This month in Mississippi History

April 7, 1798: Congress establishes Mississippi Territory

April 2, 1799: Governor Winthrop Sargent establishes first two counties — Pickering and Adams

April 30, 1803: France and United States sign Louisiana Purchase

April 12, 1861: Civil War begins

April 6-7, 1862: Battle of Shiloh ends in Union victory

April 16 and 22, 1863: Union navy passes Vicksburg batteries

April 17, 1863: Colonel Benjamin Grierson’s Union cavalry raid

April 29, 1863: Union bombards Grand Gulf

April 30, 1863: Union navy lands at Bruinsburg

April 9, 1865: General Robert E. Lee surrenders to General Ulysses S. Grant

April 14, 1865: Abraham Lincoln assassinated by John Wilkes Booth

April 26, 1865: Confederate forces begin surrendering

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

April 27, 1897: Mississippi Division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) organized in Meridian

April 6, 1917: Mississippi ratifies Woodrow Wilson’s declaration of war on Germany

April 6, 1917: United States enters World War I

April 5, 1936: Tornado devastates Tupelo, killing over 200

April 23, 1940: Fire kills over 200 at Rhythm Night Club in Natchez

April 29, 1943: The USS Natchez helps sink German submarine off Virginia coast

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

April 1, 1945: U.S. forces invade Japanese island Okinawa

April 12, 1945: President Roosevelt dies; vice president Harry S. Truman becomes president

April 20, 1945: Mississippi Choctaws adopt constitution and by-laws

April 12, 1956: Elvis Presley posts first #1 hit

April 25, 1959: Mack Charles Parker murdered in Poplarville

April 24, 1960: Biloxi Beach Wade In Held

April 24, 1960: Biloxi Beach wade-in held

April 17, 1964: Second mistrial declared in Byron De La Beckwith’s murder trial

April 26, 1964: Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party Formed

April 26, 1964: Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party formed

April 15, 1965: WLBT License Challenged

April 15, 1965: WLBT broadcasting license challenged

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

April 30, 1966: Blacks Build Tent City

April 4, 1968: Dr. Martin Luther King Assassinated

April 4, 1968: Martin Luther King, Jr. assassinated in Memphis

April 11, 1968: President Johnson Signs Civil Rights Act of 1968

April 11, 1968: President Johnson signs Civil Rights Act of 1968

April 12, 1970: Sharecropper Rainey Poole disappears

April 17, 1973: Governor Waller vetoes funding for the Sovereignty Commission

April 27, 1973: Sovereignty Commission proposes to seal its files

April 27, 1979: U.S. District Judge Harold Cox dismisses ACLU lawsuit to open Sovereignty Commission records

April 8, 1981: 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reinstates ACLU lawsuit to open Sovereignty Commission records

April 17, 2001: Proposed new state flag defeated by popular vote