1948: Fielding Wright becomes Mississippi’s fiftieth governor

Election broadside for Fielding Wright (MDAH Collection)
Election broadside for Fielding Wright

Wright served from 1948 to 1952.

1948: Dixiecrat splinter group breaks away from Democratic Party

Broadside announcing States' Rights Democrats meeting (MDAH Collection)
Broadside announcing States' Rights Democrats meeting

Also known as the States’ Rights Democratic Party, the political party opposed racial integration and openly sought to keep the oppressive reality of Jim Crow entrenched in Southern culture.

1948: Tennessee Williams wins Pulitzer Prize for Drama for A Streetcar Named Desire

A respected playwright, Williams also wrote The Glass Menagerie, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and other plays that appeared on Broadway and were made into films.  Williams was born in Columbus, Mississippi, on March 26, 1911, and lived briefly in Clarksdale, Mississippi, before moving to St. Louis, Missouri. He died in New York City on February 24, 1983.

1948: Television stations in Memphis and New Orleans go on the air

Although most Mississippians had to wait until the state had a station in 1953, some enterprising citizens bought televisions and put up antennas to pick up the signals from stations in Memphis and New Orleans.

February 7, 1948: Gladys Noel Bates files lawsuit for equal pay

Gladys Noel Bates (Tougaloo Collection, MDAH)
Gladys Noel Bates

The lawsuit was filed against the Jackson schools for pay discrimination against Bates and other African American teachers.

Link to the catalog

July 12-15, 1948: Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

MS Flag from Democratic National Convention
MS Flag from Democratic National Convention

Hubert Humphrey gave a controversial speech urging the party to adopt an anti-segregation platform. Thirty-five delegates from Alabama and Mississippi walked out of the convention.

Image:  An angry Mississippi delegate tore this flag from its staff as the Mississippi delegation walked out of the Democratic National Convention.

July 17, 1948: Dixiecrat Convention held in Birmingham, Alabama

Governor Strom Thurmond of South Carolina was nominated as president of the States’ Rights Democratic Party and Governor Fielding Wright of Mississippi was nominated as vice president.

July 26, 1948: President Harry Truman issues executive order integrating armed forces

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