the first arrival of Europeans, the region
now included in the State of Mississippi was
inhabited by three powerful Indian tribes:
the Choctaws, the Chickasaws and the Natchez.
The Choctaws occupied the central and southern
portions of the present state; the Chickasaws
lived in the northern part, and the Natchez
inhabited the land along the Mississippi River
in the counties of Adams, Claiborne, Jefferson
and Wilkinson. Among the smaller tribes which
also lived in Mississippi were the Biloxi and
the Pascagoulas in the Gulf Coast section and
the Tunicas, Chocchumas and Yazoos along the
De Soto, Spanish explorer, becomes the first
known European to enter Mississippi. He winters
with the Chickasaws and discovers the Mississippi
River in the spring.
Jacques Marquette, a French missionary, and
fur trapper Louis Joliet begin exploration
of the Mississippi River on May 17. They reach
Mississippi in July and explore as far south
as the mouth of the Arkansas River, near the
present location of Rosedale, before turning
Cavalier de La Salle navigates the Mississippi
River to its mouth and claims for France all
lands drained by the river.
LeMoyne, Sieur D'Iberville, and his brother
Jean Baptiste, Sieur D'Bienville, landed in
what is now Ocean Springs. They built Fort
Maurepas and established the first capital
of the vast French colony on the North American
Rosalie, the beginning of the town of Natchez,
settlers at Fort Rosalie are massacred by Natchez
Indians in an effort to drive Europeans from
French retaliate for the massacre at Fort Rosalie.
The Natchez Indians cease to exist as a tribe.
battles Chickasaw Indians in present day Lee
County. He is defeated at the battle of Ackia.
along with all other French territory east
of the Mississippi river, passes into English
control at the end of the French and Indian
Galvez, governor of Spanish Louisiana, captures
provisions of the Treaty of Paris, West Florida,
which included the southern half of Mississippi,
comes under Spanish control. America gains
possession of Mississippi north of the 32 degree
28 minute parallel.
yields to America all land in Mississippi north
of the 31st parallel, giving America control
Spanish withdrawal from Mississippi is completed.
Mississippi is organized as an American territory,
and the first territorial governor, Winthrop
Sargent, is appointed by President Thomas Jefferson.
advances to the second stage of territorial
treaty with the Indians allows the Natchez
Trace to be developed as a mail route and major
road. Mississippi moves its territorial capital
from Natchez to Washington, a small town near
the Natchez Trace.
Louisiana Purchase opens the Mississippi River
the Treaty of Mount Dexter, the Choctaws sell
acres of land to the U.S. government. The area
includes the Piney Woods region of the state.
Florida rebellion gives the United States control
of Spanish West Florida.
War of 1812 begins. Mississippi gains West
Florida territory east of the Pearl River and
south to the Gulf of Mexico.
War of 1812 ends.
Treaty of Fort Stephens with the Choctaws opens
for settlement the area around the Tombigbee
of Mississippi, 1817
Act of Congress on December 10 admitted Mississippi
to the Union as the twentieth state. Indian
lands in Mississippi were opened to white settlement
after six major treaties with the Choctaws
and the Chickasaws between 1805 and 1834. On
January 9, 1861, Mississippi became the second
state to secede from the Union. More than 80,000
Mississippians served in the Confederate States
Army. After the fall of the Confederacy and
a period of reconstruction, Mississippi was
readmitted to the Union in 1870.
Mississippi territory is divided. The western
half becomes the twentieth state, Mississippi.
Female Academy is founded in Washington, the
first girls' school chartered by the state
and one of America's first women's colleges.
Treaty of Doak's Stand, the second Choctaw
first public school is opened in Columbus.
1822 The state capital is moved to Jackson.
Built on the site of
Lefleur's Bluff, Jackson was one of the first
planned cities in the nation. It was named
for Major General Andrew Jackson.
College, then Hampstead Academy, is established.
Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek cedes all Choctaw
territory east of the Mississippi River to
the U.S. Government. Most of the Choctaws leave
the state. The Treaty of Pontotoc Creek cedes
north Mississippi Indian territory to the U.S.
Government. The Chickasaws leave the state
for Oklahoma. The Mississippi Constitutional
Convention produces the Constitution of 1832.
Tilghman M. Tucker becomes the state's first
chief executive to occupy the newly completed
Governor's Mansion, still used today.
University of Mississippi is established.
government assumes operation of a private school
for the blind. It becomes the Mississippi School
for the Blind, the nation's first state-supported
institution for the handicapped.
U.S. Congress gives the state title to more
than 3 million acres of swamp and overflow
land. By this time, 310 miles of levees have
been built along the banks of the Mississippi
River. The Delta is drained, cleared, and becomes
available for cultivation.
Compromise of 1850 contains slavery to the
Institute for the Deaf and Dumb opens in Jackson.
Hughes of Port Gibson publishes Treatise on
Sociology, which later earns him the title "first
secedes from the Union on January 9. In July,
Ship Island is captured by Union forces. The
fall of Ship Island gives Union forces control
of the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
late April, the Battle of Shiloh gives Union
forces control of the Tennessee River and opens
the way to attack Corinth, a railroad center
vital to the South. Corinth falls in May.
Emancipation Proclamation abolishes slavery.
E. Lee surrenders on April 9. The Civil War
military government is established in Mississippi
after the reconstructed government of Mississippi
is rejected by the U.S. Congress.
first biracial constitutional convention -
the "Black and Tan" Convention" -
drafts a constitution protecting the rights
of freedmen (ex-slaves) and punishing ex-Confederates.
It is rejected by the voters.
the leadership of James L. Alcorn, Mississippi
ratifies a constitution which does not punish
is readmitted to the Union on February 23.
Civil government is gradually restored under
Governor Alcorn. The state's first system of
public education is established.
Hiram R. Revels, a minister from Natchez, becomes
the first black senator in U.S. history, and
serves as Mississippi's U.S. Senator from January
1870 to March 1871.
University, now Alcorn State University, is
Mississippi State Board of Health is created
through the influence of the State Medical
Association. Jackson College, a private college
for blacks, is established at Natchez.
and Technical School is established. In 1935,
it becomes Mississippi State College and in
1958, Mississippi State University.
Industrial Institute and College, today's Mississippi
University for Women, is established.
new state constitution is adopted. 1892 Millsaps
College is opened.
new capitol building, constructed at a cost
of $1 million, is dedicated in Jackson.
boll weevil arrives in Mississippi, destroying
most of the state's cotton crop.
H. Smith organizes the first of the state's "Com
Clubs," which leads to the formation of
the 4-H Clubs of America.
adopts statewide prohibition.
Laurence C. Jones founds the Piney Woods Country
Life School for the vocational and secondary
education of black students.
Normal College, now the University of Southern
Mississippi, is organized.
Mississippi State Sanatorium for Tuberculosis
Theodore Bilbo establishes the state's first
State Legislature authorizes a system of junior
colleges, the first in the nation.
women, Senator Belle Kearny and Representative
Nellie Nugent Somerville, are elected to the
State Teachers' College, now Delta State University,
Mississippi River floods 2,722,000 acres in
the Delta. Thousands are left homeless.
state's first sales tax becomes effective.
Natchez Pilgrimage, a nationally-famous tour
of that area's antebellum homes, becomes an
State Legislature passes an amendment to balance
agriculture with industry (BAWI Program). The
Industrial Commission and the Advertising Commission
are created to implement the program, which
includes adoption of the nation's first industrial
state's first oil well is brought in near Tinsley,
in Yazoo County.
College, having earlier moved from Natchez
to Jackson, becomes a state institution.
War II promotes an industrial boom in the state.
Vocational College, now Mississippi Valley
State University, is established.
vs. Board of Education, the Supreme Court's
landmark ruling, lays groundwork for desegregation.
Meredith, the first black registrant, enters
the University of Mississippi -- the beginning
of the end to segregation in public universities
Evers, NAACP field secretary, is assassinated.
passes the Civil Rights Act, outlawing segregation
in public places.
Paul B. Johnson, Jr., announces that the BAWI
Program has achieved its goal.
Court judge 0. H. Barnett rules that Choctaw
Indians are subject to their tribal laws, a
reversal of an 1830's ruling that abolished
Clark begins serving his first term in the
Mississippi House as its first modern-day black
system of public education is mandated by federal
courts, ending segregation in public schools.
Camille wreaks havoc upon Mississippi's Gulf
Coast and areas inland.
Authority for Educational Television is established
and begins broadcasting.
begins on the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway.
William Waller's administration aggressively
involves blacks and women in government through
key Cabinet, Board and judicial appointments.
Cliff Finch calls a special session of the
Legislature to restructure the states savings
and loan associations, averting a financial
Finch succeeds in reuniting the long- separated
Loyalist and Regular factions of the Mississippi
36 years of service, U.S. Senator James 0.
Section Lands and Lieu Lands Act transfers
control of Sixteenth Section Lands from county
boards of supervisors to local boards of education
and requires fair-market rental value on those
T. Consent Decree initiates procedures providing
equal education for handicapped children in
the states public schools.
flood inundates the city of Jackson and many
towns south along the Pearl River.
William F. Winter calls a special legislative
session, resulting in adoption of the historic
Education Reform Act, pioneering nationwide
hosts the International Ballet Competition.
Lenore Prather becomes Mississippi's first
woman Supreme Court justice.
Radio in Mississippi goes on the air.
Bill Allain implements a massive program of
Reuben Anderson becomes Mississippi's first
black Supreme Court Justice.
Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway is completed.
Yazoo City lawyer Mike Espy is elected to the
U.S. House, the first black congressman from
Mississippi since Reconstruction.
John C. Stennis, dean of U.S. Senators serving
40 years, announces he will not seek reelection. Ray
Mabus is elected governor, the nation's youngest
voluntary county unit system law is signed
by Governor Mabus.
District congressman Larkin Smith dies in a
plane crash near Hattiesburg. State Senator
Gene Taylor of Bay St. Louis wins a spirited
special election to succeed him.
National Guard men and women play important
roles in Operation Desert Storm for America
in the Middle East.
becomes the nation's 21st state to allow its
citizens to register to vote by mail. Kirk
Fordice becomes Mississippi's first Republican
governor since Reconstruction.
of the nation's strongest lobbying reform laws
is passed by the Mississippi Legislature.
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