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5 Fun Facts About July 21 In Mississippi History

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

1. Birth of legendary bluesman, John Lee Hooker
July 21, 1917, marks the birth of one of the most influential blues musicians of all time, John Lee Hooker. Born in Coahoma County, Mississippi but raised in Detroit, Michigan, Hooker's unique style of blues guitar and distinctive voice have had a lasting impact on the genre.

2. Start of the "Freedom Summer" civil rights campaign
On July 21, 1964, hundreds of volunteers arrived in Mississippi as part of the "Freedom Summer" civil rights campaign. The volunteers, mostly college students, brought attention to issues such as voting rights and segregation in Mississippi through acts of civil disobedience and voter registration drives.

3. Mississippi State's first African-American football player
On July 21, 1971, Robert Bell became the first African-American football player for Mississippi State University. Bell was a walk-on, but through his hard work and dedication, he made the varsity team and eventually became a starter. His successful integration into the team helped pave the way for future African-American athletes at the university.

4. Elvis Presley's final concert in Mississippi
On July 21, 1977, Elvis Presley performed his final concert in Mississippi at the Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium in Jackson. This was just weeks before his death on August 16 of that year.

5. Hurricane hits Mississippi Gulf Coast
On July 21, 1949, Hurricane "Able" made landfall on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The storm caused significant damage, including washing away entire homes and causing coastal flooding. This event serves as a reminder of the devastating impact that hurricanes can have on Mississippi and other coastal states.
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