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5 Fun Facts About April 1 In Mississippi History

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1. Mississippi Agrarian Reformers Take to the Streets

On April 1, 1894, the Mississippi Farmers’ Alliance held a massive parade in Jackson to demand various economic reforms. Thousands of people from across the state marched through the city, advocating for measures like free silver and federal regulation of railroads. The event was one of many similar demonstrations that took place during this period, as agrarian reformers sought to combat the power of industrial interests.

2. Mississippi Ratifies the 19th Amendment

On April 1, 1920, Mississippi became the 31st state to ratify the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which granted women the right to vote. Though the amendment had already been ratified by the requisite number of states, Mississippi was the last Southern state to do so, and the victory was seen as a major milestone in the fight for women’s suffrage.

3. A Deadly Tornado Strikes Tupelo

On April 1, 1936, a tornado tore through the town of Tupelo, Mississippi, killing over 200 people and leaving thousands homeless. The devastation was so complete that many parts of the town had to be rebuilt from scratch. The storm remains one of the deadliest tornadoes in American history.

4. The University of Mississippi Integrates

On April 1, 1962, the University of Mississippi became fully integrated when James Meredith, an African American student, enrolled in the school. Meredith had been fighting for admission for months, and his arrival on campus was met with significant resistance from white students and community members. Nonetheless, he persevered, and his enrollment represented a major victory for the civil rights movement.

5. Mississippi Chooses a New State Flag

On April 1, 2021, Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves signed a bill into law that removed the Confederate battle emblem from the state flag, replacing it with a design that features a magnolia flower and the state motto, “In God We Trust.” The move came after years of controversy over the old flag, which many felt represented a painful legacy of slavery and racism. With the adoption of the new design, Mississippi became the last state to remove the Confederate emblem from its official symbol.
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