Starkville, Mississippi is a city with a rich and diverse history. Surrounded by fertile farmland, this area has been home to many significant events throughout American history. Here are seven historical events that have taken place near Starkville, MS:
1. The Battle of Okolona: On February 22, 1864, the Union Army marched through Okolona on their way to capture Meridian, MS. Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest led his men to ambush the Union at these crossroads resulting in a battle that lasted a few hours, but resulted in a Union victory. This battle caused significant damage to the railroad tracks and bridges in the area.
2. The Civil Rights Movement: During the ‘50s and ‘60s, Starkville and nearby cities were an epicenter for the Civil Rights Movement due to the presence of Mississippi State University. Student activists and local leaders held sit-ins, rallies, and protests to push for equal rights for African Americans. James Meredith, the first African American student to enroll in Mississippi State University, took refuge on campus after his enrollment sparked a violent riot in 1962.
3. The Starkville Electric System: In 1901, Starkville became one of the first few cities in the United States to receive electrical power from a centralized power plant. This newly acquired electricity allowed communities to grow and businesses to thrive.
4. The Mississippi State University: MSU was founded in 1878 as a land-grant institution, aimed to provide agricultural education to the locals of the area. Today, the university is home to more than 21,000 students, offering a variety of degree programs and attracting students from all over the country.
5. The Battle of Columbus: Two different battles took place in the city of Columbus, MS during the Civil War. The Union Army would take control of the town, but later in 1865, Confederate Cavalry attacked the city, stealing anything valuable they could find.
6. The G.V. "Sonny" Montgomery VA Medical Center: This center opened in 1922 as a facility to provide healthcare to veterans of the Civil War. Today, the hospital offers healthcare services to all eligible veterans of the United States armed forces.
7. The Mardi Gras Parade: Starkville has its own Mardi Gras parade, becoming one of the few areas in Mississippi to officially celebrate this festival. The major attraction of the parade is a unique custom that allows attendees to throw beads, trinkets and other memorabilia to the crowds.
In conclusion, the area surrounding Starkville, MS is rich in history and has played a significant role in shaping the country’s past. These seven historical events are just a few examples of the many stories that the area has to offer. Whether it's the Civil Rights Movement or the unique festival of Mardi Gras, the heritage of Starkville, MS continues to intrigue, educate and inspire people to this day.
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