The Department of Archives and History will oversee construction of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum and the Museum of Mississippi History, with the goal of opening both in 2017 as centerpieces of the state’s bicentennial celebration. The 2011 Legislature and Governor Haley Barbour worked together to provide $40 million in bond funding for the projects.
The Museum of Mississippi History will tell the story of the state from prehistory through the current day. The civil rights museum will focus on the period 1945–70 and tell the story of the struggle for equal rights and fair treatment under the law. The Mississippi Civil Rights Museum will be the nation’s first state-sponsored civil rights museum.