1960: Miss Mississippi Lynda Lee Mead wins Miss America competition

Lynda Lee Mead
Lynda Lee Mead

1960: Ross R. Barnett becomes Mississippi’s fifty-third governor

Governor Ross R. Barnett (MDAH Collection)
Governor Ross R. Barnett

Barnett served from 1960 to 1964.

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February 1, 1960: Wave of sit-ins at segregated lunch counters begins in Greensboro, North Carolina

Lunch counter in Jackson (MDAH Collection)
Lunch counter in Jackson

These sit-ins were led principally by African American college students.

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April 24, 1960: Biloxi Beach wade-in held

Report on beach integration (MDAH Collection)
Report on beach integration

Dr. Gilbert Mason led a demonstration to integrate the public beaches of the Mississippi Gulf Coast. In response, a group of forty white men attacked the African American men, women, and children.

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

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May 16, 1960: President Eisenhower signs Civil Rights Act of 1960

November 8, 1960: John F. Kennedy elected president

Mississippi’s votes went to ultra-conservative candidate Senator Harry Byrd, who was not on the primary ticket of either party.

December 5, 1960: U.S. Supreme Court bans segregation of bus terminals

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