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Map of Mississippi
Locator Map of Mississippi

1500s - 1600s
  • (1540 - 1541) Hernando De Soto entered Mississippi; discovered Mississippi River
  • (1673) French missionary, Father Jacques Marquette, and fur trapper Louis Joliet explored Mississippi River; reaching the Gulf Coast
  • (1699) Pierre LeMoyne, Jean Baptiste built Fort Maurepas, first capital of French colony on North American continent
  • (1716) Fort Rosalie (now Natchez) established
  • (1729) French settlers at Fort Rosalie massacred by Natchez Indians
  • (1732) French retaliated against Natchez Indians; tribe ceased to exist
  • (1736) Chickasaw Indians defeated French at battle of Ackia
  • (1763) Mississippi passed into English control after French and Indian War
  • (1779) Spanish Louisiana governor, Bernardo Galvez, captured Natchez
  • (1781 - 1783) Mississippi divided - Spain controlled south; America controlled north
  • (1797) Spain ceded Mississippi to America
  • (1798) Mississippi organized as American territory
  • (1801 - 1802) Natchez Trail developed as mail route, major road; capital moved from Natchez to Washington, Mississippi
  • (1805) Choctaw sold 4.5 million acres of land to U. S.
  • (1812) War of 1812 began; Mississippi took control of West Florida territory
  • (1815) War of 1812 ended
  • (1816) Treaty with Choctaw Indians opened land around Tombigbee Prairie for settlement
  • (1817) Mississippi became 20th state; Indian lands opened for white settlement
  • (1822) State capital moved to Jackson
  • (1830) All Choctaw territory east of Mississippi River ceded to U. S.; Choctaws left state; all Chickasaw territory in north ceded to U. S.; Chickasaws moved to Oklahoma
  • (1850) U. S. Congress gave Mississippi three million acres of swamp and overflow land; levees were built along river, created Delta; land available for cultivation; Compromise of 1850 allowed slavery
  • (1861) Civil War began; Mississippi seceded from Union; Ship Island captured by Union army
  • (1862) Union captured Corinth
  • (1863) Emancipation Proclamation abolished slavery
  • (1865) Civil War ended
  • (1867) U.S. Congress rejected state's reconstructed government; military government established
  • (1868) Voters rejected biracial constitutional "Black and Tan Convention" which protected rights of ex-slaves, punished ex-Confederates
  • (1869) Constitution which did not punish ex-Confederates ratified
  • (1870) Mississippi readmitted to Union; public education established
  • (1890) New state constitution adopted


  • (1903) New capitol building dedicated in Jackson
  • (1907) Boll weevils destroyed cotton crops
  • (1908) Statewide prohibition adopted
  • (1922) System of junior colleges authorized by State Legislature (first in the U. S.)
  • (1927) Mississippi River flooded 2,722,000 acres in Delta area; thousands homeless
  • (1932) State sales tax became effective
  • (1939) First oil well drilled in Yazoo County
  • (1954) Brown vs. Board of Education ruling laid groundwork for desegregation
  • (1962) James Meredith, first black registrant, entered University of Mississippi
  • (1964) Civil Rights Act passed outlawing segregation in public places
  • (1969) Segregation in public schools ended; Hurricane Camille hit causing catastrophic damage
  • (1976) Savings and loans associations restructured by Legislature to avert financial crisis
  • (1979) Flooding devastated Jackson and other cities along Pearl River
  • (1986) Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway completed
  • (1992) Tornadoes struck, 15 killed, over 300 injured
  • (2004) Voters banned same-sex marriage
  • (2005) Hurricane Katrina caused severe, catastrophic damage along coast; 238 people died, 67 missing and billions of dollars in damages; ex-Klansman convicted of manslaughter in 1964 killing of three civil rights workers
  • (2006) Bureau of Economic Analysis estimated lowest per capita personal income of any state, also had nation's lowest living costs; sex offenders; names and faces placed on roadside billboards
  • (2010) Tornado struck southeastern Mississippi, killed ten, state of emergency declared in 17 counties
  • (2012) Before leaving office, Governor Haley Barbour issued full pardons to 208 inmates, including 14 convicted murderers

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