1866: Congress refuses to seat Southern delegations, including Mississippi’s

The establishment of the “Black Codes” so enraged northern Republicans that the repeal of these laws was mandatory for readmittance into the Union.  Adopted by the Mississippi Legislature in November 1865, the “Act to Confer Civil Rights on Freedmen,” or Black Code, denied the rights of citizenship to African Americans.

1866: Mississippi Legislature repeals its Black Code

The Black Codes were the forerunners to the more formal Jim Crow “separate but equal” laws of the 20th century.  Enacted following the Civil War, the codes varied from place to place and included such restrictions as curfews, poll taxes, and papers that certified employment.

1866: Freedmen’s Aid Society of Methodist Episcopal Church establishes school in Holly Springs

Rust University (MDAH Collection)
Rust University

The school was chartered as Shaw University in 1870 and changed to Rust University in 1882.  It later became Rust College (1915).

Link to the catalog

1866: United States Congress passes Civil Rights Act of 1866

The act granted further rights to freed slaves and declared all persons born in the United States to be citizens.

1866: Jefferson College reopens as prep school

Jefferson College (MDAH Collection)
Jefferson College

Located near Natchez in Washington, Mississippi, Jefferson College had closed during the Civil War.

Link to the catalog

April 25, 1866: Women of Columbus decorate Union and Confederate soldiers’ graves

Decoration Day Ladies
Decoration Day Ladies

This gesture is said to have evolved into Memorial Day, the annual day of recognition of fallen solders.

Image:  Jane Fontaine, Martha Elizabeth Morton (seated left to right), Kate McCarthy Hill Cooper, and Augusta Murdock Sykes Cox (standing, left to right) organized the first joint decoration of Confederate and Union soldiers’ graves in Columbus.

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