1944: Thomas L. Bailey inaugurated as Mississippi’s forty-seventh governor

Governor Thomas L. Bailey (MDAH Collection)
Governor Thomas L. Bailey

Bailey served from 1944 to 1946.

Link to the catalog

1944: Construction of Mississippi River Basin Model begins in Clinton

One of the largest hydraulic models ever built, the Mississippi River Basin Model was constructed by the Army Corps of Engineers at the Waterways Experiment Station.  Labor in the early phases of the project was provided by POWs from Camp Clinton.

February 29, 1944: U.S. forces launch campaign in Admiralty Islands near New Guinea

Japanese Uniform Jacket
Japanese Uniform Jacket

Image:  Lieutenant W. O. Harrell, USNR, acquired this Japanese uniform jacket during the construction of a U.S. base after the islands were secured.

April 3, 1944: U.S. Supreme Court abolishes “white only” primaries in Smith v. Allwright

The white-only primaries were a means for the Texas Democratic Party to prevent non-whites from joining the party.  The court found such practices were in violation of the constitutional rights of nonwhite voters.

May 30, 1944: Corporal James D. Slaton of Laurel awarded Congressional Medal of Honor for action on September 23, 1943

June 6, 1944: Allied forces invade Europe in Normandy, France

German MP40 Submachine Gun
German MP40 Submachine Gun

The successful invasion at Normandy, or “D-Day,” was the turning point in the war for the Allies.

Image:  The MP40 submachine gun was used extensively by German forces throughout WWII.

June 13, 1944: U.S. forces land on Saipan in Mariana Islands

Bronze Star
Bronze Star

Image:  This Bronze Star with a “V” device for valor was awarded posthumously to Marine Corporal William J. Doolittle, killed in action on Saipan.

June 22, 1944: President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs G.I. Bill

The Servicemen’s Readjustment Act helped veterans return to civilian life by providing education and training, loan guarantees, and employment assistance.

August 1944: Proposed Choctaw Constitution sent to Washington

October 2, 1944: First cotton crop produced without hand labor at Hopson Planting Company near Clarksdale

Machines had planted the cotton and chopped it, and eight International Harvester cotton pickers harvested the crop.

October 2, 1944: Tech. Sgt. Van T. Barfoot of Edinburg awarded Congressional Medal of Honor for actions on May 23, 1944

October 19, 1944: Jackson Symphony Orchestra holds inaugural concert at Hotel Heidelberg

The orchestra was renamed the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra in 1989.

October 23-26, 1944: Battle of Leyte Gulf fought near Philippines

USS Mississippi Flag
USS Mississippi Flag

Leyte Gulf was the largest naval battle in history.  The battleship USS Mississippi helped destroy a Japanese task force in the Suriago Strait during this battle, firing the last salvo in the last battleship vs. battleship engagement in history.

Image:  The USS Mississippi was flying this flag during the battle of Suriago Strait, one of four engagements that compose the Battle of Leyte Gulf.

October 25, 1944: Captain Louis H. Wilson, Jr. of Brandon awarded Congressional Medal of Honor for action on July 25 and 26, 1944

December 4, 1944: Secretary of Interior establishes reservation for Choctaws

December 16, 1944: Battle of Bulge begins

World War II Uniform Jacket
World War II Uniform Jacket

The largest land battle in Europe involving U.S. troops, the Battle of the Bulge was fought in Belgium and Luxembourg when German forces mount a surprise offensive aimed at Antwerp.

Image:  T4 George C. Sargent of Bentonia wore this uniform jacket during his World War II service.  He participated in the battles for the Rhineland and central Europe, as well as in the Ardennes.

Previous: 1943

Next: 1945