Interesting Questions, Facts, and Information
|Who was elected the first Republican Governor of Mississippi since the Reconstruction era Governor Adelbert Ames, whose term ended in 1876?||Mississippi History 101
Daniel Kirkwood "Kirk" Fordice, Jr.. Kirk Fordice, born in Memphis, Tennessee, served two terms as governor of Mississippi from 1992 to 2000. When he was elected governor, Mississippi had been "deprived" of Republican leadership for 116 years. Interestingly, at the end of his second term, Mississippi voters filled the vacancy with a Democrat, Ronnie Musgrove. Of course, Musgrove, after serving one four-year term, was ousted by Republican Haley Barbour. Fordice was a diehard conservative and a very controversial one at that. He wore a tie with a Confederate flag on it while voicing his opposition to funding for minority owned firms. He also threatened a local news reporter on live television with "I'm gonna kick your @$$!"
Elvis Presley . The King of Rock 'n' Roll was born in Tupelo, Mississippi, on January 8 1935.
The two-room house he lived in as a small child is still available for touring. His twin brother Jessie was stillborn, leaving Elvis Aron Presley to grow up an only child. His middle name is spelled with one "r" because of an error on his birth certificate; he decided to leave it spelled as it was.
|What creative entertainer of both children and adults was instrumental to the success of children's programing on PBS and grew up in Leland, Mississippi, where he played with frogs in nearby creeks?||Mississippi History 101
Jim Henson . Jim Henson was born in King's Daughters Hospital in Greenville, Mississippi, but grew up in Leland, just outside of Greenville. He initially was interested in being a cartoonist, but after answering an ad in a local paper that read "Puppeteer Wanted for Children's Television Program," his life went in another direction. Soon the Muppets would be born! The frogs he played with in nearby creeks as a child were his inspiration for Kermit, a name inspired by one of Henson's childhood friends.
William Faulkner. The author of such novels as "As I Lay Dying," "The Sound and the Fury," "Absalom, Absalom!" "Go Down, Moses," "A Fable," and "Light in August" lived in Oxford, Mississippi, most of his life. In fact, the antebellum home he restored--Rowan Oak--is available for touring. Faulkner was at one time invited by the President of the United States to dinner at the White House; Faulkner refused claiming: "That's too far to go to eat dinner with a complete stranger." (By the way, all the other writers listed as potential answers were born in Mississippi as well.)
Vicksburg. Nowhere in the world had Coca-Cola been bottled until Joseph Biedenharn tried it in Vicksburg, Mississippi. A museum exists on Washington Street today where one can learn Coke's history and see the original equipment used for this first bottling experiment.
Hurricane Camille. While Hurricane Andrew (1992) destroyed more property and Hurricane Katrina (2005) caused more fatalities, Hurricane Camille remains the strongest storm ever recorded to have hit the United States mainland. Camille was a category 5 storm with winds measured up to 190 mph, with over 220 mph gusts; the storm surge was over 25 feet. Sections of the Mississippi coast were obliterated and simply vanished.
|In 1967, who became the first African American to serve in the Mississippi legislature since the Reconstruction era?||Mississippi History 101
Robert G. Clark. Clark has served nine consecutive terms, and is currently the Speaker Pro Tempore of the Mississippi House of Representatives. Melanie Neilson's "Even Mississippi" records this man's campaign for his first election; it is an excellent book and through Neilson's candid narrative of her own struggles as a white female growing up in Mississippi gives hope that racism can be eradicated.
|In 1962, what governor of Mississippi tried - and failed - to block the admission of James H. Meredith, an African American, to the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) School of Law?||Mississippi History 101
Ross R. Barnett. This desegregation issue led to a conflict between Mississippi and the U.S. government. Two individuals were killed in a riot, and federal troops had to be sent. The federal Department of Justice was forced to take legal action against Barnett and other state officials. Many more acts of violence followed: churches and homes were burned and bombed, an official of the NAACP Medgar Evers was shot and killed in 1963, and three civil rights workers were murdered in 1964.
John Pemberton. Lieutenant General John Clifford Pemberton surrendered Vicksburg to Union forces on July 4, 1863. This Confederate loss coupled with its loss at Gettysburg was a tremendous blow to the South's morale. Not until the 1980's would the city of Vicksburg celebrate Independence Day. Interestingly, Pemberton was born and buried in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Another interesting fact: the President of the Confederacy--Jefferson Davis--was a native Mississippian.
1817. When Mississippi achieved statehood, it did so without the eastern half of its original territory. This territory became the Alabama Territory. Thus, the state would lose some important cities like Mobile and Birmingham.
|What was the name of the famous trail traveled by settlers and traders drawn by cotton and cheap land that extended from Nashville, Tennessee, to the lower Mississippi River?||Mississippi History 101
The Natchez Trace. The Natchez Trace extended from Natchez to Nashville and was instrumental to the growth of Mississippi's population. The trail has become a paved highway and exists as a National Park with several historically significant sites along the way. Many legends exist of ghost sightings, the spirits of travelers murdered by highwaymen lying in ambush.
|In 1798, the U.S. Congress created the Mississippi Territory with William Claiborne as the governor. What was the capital of the new Mississippi Territory?||Mississippi History 101
Natchez. English colonists had made Natchez, a Mississippi River port, a thriving community through tobacco and indigo production, so it was a common sense choice for the Territory's capital. Interestingly, Natchez was captured by Spanish troops in 1779 and remained under Spanish control until the Pinckney Treaty of 1795.
|How did the territory of present-day Mississippi leave French control and come under British control?||Mississippi History 101
It was ceded by the French in The Treaty of Paris at the end of the French and Indian War.. The Mississippi territory was part of Louisiana until the French surrendered it to the British in the Treaty of Paris of 1763. Britain received Canada and most of the French territory east of the Mississippi River at this time.
|The first permanent European settlement within the present-day boundaries of Mississippi was what French colony?||Mississippi History 101
Biloxi. Biloxi Bay was established in 1699 by Pierre le Moyne, sieur d'Iberville, and the colony came under the jurisdiction of the French Mississippi Company in 1718.