Forging Ahead, 1946–Present

Phil Bryant: Sixty-sixth Governor of Mississippi: 2012-2020

Theme and Time Period

Phil Bryant was elected governor of Mississippi in the November 2011 Republican landslide. In that historic election, Republicans won all statewide offices, except for attorney general, and won majorities in both houses of the Mississippi Legislature. Bryant defeated the Democrat candidate, Mayor Johnny Dupree of Hattiesburg, by a 61-to-39-percent majority. Mayor Dupree was the first African American candidate in Mississippi history to win a major-party nomination for governor. In 2015, Bryant was reelected with 66 percent of the vote. Mississippi has a two-term limit on governors.

Vietnamese in Mississippi

Theme and Time Period

Colonialism and wars, particularly the Vietnam War of the 1960s and 1970s, displaced many Vietnamese from their Asian homeland. The Vietnamese are among the most recent groups of immigrants to settle in Mississippi, which is home to many ethnic groups. 

Vietnamese in Mississippi Lesson Plan

OVERVIEW

The Vietnamese are one of many ethnic groups that migrated to the United States. It was the similarities between Vietnam and Mississippi, especially the coastal area, that lured this group to become a part of Mississippi’s cultural landscape. Today, generations of Vietnamese families have not only embraced the communities in which they have settled, but they have made significant economic and cultural contributions to the local communities.

1961 in Mississippi: Beyond the Freedom Riders

Theme and Time Period

Mississippi had pockets of strong local civil rights activity before the Freedom Riders entered the state, but their presence in 1961 propelled the local movement to new heights.

1961 in Mississippi: Beyond the Freedom Riders Lesson Plan

OVERVIEW

Prior to the involvement of national initiatives in the 1960s, such as the Freedom Rides, local people worked to bring an end to discrimination in their communities. These efforts were led out of public view in private homes, churches, and small businesses. For this reason, the early local leaders of the Civil Rights Movement are often overlooked in history.

James O. Eastland

Theme and Time Period

In 1949, political scientist V. O. Key suggested that “insofar as any geographical division remains within the politics of [Mississippi] it falls along the line that separates the delta and the hills.” By the time Key thus defined the state’s political line of demarcation, James O. Eastland had already been a significant player on both sides of it.

Aaron Henry: A Civil Rights Leader of the 20th Century

Theme and Time Period

Aaron Henry was born in 1922 in Coahoma County, Mississippi, the son of sharecroppers. From a young age, he worked in the cotton fields alongside his family on the Flowers Plantation outside of Clarksdale. He remembered those years vividly when he recalled, “As far back as I can remember, I have detested everything about growing cotton.” Regardless of his early hardships, education was a priority for the Henry family.

The Federal Census: Why People are Counted

Theme and Time Period

Every ten years the federal government takes a census; it counts everyone living in the United States and its territories. It has done this since 1790. The census counts everyone — adults, children, citizens, and foreign nationals, and gathers demographic information such as age, education, employment, and the number of family members.

Walter Sillers and His Fifty Years Inside Mississippi Politics

Theme and Time Period

The Charles W. Capps Jr. Archives and Museum, which sits on the campus of Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi, is named, like a number of buildings at DSU, after a state political figure who needed to be thanked. The structure’s handsome white façade aspires to something classic and grand, with the entrance’s square columns suggesting that perhaps some of democracy’s great secrets lie within.

Shipbuilding Along the Mississippi Gulf Coast

Theme and Time Period

“Build me straight, O worthy Master!
Stanch and strong, a goodly vessel,
That shall laugh at all disaster
And with wave and whirlwind wrestle!”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow