1966: Statewide prohibition ends after Mardi Gras raid

Repeal of Prohibition Commemorative Bottle
Repeal of Prohibition Commemorative Bottle

The sheriff of Hinds County raided a Mardi Gras ball at the Jackson Country Club where illegal liquor was being served, and many prominent citizens were arrested. The uproar spurred the legislature to pass a law allowing individual counties to decide for themselves whether they wanted to legalize liquor sales.

January 10, 1966: Klan murders Vernon Dahmer

Ruins of Vernon Dahmer's house on morning it was firebombed
Ruins of Vernon Dahmer's house on morning it was firebombed

Klansmen firebombed his house and store in Hattiesburg in Forrest County. Dahmer had agreed to collect poll taxes at his store to help African Americans register to vote.

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March 03, 1966: “Candlestick Park” tornado strikes central Mississippi killing over 50 people

Candlestick Park Shopping Center (MDAH Collection)
Candlestick Park Shopping Center

Named after the Candlestick Park Shopping Center in southwest Jackson, the tornado left a path of destruction as it traveled through Hinds, Rankin, Scott, Leake, Neshoba, Kemper, and Noxubee counties.

Link to the catalog

March 25, 1966: U.S. Supreme Court outlaws poll tax

The 24th Amendment (1964) and Voting Rights Act of 1965 only prohibited the poll tax in federal elections. This Supreme Court decision specifically outlawed the assessment of poll taxes by states.

April 23, 1966: First Saturn V rocket tested at Mississippi Test Facility in Hancock County

June 6, 1966: James Meredith shot near Hernando

Meredith was shot the day before the primary election while walking from Memphis to Jackson on his “March Against Fear” to encourage African Americans to register and vote. Meredith recovered. Aubrey James Norvell of Memphis confessed to the shooting and was later sentenced to five years in prison.

October 15, 1966: National Historic Preservation Act of 1966

One of the most recognizable results of the National Historic Preservation Act was the creation of the National Register of Historic Places.  When the National Register started in 1966, experts at the time estimated about 40 places in Mississippi that would be listed.  Today, there are over 1400 Mississippi places listed, and the list grows annually.  Click here for more information on the National Register Program.

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