More than 240,000 people have visited the Museum of Mississippi History and the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum since opening on December 9, 2017. State tourism officials had projected 180,000 visits for the two museums in their first year in operation.
“We are thrilled to have welcomed nearly a quarter of a million people to the Two Mississippi Museums in this first year,” said Governor Phil Bryant.
More than 60,000 school children and their teachers from across the state have toured the museums making real Governor William F. Winter and Judge Reuben V. Anderson’s opening day promise that the new museums would become the state’s largest classroom.
“In the past year the Two Mississippi Museums have been praised for their innovation and have attracted visitors from every state and many nations,” said Katie Blount, director of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.
To mark the second year of operation the Two Mississippi Museums will open the Spirits of the Passage: The Story of the Transatlantic Slave Trade, a one-of-a-kind traveling exhibit, on February 2 featuring rare artifacts from the shipwreck collection of the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum.
The museums will also launch a variety of new programs and events. Highlights include the family-oriented Hands on History series, the monthly after-hours gallery highlight Under the Light, and a joint Freedom Seder to commemorate the original 1969 Freedom Seder that brought together people of all backgrounds during the Civil Rights Movement.
The Mississippi Civil Rights Museum’s eight galleries chronicle the events of the national Civil Rights Movement that took place in Mississippi. The museum exhibits artifacts of slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers, the doors of the Bryant Grocery that 14-year-old Emmett Till walked through before his fateful encounter with the shopkeeper that led to his murder; a series of lighted columns that display the name of every known lynching victim in the state—more than 600 individuals; and the award-winning, two-story “This Little Light of Mine” sculpture that celebrates the hope of the Civil Rights Movement in song and lights.
The Museum of Mississippi History’s theme—One Mississippi, Many Stories—runs throughout the 11 galleries that explore the diverse people who contributed to the state’s history from prehistoric times to present day. These stories are personalized through the world’s most extensive collection of Mississippi artifacts, including a 500-year-old Native American dugout canoe discovered submerged in mud on the bank of a Mississippi lake, author Eudora Welty’s manual typewriter, and a recreated Delta juke joint that hops to the sounds of Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, and Bo Diddley.
Museum hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. The museums are located at 222 North St.