Three weeks before Christmas of 1903, J. R. Climer of Madison County, Mississippi, became the first resident of the Jefferson Davis Soldier Home, Beauvoir — Mississippi’s home for Confederate veterans and their wives and widows on the Mississippi Gulf Coast in Biloxi. Climer was a Tennessean by birth and a veteran of Company A of the Madison Light Artillery that fought in General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia at some of the most famous battles of the American Civil War. When the war began, Climer was a tombstone agent in Canton.
The World Remade, 1866–1902
Sarah Dickey was a young women in her twenties when she was sent on a mission by the United Brethren Church to Vicksburg, Mississippi. Between 1863 and 1865, she helped operate a school in Vicksburg for newly emancipated slaves. It was during this time that Dickey realized her life’s calling – to teach African American children during one of the most turbulent times in American history. After the war, she enrolled at Mount Holyoke, a female college in Massachusetts known for training teachers.
During Reconstruction, one of the most turbulent periods for race relations in the state’s history, Sarah Ann Dickey, a White female teacher from the North, became a pioneer by providing education to newly freed enslaved people in Mississippi. Dickey worked tirelessly and determinedly to improve the lives of the most vulnerable population group in the state, African American women and children. She believed that by educating Black women and training them to become teachers, dual paths of security and opportunity could be established for all freedmen.
In 2015, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) designated Mississippi State University (MSU) as host of the National Center of Excellence for Unmanned Aircraft Systems.
In 1949, the City of Clinton received one of the first sixty state historical markers. Unfortunately, the tablet portion of the marker has been missing for several decades. Although an updated replacement marker was erected in 2015, the whereabouts of the original remain a mystery. What makes the story of this missing marker all the more intriguing is that it referenced a violent and controversial episode in the city’s past.
In 2011 Mississippi newspapers reported that during the mid-20th century civil rights movement, more than one hundred Mississippi African Americans were victims of assault or murder, yet no perpetrators, many of them unknown, were identified or convicted.
Mississippi University for Women, originally the Mississippi Industrial Institute and College for the Education of White Girls, was the first taxpayer supported college for women in the United States.
In 1936, Time magazine suggested that “better than any living man, Senator Byron Patton Harrison of Mississippi represents in his spindle-legged, round-shouldered, freckle-faced person the modern history of the Democratic Party.” By then Harrison had been in politics since 1906 and now, thirty years later, he was chairman of the most powerful committee in the United States Senate. His political era had begun when the Democratic Party was in the doldrums, yet he had won national attention in the 1920s when Republicans held the presidency and control of Congress.
Senator Pat Harrison served his native state of Mississippi in both the U.S. House of Representatives (1911-1919) and the U.S. Senate (1919-1941). In a political career that spanned more than thirty years, Harrison represented his state and nation during difficult times. He served during World War I, during the 1930s Great Depression, and during the buildup to World War II. It was during these challenging times that Harrison served as chairman of the powerful Committee on Finance in the U.S. Senate.
Without question, Sarah Anne Ellis Dorsey was one of the most intellectually gifted women of Mississippi. With considerable aplomb, she dealt as best she could with the emotional tensions arising from her lifelong compulsion to balance the conventional female role of the plantation South with a more rigorous life of the mind. Her heart and soul refused to submit to all the repressive demands that held women in a virtual prison, called hearth and home. But finding a proper balance between these polarities in the 19th century was scarcely easy.