(Michigan, Washington, Missouri, Mississippi and Idaho) held
Democratic primaries, while North Dakota held a caucus. 352
delegates were up for grabs.