Mississippi Bicentennial (MS State Seal)

Mississippi Bicentennial Celebration

Celebrating 200 years of statehood

Mississippi History

map of MS c1823

The state of Mississippi circa 1823. Image from the map collection at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.

One Mississippi, Many Stories

For 12,000 years, people have come to Mississippi, each adding a new voice to the state’s story. The first peoples – Native Americans – hunted and fished and built mounds. They created complex societies. Europeans came, eventually forcing tribes out of the state. White settlers brought enslaved Africans to Mississippi.

Immigration – the arrival of new people – became central to Mississippi’s story, from territory to statehood and beyond. Thousands of Americans came from eastern states. Italians, Chinese, and Lebanese moved to the Delta. Jewish families filtered across the state. Slavonian and Vietnamese went to the Gulf Coast. Religions and cultures mingled. Voices rang out, but some were not acknowledged. African Americans moved from slavery to freedom but struggled for a century to make their voices heard.

Our struggles stand alongside remarkable accomplishments. Music, literature, art, agriculture, and industry have all flourished in Mississippi. No state has more stories to tell, and here, many voices rise together to tell them.