1947: First woman wins statewide office

1955 re-election broadside for Nellah Massey Bailey (MDAH Collection)
1955 re-election broadside for Nellah Massey Bailey

Nellah Massey Bailey was elected state tax collector and was re-elected in 1951 and 1955. This office was abolished by the Legislature in January 1964.

1947: John Stennis elected to U.S. Senate seat vacated by death of Senator Bilbo

He ran against five other candidates, including two sitting congressmen—John Rankin and William Colmer. Stennis was reelected in 1952, 1958, 1964, 1970, 1976, and 1982, and remained a strong presence within the Senate until 1989. Stennis was the first chairman of the Senate Ethics Committee and wrote the first Senate ethics code. The John C. Stennis Space Center, the John C. Stennis National Student Congress, the USS John C. Stennis, and the John C. Stennis Lock and Dam are all named in his honor.

1947: B. B. King hitchhikes to Memphis to pursue career in music

Born near Itta Bena on September 16, 1925, King was interested in music from an early age. Less than two years after he arrived in Memphis, King had his own radio show on WDIA and was performing regularly. In 1951 he recorded his first hit, “3 O’Clock Blues.”

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