“Telling Our Stories,” published by MDAH and University Press

University Press has announced the definitive guide to two state-of-the-art museums—The Museum of Mississippi History and the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, which are both set to open December 9, 2017, in celebration of the state’s bicentennial.

“Telling Our Stories: Museum of Mississippi History and Mississippi Civil Rights Museum” (Mississippi Department of Archives and History and University Press of Mississippi) highlights some of the Mississippi stories captured in the two museums. The book also tells the story behind the museum project, honoring those who made these museums possible and celebrating their commitment to making the museums the signature project of Mississippi’s bicentennial celebration.

The Museum of Mississippi History will explore the entire sweep of the state’s history. The Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, the first state-operated civil rights museum in the country, will explore the period from 1945 to 1976 when Mississippi was ground zero for the Civil Rights Movement nationally.

Mississippi’s story comes to life through artifacts like a circa-1840 cotton gin, a contemporary Choctaw beaded medallion necklace, a banner from the state’s first black Masonic lodge, a boll weevil trap used in Grenada County, a chess set molded from bread by a Freedom Rider at Parchman Penitentiary, and a clock that stopped at the moment Hurricane Katrina flooded a Biloxi home. Never before have these objects been gathered together in one place or publication.

Contributions to “Telling Our Stories” come from Reuben V. Anderson, Haley Barbour, Kane Ditto, Myrlie Evers, John E. Fleming, Dennis J. Mitchell and William F. Winter. Order the book here.

Opening day tickets for the two museums are sold out but don’t miss the Bicentennial Celebration on and around the museum grounds on December 9. There will be food trucks, live music, guest speakers and more. And, catch Mississippi Mile featuring celebrated storytellers, a bicentennial photo gallery with the “largest pop-up, open-air gallery in the United States” stretching Capitol Street.