State History and Civil Rights Museums Break Ground on October 24

FROM MDAH NEWS RELEASES–Governor Phil Bryant and other elected officials, civil rights leader Myrlie Evers and other movement veterans, children and teachers, and volunteers from across the state will lift shovels to break ground on the 2 Mississippi Museums project—the Museum of Mississippi History and the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum—on Thursday, October 24, at 10 a.m. The public is invited to a historic day of festivities that will feature music, food, fun, and children’s activities. The groundbreaking will be held at 200 North Street in downtown Jackson.

Live music will begin at 9 a.m. and continue until 1 p.m. Performers will include the Choctaw Elder Dancers, bluesman Mickey Rogers, and the bluegrass band Alex Sibley and the Magnolia Ramblers. The sampling of gospel, bluegrass, blues, and more reflect the wide range of Mississippi music that will be featured in the 2 Museums.

At 10 a.m. former Supreme Court Justice Reuben Anderson will preside over the ceremony featuring Bryant and Evers, as well as former governors Haley Barbour and William F. Winter and other elected officials. Cynthia Palmer, executive director of the Veterans of the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement, Inc., and Hollis Watkins, chairman of the Veterans of the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement, Inc., will close out the ceremony with the gospel song “This Little Light of Mine.”

Food trucks including Lurny D’s Grille, Jaco’s Tacos, Country Fisherman, and Chimneyville Smokehouse will line the 200 block of North Street from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Hundreds of school children will travel to downtown Jackson for the groundbreaking. Before and after the ceremony, they will make crafts, play games, and visit a hands-on mini museum featuring reproductions of artifacts from the MDAH collection.

Children’s activities for school groups and families will include a “mini museum,” old fashioned games, crafts from the past, and poster contest.  At the mini museum visitors are encouraged to investigate the more than 150 artifacts and reproductions from the department’s collections.

Old-time games including rolling hoops, marbles, clothes pins drop, pick-up sticks, and checkers will be set up on the grounds, and art stations will offer crafts from the past where children can create a keepsake based on a historical item from the mini museum.

Children may also design a poster illustrating the life and achievements of the person they think is the most innovative, heroic, and significant person in Mississippi history and enter it in the Mississippi Groundbreaker art contest. The winning artwork will be displayed in the new museums.

The two museums will be administered by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. Support for the 2 Mississippi Museums groundbreaking ceremony is provided by the Mississippi Development Authority Division of Tourism and Downtown Jackson Partners. For more information, contact Stephenie Morrisey (601-576-6850; or visit the MDAH website,

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