Experience state’s rich history, heritage in Feb.

Mississippi invites visitors to experience the state’s rich history and cultural heritage and to find their true south during the month of February. Whether you are interested in Civil War history, the Civil Rights Movement or Native American culture, Mississippi is full of authentic sights, sounds and attractions for you to experience firsthand.
“So many historical figures lived, fought, struggled and endured in Mississippi,” said Mary Beth Wilkerson, director of the Mississippi Development Authority’s Tourism Division. “You can walk where they walked, see many of the things they saw and envision the years past that shaped our future and the world we live in today. That’s a key part of what makes Mississippi the perfect place to find your true south – we are real, authentic and ready to share our story with you.”

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Mississippi’s museums,  historical homes, Civil War sites and Civil Rights landmarks are located throughout the state. From the Vicksburg National Military Park and the Corinth Interpretive Center near Shiloh National Military Park to the home of Medgar Evers and Freedom Corner in Jackson, plan a trip to Mississippi in February to experience it yourself.
The year 2011 marks the 150thAnniversary of the Civil War, and Mississippi is home to many of the Civil War Sesquicentennial activities and events being planned for 2011-2015. The Civil War Preservation Trust lists 39 Mississippi sites on its Civil War Discovery Trail. The recently launched www.mscivilwar150.comis an excellent resource for up-to-the-minutes details about Civil War-related activities happening around the state.
February is African-American History Month in America, bringing an increased focus on Civil Rights history to the world. Mississippians were central to that movement, and you can learn more about how they helped shape our future while you are here. This year also marks the 50th anniversity of the Freedom Riders and Freedom Summer 1961, a pivotal part of the Civil Rights Movement (Official celebrations are scheduled for May 22-28, 2011).
Stretching 444 miles, the Natchez Trace Parkway is one of America’s most fascinating National Scenic Byways.  Its history is older than the nation’s, with origins dating to the days when buffalo roamed the region. The pathway eventually became the main land route for inland traders to reach the lower Mississippi.
The Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians maintains a proud presence in the state. Its casinos in Neshoba County mix easily with its heritage. The famous Choctaw baskets, as well as other Choctaw crafts, can be found at the casino shop.
Every city, town and community in Mississippi has its own story to tell about the people, places and events that helped shape its history and the future of our country. What better way to find your true south than a trip to Mississippi in February.
For more details, explore http://visitmississippi.org/cultural_historical.

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