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5 Fun Facts About July 11 In Mississippi History

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

1. On July 11, 1964, three civil rights workers, James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner, were murdered in Neshoba County, Mississippi. The killings were part of a larger effort to intimidate African Americans and civil rights activists during the Freedom Summer voter registration campaign.

2. In 1863, Confederate forces under General John C. Pemberton surrendered to Union forces led by General Ulysses S. Grant in Vicksburg, Mississippi. The 47-day siege of Vicksburg was a turning point in the American Civil War, opening the way for Union forces to control the Mississippi River.

3. On July 11, 1876, Robert Lowry, a Baptist minister and composer, debuted his popular hymn "Shall We Gather at the River" at a religious revival meeting in Mississippi. The song continues to be sung in churches around the world.

4. In 1925, the famous Mississippi flood reached its peak, inundating thousands of square miles of land and displacing hundreds of thousands of people. The flood, which was caused by heavy rainfall and levee failures along the Mississippi River, had a profound impact on the state's agriculture and economy.

5. On July 11, 1930, Mississippi enacted a law banning the teaching of evolution in public schools. The so-called "monkey law" was eventually struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in the landmark case of Edwards v. Aguillard (1987), which ruled that states cannot require the teaching of creationism or intelligent design in public schools.
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