1959: Aaron Henry elected president of NAACP in Mississippi

Aaron Henry (MDAH Collection)
Aaron Henry

The Coahoma native was a civil rights leader in Mississippi.

Image:  From the files of the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission.

Link to the catalog

1959: Renovation of Old Capitol begins

The project restored the historic interiors of the Old Capitol and converted it to the State Historical Museum, which opened in 1961.

1959: Biologist Fannye Cook writes Freshwater Fishes in Mississippi

The book was published by the State Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks. Cook also helped found the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science and was its first director.

1959: David “Boo” Ferriss becomes baseball coach at Delta State University

The former major league baseball player coached there for 28 seasons. Ferriss pitched for the Boston Red Sox from 1945 to 1950.

1959: John K. Bettersworth publishes Mississippi: A History

1959: Miss Mississippi Mary Ann Mobley wins Miss America competition

Mary Ann Mobley
Mary Ann Mobley

April 25, 1959: Mack Charles Parker murdered in Poplarville

An African American truck driver from Lumberton accused of raping a white woman, Parker was killed three days before his scheduled trial date. The eight people in the lynch mob were believed to include a former deputy, a Baptist preacher, and his jailer. The local prosecutor refused to pursue the case.

September 15, 1959: Clyde Kennard arrested for speeding and illegal possession of liquor

Report on Clyde Kennard (MDAH Collection)
Report on Clyde Kennard

The Hattiesburg man was arrested shortly after being rejected for admission to Mississippi Southern College, now University of Southern Mississippi. He was convicted on September 29. Kennard, an African American poultry farmer and U.S. Army veteran, had tried to enroll before, in 1956 and 1958. Sovereignty Commission records show that authorities considered placing dynamite in his car.

Image:  From the files of the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission.

Link to the catalog

Previous: 1958

Next: 1960