Mississippi Civil Rights Museum

MDAH 2021 Holiday Closures for November, December

Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH) sites will be closed at times during the holiday season. In observance of Thanksgiving in Jackson, the archives library will be closed Thursday, November 25–Saturday, November 27, and the Two Mississippi Museums and Eudora Welty House & Garden will be closed Thursday, November 25. In Natchez the Grand Village of the Natchez Indians will also be closed Thursday, November 25.  

In observance of Christmas the archives library will be closed Thursday, December 23–Saturday, December 25. The Two Mississippi Museums, Eudora Welty House & Garden and Grand Village of the Natchez Indians will close early at 3 p.m. on Friday, December 24 and be closed on Saturday, December 25. 

In observance of New Year’s Day the archives library will be closed Friday, December 31–Saturday, January 1. The Two Mississippi Museums, Eudora Welty House & Garden, and Grand Village of the Natchez Indians will close early at 3 p.m. on Friday, December 31, and be closed on Saturday, January 1. 

Visit www.mdah.ms.gov/explore-mississippi for more information about each site.

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Holiday Open House at the Mississippi Museum Store

On Saturday, November 20, join us for the Holiday Open House at the Mississippi Museum Store. The come-and-go event is free and open to the public from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Enjoy samples from Mississippi vendors, special sale prices on select merchandise, artist and maker meet-and-greet opportunities, and additional discounts for museum members.

Nick Wallace Culinary will provide tasty food samplings, and other local vendors will also offer delicious treats.

The event includes book signings, custom hand-written invitations and ornaments, complimentary gift packaging, and a 10 percent discount on all merchandise. Museum members will receive a 20 percent discount on store items. Become a museum member online at give2mississippimuseums.com or purchase a membership during the event.

The Mississippi Museum Store offers one of the state’s finest collections of folk art, local handmade crafts, and books by and about Mississippians. Find unique holiday gifts for everyone on your list this year at the Mississippi Museum Store while visiting with local artists and makers. Shop artisan-made items for Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa. Highlighted merchandise includes Walter Anderson prints, Wolfe Studio birds, Harold Miller sculptures, and Shearwater Pottery. Other Mississippi-made products featured in the store are candles, jewelry, gourmet products, museum souvenirs, newly-designed Mississippi state flag merchandise, and much more.

The Mississippi Museum Store at the Two Mississippi Museums is open Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The museums open free of charge on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. are located at 222 North Street in Jackson. Call 601-576-6921 or email store@mdah.ms.gov for more information.

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Christmas by Candlelight Tour Returns December 3 in Partnership with Capital City Lights, MDAH Partners with City of Jackson for Bicentennial

On Friday, December 3, enjoy free live music, holiday decorations, and treats during the 2021 Christmas by Candlelight Tour. In addition to the traditional features of the tour—shuttle buses, model train exhibit—this year's event will coincide with the City of Jackson's Capital City Lights, the kickoff event of the city's year-long bicentennial celebration. 

The Mississippi State Capitol and four MDAH sites will be open and sporting holiday decorations: the Mississippi Governor's Mansion, the grounds of the Old Capitol Museum, Museum of Mississippi History, and the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum. 

Park and take advantage of the shuttle buses running between sites, walk or drive and come and go on your own schedule. The Candlelight tour takes place from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. Capital City Lights will continue with additional activities, including shopping at two outdoor markets, Magnolia Marketplace and JXN Flea, classic cars, emergency vehicles set up in touch-a-truck style, live music, hot chocolate, caroling, marching bands, holiday décor, and of course…LIGHTS! 

Governor Tate Reeves and First Lady Elee Reeves will welcome visitors to the Mississippi Governor's Mansion, along with Santa. The model town of Possum Ridge and its trains will be displayed on the second floor of the Two Mississippi Museums—the Museum of Mississippi History and Mississippi Civil Rights Museum—and the Mississippi Museum Store will be open. The museums will also feature a sixteen-foot Christmas tree. The Old Capitol Museum will be decorated and lit, and choirs will perform on the grounds. A jazz ensemble will perform at the Mississippi State Capitol, which will be decorated and open for tours. 

On November 28, 1821, the Mississippi Legislature designated LeFleur's Bluff as the site of the state capitol. Jackson's first map was completed in April 1822 and consisted of the areas between High and South Streets and between Jefferson and West Streets. 

The legislature incorporated the town and named Jackson the county seat of Hinds County in 1822. The Mississippi Legislature first met in Jackson on December 23, 1822 in a nonextant structure. In 1839, legislators began convening in a newly-built statehouse, which now serves as the Old Capitol Museum. The current Mississippi State Capitol was completed in 1903.

The Capital City Lights planning committee consists of members of City of Jackson, MDAH, GJAC, Visit Jackson, Downtown Jackson Partners, local hoteliers, retailers and residents.  

For more information about the Christmas by Candlelight Tour, call 601-576-6850 or email info@mdah.ms.gov. For more information about Capital City Lights, email J. David Lewis at jdlewis@city.jackson.ms.us.  

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State History, Civil Rights Museums to Host Veterans Day Ceremony

The Museum of Mississippi History and Mississippi Civil Rights Museum are partnering with the Daughters of the American Revolution, Mississippi Veterans Affairs, and Mississippi War Veterans Memorial Commission to honor Mississippians who serve and have served in the United States Armed Forces. The event begins at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, November 10, on the Entergy Mississippi Plaza in front of the Two Mississippi Museums. COVID-19 precautions will be in place.

“Mississippi’s extraordinary record of military service is one of the most inspiring stories that we share in the Two Mississippi Museums,” said MDAH director Katie Blount. “We are pleased to join with our military service organizations to pay special tribute to all the many Mississippians who have served our country.”

The program will include a performance by the 41st Army Band, a moment of silence, recognition of the veterans in attendance, memorial volley, wreath laying, and a keynote speech delivered by Major General Janson D. Boyles—the Adjutant General of the Mississippi National Guard. The museums are offering free admission to those currently serving in the military, veterans, and a family member of a veteran on November 10. The museums open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. The museums open free of charge on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information, call 601-540-2794 or email Colonel Allen McDaniel at amcdaniel@ngams.org.

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Holiday Open House

Enjoy food and beverage samples from some of Mississippi's best. Join us for book signings, food and beverage samplings, artist and maker meet-and-greet opportunities and shop holiday specials at the Mississippi Museum Store--including a 10% discount on all merchandise. Museum members will receive a 20% discount on store items.

Veterans Day Ceremony

MDAH is partnering with the Daughters of the American Revolution, Mississippi Veterans Affairs, and Mississippi War Veterans Memorial Commission to honor Mississippians who serve and have served in the United States Armed Forces. The program will take place on the Entergy Mississippi Plaza in front of the Two Mississippi Museums under COVID-19 precautions.

Artifact Washing Day

Spend a day as an archaeologist at the Two Mississippi Museums! Learn how to clean authentic artifacts excavated in Mississippi, view different aspects of Native American culture, try your hand at reconstructing a broken modern vessel, use stone tools to shave a deer hide, and learn more about the early peoples of Mississippi through guided tours of archaeological exhibits in the Museum of Mississippi History. For more information, visit the Museum of Mississippi History Facebook page.

Margaret Burnham, Jerry Mitchell to Speak at State History, Civil Rights Museums

On Tuesday, October 19, The Two Mississippi Museums will host Un(re)solved: Conversation with Jerry Mitchell and Margaret Burnham to discuss the civil rights cold cases highlighted in Un(re)solved—the PBS Frontline traveling augmented-reality exhibit at the Two Mississippi Museums. The event will start at noon and is free and open to the public. It will also be live streamed via the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum Facebook page. Margaret Burnham is the founder and director of Northeastern University School of Law’s Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project (CRRJP), and Jerry Mitchell is a renowned investigative reporter. 

Margaret Burnham and the CRRJP investigate racial violence in the Jim Crow era and other historical failures of the criminal justice system, including Franklin County Mississippi law enforcement officials accused of assisting Klansmen in the kidnapping, torture, and murder of Henry Dee and Charles Eddie Moore in 1964. Burnham is lead advisor for Un(re)solved, and her investigations are featured in the documentary American Reckoning.   

Jerry Mitchell has been investigating civil rights-era crimes for more than thirty years and he is the founder of the Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting. Mitchell’s reporting helped lead to convictions in cases such as the 1963 assassination of Mississippi NAACP leader Medgar Evers, the 1963 16th Street Baptist Church bombing, and the 1964 slayings of three civil rights workers, James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner. Mitchell served on the advisory council that helped guide the development of the Unresolved project.    

Un(re)solved, PBS Frontline’s traveling augmented-reality exhibit, is now open at the Two Mississippi Museums and will run through October 24. Drawing on more than two years of reporting, thousands of documents, and dozens of first-hand interviews with family members—as well as current and former Justice Department and FBI officials, state and local law enforcement, lawmakers, civil rights leaders and investigative journalists—the multi-platform exhibit examines the federal government’s effort to investigate more than 150 civil rights-era cold cases through the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act.   

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Trick or Treat at the Two Mississippi Museums

Join us for Trick or Treat at the Two Mississippi Museums on Saturday, October 30, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Discover mysteries from Mississippi's past with our scavenger hunt, trick or treat, and craft stations placed throughout the building for spirited holiday fun. Children are invited to participate in our “Two Mississippi Museums Monster March” Halloween costume parade at 11 a.m. Admission to the museums is free during the event.

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