New Museums Opening on Dec. 9

FROM MDAH RELEASES — Thousands of people from across the state and nation will travel to Jackson to celebrate Mississippi’s bicentennial at the grand opening of the Museum of Mississippi History and Mississippi Civil Rights Museum on Saturday, December 9. A program featuring live music and remarks by project partners, elected officials, and local and national civil rights figures will begin at 11 a.m. on the Entergy Plaza, with a ribbon-cutting and tours of the museums to follow. Speakers include Governor Phil Bryant, civil rights leader and Georgia Congressman John Lewis, former governors Haley Barbour and William Winter, and former NAACP chair Myrlie Evers.

“We are so excited that the day is nearly here when we can share these world-class museums with the public,” said MDAH director Katie Blount. “All Mississippians can be proud of these two museums, and their statewide impact—both educational and economic—will be immediate and lasting.”

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Community Foundation Donates $750,000

FROM MDAH RELEASES — The Community Foundation of Greater Jackson has made a $750,000 contribution to the Mississippi Department of Archives and History’s Two Mississippi Museums project. The gift, made possible by a bequest from John F. and Lucy Shackelford, will sponsor the permanent exhibit gallery at the Museum of Mississippi History.

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Historic House Suffers Loss, Damage by Thieves

FROM MDAH RELEASES — Thieves have vandalized the nearly two-hundred-year-old Shaifer House in Claiborne County, making off with four wooden support beams and damaging interior flooring and walls. The theft was discovered on April 1, and the actions most likely occurred earlier that week.

Staff from the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, which administers the site, have made an initial stabilization to prevent further damage to the house. Because permanent repairs have not yet been made, the site has been closed to the public. MDAH is working with public officials and private citizens to increase security at the Shaifer House. Continue reading


Toyota Announces $750,000 Museums Gift

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John R. Lynch Exhibit at Old Capitol

FROM MDAH RELEASES — The Old Capitol Museum begins the new year with a Luminaries and Legends Hall of Fame spotlight exhibit celebrating Mississippian John Roy Lynch.

Courtesy of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.

Lynch (1847-1939) became one of the first African Americans to serve in the United States Congress. Born into slavery across the Mississippi River from Natchez in Vidalia, Louisiana, Lynch rose quickly in the world of state and national politics after the Civil War. He was a member of the Mississippi Legislature from 1869 to 1873, serving as Speaker of the House of Representatives. During that time, he and his fellow Republicans spearheaded many longstanding initiatives, including the creation of public schools in Mississippi.

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MDAH Receives $100K NEH Grant

FROM MDAH RELEASES — The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded a $100,000 Humanities Access grant to MDAH to launch an online classroom learning initiative in December 2017.

The project will extend the reach of the Museum of Mississippi History and the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum directly into schools by using state-of-the-art equipment and multimedia programs delivered on the web. Students will communicate with curators, historians, and history makers and interact with artifacts, stories, music, and art as they experience the museums from their classrooms before and after visits to the site. Continue reading


Five Elected to Mississippi Hall of Fame

FROM MDAH RELEASES — The first woman elected lieutenant governor of Mississippi, a pioneering transplant surgeon, a civil rights leader and legislator, the “king of rock and roll,” and a successful journalist and women’s rights advocate have been elected to the Mississippi Hall of Fame. The board of trustees of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History chose Evelyn Gandy, James Hardy, Aaron Henry, Elvis Presley, and Ida B. Wells as the 2016 inductees at a special December board meeting.

“The contributions and accomplishments of these five Mississippians are astonishing, and a true testament to the character of the people of the state,” said MDAH director Katie Blount. “The Hall of Fame is enriched by the addition of these men and women.” Continue reading


1817 State Constitution, US Flag at Old Capitol

“We are excited to have these symbols of statehood in the capital city’s oldest building,” said Old Capitol Museum director Lauren Miller. “There is no substitute for the firsthand connection to history these artifacts give us.”

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Hancock Bank Donates to 2 Mississippi Museums Project

FROM MDAH RELEASES — Hancock Bank has made a $50,000 contribution to the Mississippi Department of Archives and History for the 2 Mississippi Museums project. The gift will sponsor the “Sitting In” section of the “Tremor in the Iceberg” gallery of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum.Hancock check presentation (5-12-16)

The gallery documents the escalation of civil rights activities in the early 1960s that led to national and international media attention being focused on Mississippi. In the “Sitting In” section, visitors will learn of the courage, daring, and tactical brilliance of early sit-ins and other protests, which provoked violent responses while shining a bright light on injustice. Continue reading


AT&T Makes Donation to 2MM Project

FROM MDAH RELEASES — AT&T has made a $250,000 contribution to the Mississippi Department of Archives and History for the 2 Mississippi Museums project. The gift will sponsor the Black Empowerment Gallery in the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum.AT&T check presentation (5-6-16)

“We are excited about the opportunity to support the 2 Mississippi Museums project and honor Judge Reuben Anderson with the naming of the Black Empowerment Gallery,” said Mayo Flynt, president of AT&T Mississippi. “It is a fitting tribute to Judge Anderson, a leader in the Civil Rights Movement, a trailblazer of many firsts in Mississippi, and a living example of this gallery’s story. As we remember the sacrifices of those who worked for racial progress in Mississippi, it is also important to celebrate their hard won achievements and encourage the message of racial reconciliation in each succeeding generation.” Continue reading