Governor Hugh White

Born near McComb, Mississippi, in 1881, Hugh White attended the University of Mississippi. Intensely interested in business and politics, he was elected mayor of Columbia in 1926. A prosperous lumberman, he was successful in attracting manufacturing to Marion County when the Great Depression began. He was elected governor in 1935, having campaigned to help the state attract industry in the same way. He established the Balance Agriculture with Industry program to provide incentives to industries willing to locate in the state. White was also instrumental in creating a statewide highway construction program and the state highway patrol. From 1944 to 1948, White served in the Mississippi Legislature and in 1951 was elected to a second term as governor. During his second administration, school segregation was a major issue, and White developed a plan to consolidate school and improve black schools as an effort to thwart massive desegregation. White’s efforts failed as the Brown v Board of Education ruling declared racially separate schools were unconstitutional. White returned to his business interests when his term ended and died in 1965.

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