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5 Fun Facts About July 23 In Mississippi History

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

1. On July 23, 1863, General William Sherman's Union forces entered Jackson, Mississippi, and seized the state capital during the American Civil War. The conquest allowed the Union army to control critical railway junctions and disrupt Confederate forces' communication and supply lines in the region.

2. Mississippi's first state flag, featuring a blue canton with a white star and a red and white horizontal stripe, was adopted on July 23, 1894. The design was based on the Confederate battle flag but removed the St. Andrew's Cross to avoid association with slavery and racism. The flag remained controversial and divisive until its replacement in 2020.

3. Mississippi-born blues and rock guitarist, singer, and songwriter, Charley Patton, died in Indianola, Mississippi, on July 23, 1934. Patton was a seminal figure in the development of Delta blues and influenced generations of blues and rock musicians.

4. NASA astronaut Fred Wallace Haise, Jr., was born in Biloxi, Mississippi, on July 23, 1933. Haise flew on the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission in 1970, which suffered an oxygen tank rupture and forced the crew to return to Earth in a perilous makeshift spacecraft configuration.

5. On July 23, 1964, civil rights activist Annie Devine and dozens of other Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP) delegates challenged the seating of the all-white state delegation at the Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Although the MFDP was denied official recognition, their challenge exposed the racial discrimination and segregation in Mississippi's political system and provided momentum for broader civil rights reforms.
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