1963: Dr. James Hardy leads world’s first human lung transplant operation at University Medical Center

Architectural drawing of the University of Mississippi Medical Center
Architectural drawing of the University of Mississippi Medical Center
Link to the catalog

March 1963: Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee leads voter registration in Greenwood

May 17, 1963: Construction begins on NASA test facility in Hancock County

May 21, 1963: 600 African Americans gather in Jackson and call for meeting with Mayor Allen Thompson

The citizens’ demands included hiring African American police officers and school crossing guards, voluntary desegregation of public schools, removal of segregation signs in public facilities, and other steps toward desegregation in Jackson.

May 27, 1963: U.S. Supreme Court says 1955 “with all deliberate speed” decision means no more delays on school desegregation

May 27, 1963: Jackson mayor Allen Thompson meets with African American community representatives

Thompson refused the group’s demands for desegregation in Jackson.

May 28, 1963: Tougaloo College students begin sit-ins at Woolworth’s in Jackson

The students started the direct action protest in response to Jackson mayor Allen Thompson’s rejection of desegregation demands. Hostile crowds heckled and beat the students who were refused service and aid. White Tougaloo chaplain Ed King and sociology professor John Salter also participated in the protests. More than 50 college and high school students were arrested.

May 31, 1963: Mississippi Methodist Conference severs connection to Reverend Ed King

May 31, 1963: Hundreds of students gather at Farish Street Baptist Church for first mass protest march in Jackson

Between 400 and 500 students were arrested and held at fairgrounds.

June 12, 1963: Medgar Evers assassinated in driveway of his home

Medgar Evers House (Public Information files, MDAH Collection)
Medgar Evers House

As Mississippi field secretary of the NAACP, Evers had been involved in every significant civil rights action in the state. His murder focused public awareness on the struggles of the civil rights movement.

Image:  The Evers family home is now a museum operated by Tougaloo College. It contains period furnishings, exhibits, and Evers family photographs. Guided tours are available to the public by appointment. Call: 601-977-7839 or 601-977-7710 or email mwatson@tougaloo.edu. Location: 2332 Margaret Walker Alexander Drive Jackson, MS 39213. 

June 23, 1963: Byron de la Beckwith arrested for murder of Medgar Evers

Beckwith was a member of the White Citizens’ Council.

August 18, 1963: James Meredith graduates from University of Mississippi

August 28, 1963: Martin Luther King Jr. gives “I Have a Dream” speech at March on Washington

March on Washington material (Tougaloo Collection, MDAH)
March on Washington material

A quarter of a million citizens marched to promote passage of civil rights legislation.

Link to the catalog

November 7, 1963: African American voters cast “Freedom Ballots”

Freedom Vote polling sites in Jackson (MDAH Collection)
Freedom Vote polling sites in Jackson

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

Link to the catalog

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