Mississippi Civil Rights Sites Special Resource Study
In 2017, the U.S. Congress passed a law directing NPS to conduct a special resource study of Mississippi's nationally significant civil rights sites, such as:
• The home in Jackson where civil rights activist Medgar Evers resided with his wife and was killed in 1963.
• Sites in the Mississippi Delta related to the lynching of 14-year-old Emmett Till on August 28, 1955, including Bryant's store and Tallahatchie County Courthouse.
• The Old Neshoba County jail in Philadelphia, Miss., where civil rights workers James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner were held for a speeding violation prior to being released and murdered by a mob for registering black voters in 1964. The Reverends Martin Luther King Jr. and Ralph David Abernathy Sr. included the jail in a heralded voter registration march two years later.
• The Biloxi office of Dr. Gilbert Mason Sr. who was a principal organizer of "wade-ins" beginning in 1959 to desegregate Biloxi's public beaches. He also helped organize voter registration drives and led other civil rights initiatives for 33 years.
Other related sites in the state not specifically listed in the legislation may be identified and added to the list of potential study locations. Based on this legislated directive, the National Park Service is beginning a special resource study of nationally significant civil rights-related historic sites to determine the potential for the designation of a new national park unit in the state of Mississippi.
The purpose of this special resource study is to gather information about the sites through historical research and public input and evaluate the sites' potential for inclusion into the NPS system. The findings - which are reported to Congress through the U.S. Secretary of the Interior - will center on the sites' national significance, suitability, feasibility and need for direct NPS management. Special resource studies can take place over a two-year period, depending on the findings.
To provide your input on this study, please click on the "Open for Comment" tab on the left side of this webpage to respond to four questions that will inform this study.
Six public open houses will be held in May, 2018 throughout the state of Mississippi. To find the closest meeting to you, please click on the "Meeting Notices" tab on the left side of this webpage.
Thank you for taking the time to learn about and comment on this study effort. We look forward to hearing from you.