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5 Fun Facts About May 16 In Mississippi History

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

1. In 1962, conservative Mississippi senator James Eastland led a pro-segregation rally in Jackson, where he denounced the Civil Rights movement and called for the preservation of the white, Southern way of life.

2. On May 16, 1863, Union soldiers burned down the town of Abbeville, Mississippi, during the Civil War. The town, which had previously been a hotbed of Confederate activity, was targeted as part of General Ulysses S. Grant's campaign to capture Vicksburg.

3. In 1930, the Mississippi State Penitentiary (also known as Parchman Farm) saw one of the largest prison riots in its history. Over 1,000 inmates rebelled against abusive guards and overcrowded conditions, resulting in the deaths of several prisoners and the burning of a number of buildings.

4. May 16, 2017, marked the 50th anniversary of the formation of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP). The MFDP was founded in response to the all-white Democratic Party's refusal to allow African Americans to participate in the political process.

5. On May 16, 1996, Michael Davis, Jr., became the first African American to graduate from the University of Mississippi's School of Law. Davis, whose father was a civil rights activist in the state, went on to become a successful attorney and advocate for social justice.
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