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5 Fun Facts About February 14 In Mississippi History

---Learn Every Day: MS Today In History Facts Texted Each Day - Text: history ms To: 618-270-4005---

1. Mississippi was the second state to secede from the Union in 1861, just a few months before the start of the Civil War. This decision was heavily debated among Mississippi politicians, but ultimately the state chose to side with the Confederacy.

2. February 14, 1894 marked the beginning of one of the worst natural disasters in Mississippi history. Known as the Great Mississippi Flood, the disaster killed over 250 people and caused immense damage to homes, farms, and businesses along the Mississippi River.

3. On February 14, 1969, the Mississippi Supreme Court made a landmark decision in the case of Cohen v. Cowles Media Co. The case involved a journalist who had promised a source anonymity but was later forced to reveal their identity in court. The court ruled that the reporter's promise of anonymity was legally binding, setting an important precedent for the protection of journalistic sources.

4. On Valentine's Day in 2000, Mississippi became the last state in the United States to officially recognize Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a state holiday. The holiday had been celebrated nationally since 1986, but some states, including Mississippi, were slow to adopt it.

5. February 14, 2013 marked a historic moment for the LGBTQ+ community in Mississippi, when openly gay choir director Dr. Timothy C. Hester was appointed as the director of the Mississippi University for Women's choral program. This appointment was significant because it challenged Mississippi's conservative reputation and demonstrated progress towards acceptance and inclusion of the LGBTQ+ community.
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