Bridging Hardship, 1928-1945

Clyde Kennard: A Little-Known Civil Rights Pioneer

Theme and Time Period

Clyde Kennard put his life on the line in the 1950s when he attempted to desegregate higher education in Mississippi. Kennard, a little-known civil rights pioneer, tried to become the first African American to attend Mississippi Southern College, now the University of Southern Mississippi, in Hattiesburg. In doing so, he ran afoul of the White political establishment and paid a heavy price. After his tragic death, his story was overshadowed by other developments in the civil rights movement.

Clyde Kennard: A Little-Known Civil Rights Pioneer Lesson Plan

OVERVIEW

Clyde Kennard, a young Korean war veteran born in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, tried in 1955 to become the first African American to attend what is now the University of Southern Mississippi. Though overshadowed by more well-known figures from the mid-20th century civil rights movement, Kennard’s story is an integral part of the history of segregated Mississippi. It is the story of a seemingly ordinary person who courageously acted on his beliefs. Clyde Kennard deserves a permanent place in the annals of the civil rights struggle.

The Seafood Industry in Biloxi: Its Early History, 1848-1930

Theme and Time Period

In its 19th century beginning, the seafood industry in Biloxi, Mississippi, supplied only local markets with its succulent shrimp and plump oysters, and coast residents had always enjoyed the bounty of the harvest. Located on the water’s edge of the Gulf of Mexico, the city erected the Biloxi Lighthouse in 1848 to guide fishermen safely home. Locally caught and processed seafood could not be shipped to any market of great distance since there was no way to prevent spoilage.

Fox Conner: A General’s General

Theme and Time Period

Major General Fox Conner, inducted into the Mississippi Hall of Fame in 1987, never achieved fame outside his chosen profession. He lived quietly and unobtrusively, he never sought publicity, and he died in relative obscurity. Yet in the minds of his fellow soldiers and in the judgment of military historians, Fox Conner was perhaps the most influential officer in the United States Army between World War I and World War II. He was General John J. Pershing’s right-hand man in building the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) in World War I.

Making Ice in Mississippi

Theme and Time Period

Man-made ice is a common everyday item, one that Americans take for granted. It is produced as small cubes in refrigerators at homes and businesses, and fills ice chests at parks and beaches for use whenever we need or want it.

Making Ice in Mississippi Lesson Plan

OVERVIEW

Two inventions, now so commonplace that southerners can’t imagine being without them, totally revolutionized the lives and environments of southerners in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Appearing initially in the mid-1800s, man-made ice would soon pave the way for the development of air conditioning, which was used to beat back the humid heat of the South. Not only did the block ice business allow Mississippians to drink their tea “iced,” it also had a positive impact on both state and national economies.

The Community and Junior College System in Mississippi: A Brief History of its Origin and Development

Theme and Time Period

By early 21st century, nearly 11 percent of the Mississippi population was educated in some way in the state’s public community and junior colleges. Educational activities included university-track academic classes, training in career and technical skills, workforce education directed toward specific jobs, adult basic education, community enrichment courses, and test preparation for the general equivalency diploma, or GED.

The Community and Junior College System in Mississippi Lesson Plan

OVERVIEW

Although largely unplanned, Mississippi’s community and junior colleges grew out of the effort to establish agricultural high schools in rural areas of the state in the early 1900s. Today, Mississippi’s fifteen two-year colleges play a role in the education of many students throughout the state.

CONNECTION TO THE CURRICULUM

Mississippi Studies Framework: Competencies 1 – 4

Rosenwald Schools in Mississippi

Theme and Time Period

Public schooling in Mississippi did not become commonplace until after the American Civil War. After the United States Supreme Court decided in its 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson ruling that states could require separate public facilities for Black and White people as long as they were equal (the so-called “separate but equal” doctrine), White-dominated school boards began concentrating more of their efforts and funding on schools for White children, rather than for Black.

Architecture in Mississippi During the 20th Century

Theme and Time Period

As the 20th century dawned, Mississippians’ hope for the future was often expressed in the buildings they built. There was a revival in the architecture of not only the ancient classical past, but also that of the earliest days of our nation’s history.