Special Events

The Defenders to Show at the Two Mississippi Museums

On Thursday, February 24, at 7 p.m. the Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH) will premiere The Defenders: How Lawyers Protected the Movement in the Craig H. Neilsen Auditorium at the Two Mississippi Museums. Presented by Butler Snow and the Foundation for Mississippi History, the documentary film was produced by Red Squared and MDAH.

The Defenders focuses on Mississippi lawyers who represented African Americans in the years leading up to and during the Civil Rights Movement. Few in number, and with limited resources, lawyers representing African Americans in Mississippi lost more cases than they won during the 1950s and 1960s. Though circumstances were difficult, hundreds of lawyers were inspired to work in Mississippi and transformed its legal infrastructure for future generations. Their work demanding equality of treatment under law for Black citizens also changed the nation.

"We knew when we opened the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum in 2017 that there were stories we had not finished telling, including the story of the role of lawyers in the movement,” said MDAH director Katie Blount. “We are proud to join our partners and the lawyers themselves in highlighting this fascinating and critically important story.”

A question and answer panel will follow the premiere and feature former State Supreme Court Justice Reuben V. Anderson, former State Supreme Court Justice Fred Banks, attorney Martha Jane Bergmark, attorney Mel Leventhal, and director Roderick Red.

To view the official trailer for The Defenders click here.

For more information on The Defenders, call 601-576-6850 or email info@mdah.ms.gov. 


The Defenders

Join us on Thursday, February 24, for the premiere showing of the new documentary The Defenders at 7 p.m. in the Craig H. Neilsen Auditorium of the Two Mississippi Museums. The showing is free and open to the public. Face masks and social distancing guidelines are required. 

Holiday Open House at the Mississippi Museum Store

On Saturday, November 20, join us for the Holiday Open House at the Mississippi Museum Store. The come-and-go event is free and open to the public from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Enjoy samples from Mississippi vendors, special sale prices on select merchandise, artist and maker meet-and-greet opportunities, and additional discounts for museum members.

Nick Wallace Culinary will provide tasty food samplings, and other local vendors will also offer delicious treats.

The event includes book signings, custom hand-written invitations and ornaments, complimentary gift packaging, and a 10 percent discount on all merchandise. Museum members will receive a 20 percent discount on store items. Become a museum member online at give2mississippimuseums.com or purchase a membership during the event.

The Mississippi Museum Store offers one of the state’s finest collections of folk art, local handmade crafts, and books by and about Mississippians. Find unique holiday gifts for everyone on your list this year at the Mississippi Museum Store while visiting with local artists and makers. Shop artisan-made items for Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa. Highlighted merchandise includes Walter Anderson prints, Wolfe Studio birds, Harold Miller sculptures, and Shearwater Pottery. Other Mississippi-made products featured in the store are candles, jewelry, gourmet products, museum souvenirs, newly-designed Mississippi state flag merchandise, and much more.

The Mississippi Museum Store at the Two Mississippi Museums is open Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The museums open free of charge on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. are located at 222 North Street in Jackson. Call 601-576-6921 or email store@mdah.ms.gov for more information.


Christmas by Candlelight Tour Returns December 3 in Partnership with Capital City Lights, MDAH Partners with City of Jackson for Bicentennial

On Friday, December 3, enjoy free live music, holiday decorations, and treats during the 2021 Christmas by Candlelight Tour. In addition to the traditional features of the tour—shuttle buses, model train exhibit—this year's event will coincide with the City of Jackson's Capital City Lights, the kickoff event of the city's year-long bicentennial celebration. 

The Mississippi State Capitol and four MDAH sites will be open and sporting holiday decorations: the Mississippi Governor's Mansion, the grounds of the Old Capitol Museum, Museum of Mississippi History, and the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum. 

Park and take advantage of the shuttle buses running between sites, walk or drive and come and go on your own schedule. The Candlelight tour takes place from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. Capital City Lights will continue with additional activities, including shopping at two outdoor markets, Magnolia Marketplace and JXN Flea, classic cars, emergency vehicles set up in touch-a-truck style, live music, hot chocolate, caroling, marching bands, holiday décor, and of course…LIGHTS! 

Governor Tate Reeves and First Lady Elee Reeves will welcome visitors to the Mississippi Governor's Mansion, along with Santa. The model town of Possum Ridge and its trains will be displayed on the second floor of the Two Mississippi Museums—the Museum of Mississippi History and Mississippi Civil Rights Museum—and the Mississippi Museum Store will be open. The museums will also feature a sixteen-foot Christmas tree. The Old Capitol Museum will be decorated and lit, and choirs will perform on the grounds. A jazz ensemble will perform at the Mississippi State Capitol, which will be decorated and open for tours. 

On November 28, 1821, the Mississippi Legislature designated LeFleur's Bluff as the site of the state capitol. Jackson's first map was completed in April 1822 and consisted of the areas between High and South Streets and between Jefferson and West Streets. 

The legislature incorporated the town and named Jackson the county seat of Hinds County in 1822. The Mississippi Legislature first met in Jackson on December 23, 1822 in a nonextant structure. In 1839, legislators began convening in a newly-built statehouse, which now serves as the Old Capitol Museum. The current Mississippi State Capitol was completed in 1903.

The Capital City Lights planning committee consists of members of City of Jackson, MDAH, GJAC, Visit Jackson, Downtown Jackson Partners, local hoteliers, retailers and residents.  

For more information about the Christmas by Candlelight Tour, call 601-576-6850 or email info@mdah.ms.gov. For more information about Capital City Lights, email J. David Lewis at jdlewis@city.jackson.ms.us.  


State History, Civil Rights Museums to Host Veterans Day Ceremony

The Museum of Mississippi History and Mississippi Civil Rights Museum are partnering with the Daughters of the American Revolution, Mississippi Veterans Affairs, and Mississippi War Veterans Memorial Commission to honor Mississippians who serve and have served in the United States Armed Forces. The event begins at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, November 10, on the Entergy Mississippi Plaza in front of the Two Mississippi Museums. COVID-19 precautions will be in place.

“Mississippi’s extraordinary record of military service is one of the most inspiring stories that we share in the Two Mississippi Museums,” said MDAH director Katie Blount. “We are pleased to join with our military service organizations to pay special tribute to all the many Mississippians who have served our country.”

The program will include a performance by the 41st Army Band, a moment of silence, recognition of the veterans in attendance, memorial volley, wreath laying, and a keynote speech delivered by Major General Janson D. Boyles—the Adjutant General of the Mississippi National Guard. The museums are offering free admission to those currently serving in the military, veterans, and a family member of a veteran on November 10. The museums open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. The museums open free of charge on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information, call 601-540-2794 or email Colonel Allen McDaniel at amcdaniel@ngams.org.


Holiday Open House

Enjoy food and beverage samples from some of Mississippi's best. Join us for book signings, food and beverage samplings, artist and maker meet-and-greet opportunities and shop holiday specials at the Mississippi Museum Store--including a 10% discount on all merchandise. Museum members will receive a 20% discount on store items.

Veterans Day Ceremony

MDAH is partnering with the Daughters of the American Revolution, Mississippi Veterans Affairs, and Mississippi War Veterans Memorial Commission to honor Mississippians who serve and have served in the United States Armed Forces. The program will take place on the Entergy Mississippi Plaza in front of the Two Mississippi Museums under COVID-19 precautions.

2022 Mississippi Makers Fest

MDAH’s Mississippi Makers Fest is a day-long celebration of the state’s rich and diverse music and art.  The festival will take place on Saturday, May 7, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Entergy Plaza at the Two Mississippi Museums in Jackson, MS. This free festival will feature Mississippi artisans, live music, make-and-take activities, food trucks, and more. For more information, visit https://msmakersfest.mdah.ms.gov/.

Lena Richard & Julia Child: Two Women Who Changed Culinary History

Join us in collaboration with Smithsonian Affiliations for a look at chefs Lena Richard and Julia Child. They challenged perceptions and stereotypes of women in their respective eras and made lasting contributions to culinary history through their cookbooks, teaching and television programs. Speakers include curator Paula Johnson and historian Ashley R. Young of the National Museum of American History.

I AM A MAN: Thoughts of Yesterday

On Saturday, March 6, at 11 a.m., civil rights veterans Frank Figgers and Hezekiah Watkins will share their personal experiences of the Mississippi Freedom Movement through selected images from the special exhibit, I AM A MAN: Civil Rights Photographs in the American South, 1960–1970. This virtual event is free and open to the public. Register online here. Space is limited. 


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