Some important historical events in Mississippi included Congress' establishing the Mississippi Territory in 1798, the establishment of Mississippi as a state in 1817 and the state's secession from the Union in 1861. In the 20th century, Mississippi became a focal point in the struggle for civil rights, including the Ole Miss riot of 1962, which occurred when the first African-American student enrolled at the University of Mississippi.Continue Reading
Mississippi was widely settled by several indigenous tribes prior to European settlement, and much of its early history includes clashes between European settlers and native tribes. In the 19th century, Mississippi became known for agriculture and timber, and the Mississippi River was a vital resource during the Civil War. The Battle of Vicksburg in 1863 was a decisive moment in the war, as the city of Vicksburg was the last standing Confederate stronghold on the river.
Mississippi was the site of 1964's "Freedom Summer," in which a number of civil rights groups organized to coordinate voter registration and education. Activists in the state were threatened, and several were murdered. The publicity surrounding these murders and disappearances became a major factor in the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, although African-Americans within the state still struggled to vote after the passage of the Act.Learn more about The South