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Jackson, Mississippi: the City with Soul

© By Adam Southwood
City with Soul is the current slogan for Jackson, Mississippi, ranked 3rd out of Americas 100 largest metro areas for the best "Bang For Your Buck" city according to Forbes magazine. It's named for Andrew Jackson, a general at the time, but who later became seventh President of the United States. The area was initially referred to as Parkerville, settled by Louis LeFleur, a French Canadian trader along the historic Natchez Trace trade route.
     Pulitzer Prize-winning author Eudora Welty was born in Jackson in 1909, lived most of her life in the Belhaven section of the city, and died there in 2001. Acclaimed African-American author Richard Wright, lived in Jackson as an adolescent and young man in the 1910s-20s, recorded in his memoir Black Boy (1945).
     As state capital, Jackson was a site for civil rights activism and mass demonstrations during the 1960s. On June 12, 1963, Medgar Evers, civil rights activist and leader of the Mississippi chapter of the NAACP, was murdered by Byron De La Beckwith, a white supremacist. Thousands marched in his funeral procession to protest the killing. A portion of U.S. Highway 49, all of Delta Drive and Jackson-Evers International Airport was named in honour of Medgar Evers.

Medgar Evers, Civil Rights Activist
     Today, on any given day, you'll find events like the Farish Street festival, Dixie National Rodeo, USA International Ballet competition, St. Paddy's Parade, Mistletoe Marketplace, Celtic Fest, Mississippi wildlife extravaganza, and Capital City Classic. Also, there's a plethora of performing arts and many historical attractions described below:
 •    Arts Center of Mississippi: home to several arts organizations and hosts myriad events open to the public. (201 E. Pascagoula St., 601-960-1500)
 •    Belhaven University: accredited in all four areas of the arts - visual, music, theatre, and dance. (1500 Peachtree St., 800-960-5940; 601-965-7044, web: www.belhaven.edu)
 •    City Hall: completed in 1847, it's is one of the most stunning and historic municipal buildings in the nation. used as a hospital by both sides during the Civil War and one of only three public buildings to survive the destruction of the city by Union troops. (219 South President St., 601-960-1084)
 •    Eudora Welty House & Garden: a National Historic Landmark and one of the most intact literary homes in America. (1119 Pinehurst St., 601-353-7762 weltytours@mdah.state.ms.us/welty )
 •    Jackson Municipal Art Gallery: originally built in the late 1860s as a stately private home, it stands today as one of the oldest surviving historic structures in Jackson. (839 North State St., 601-960-1582)
 •    Jackson State University: built in 1882, it's one of America's most prominent historically black colleges and universities. (1400 John R. Lynch St., 601-979-2272; www.jsums.edu)

Notable Sites:
 •    Ayer Hall (1903) - oldest building on site, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. (601-979-3935; 601-979-2055; www.jsums.edu/margaretwalker/)
 •    F.D. Hall Music Center/Art Gallery : hosts exhibits by known artists working in traditional and contemporary disciplines. (601-979-2141)
 •    H.T. Sampson Library: houses portraits, rare book collections, and African artifacts. (601-979-2123)
 •    Medgar Evers Home: Evers was the first field secretary for the NAACP in Jackson at the time of his death, June 12, 1963. (By appointment only; 2332 Margaret Walker Alexander Dr., 601-977-7839)
 •    Mississippi Blues Trail Markers: Jackson boasts more historic Blues markers than any other city in the state. Check www.visitjackson.com, for Mississippi Blues Trail markers as they are added.
 •    Mississippi Governor's Mansion: an 1841 Greek revival mansion designed, according to architect William Nichols, "to adhere to plain republican simplicity." (300 E. Capitol St., 601-359-6421 www.mdah.state.ms.us/museum/mansion.html)
 •    Mississippi Museum of Art: Mississippi's largest, it holds an extensive collection of more than 4,000 works. (380 South Lamar St., in downtown Jackson 601-960-1515; www.msmuseumart.org)
 •    The Old Capitol Museum: a National Historic Landmark and one of America's finest examples of Greek Revival public architecture. (100 South State St., 601-576-6920 www.mdah.state.ms.us)
 •    Russell C. Davis Planetarium/Ronald E. McNair Space Theatre: experience the universe in one of the South's largest planetariums, (201 East Pascagoula St., 601-960-1550; www.thedavisplanetarium.com)

International Museum Of Muslim Cultures  Jackson, Downtown Street  King Edward At Queen Of Hearts  Mississippi State Fair 

Adam Southwood writes for Canadian, U.S. and European magazines and newspapers. He is a graduate of both McMaster University in Hamilton and UWO in London with an interest in culture and history. He has produced several educational programs for TV.

Local Flowers  Standard Life Building  The Three Tenors, Thalia Mara Hall  USA IBC Gala 
Photo Credits
Courtesy of Jackson CVB

If you go
This destination
as seen on
Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jackson,_Mississippi
Wikitravel: http://wikitravel.org/en/Jackson_%28Mississippi%29
About.com: http://americanhistory.about.com/od/civilwarbattles/p/cwbattle_jacks.htm
Jackson CVB: http://www.visitjackson.com/

What's happening, money, distance, time?
Media Guide: http://www.abyznewslinks.com/
Currency conversion: http://www.xe.com/ucc/
Distance calculator: http://www.indo.com/distance/
Time zone converter: http://www.timezoneconverter.com/

Transportation, visas, health, maps and temperature
Airlines (Wikipedia): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_airlines
Embassies/Consulates (Embassy World): http://www.embassyworld.com/
Health precautions (WHO): http://www.who.int/ith/en/
Google interactive map: http://maps.google.com/
Temperature (Temperature World): http://www.temperatureworld.com/


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