Mississippi Government

The Citizens' Council Lesson Plan

Teaching Levels

Grades 7 through 12

Curricular Connections

Mississippi Studies

MS.8.3 - Evaluate the lasting impact of the Civil Rights Movement on Mississippi.

US History: 1877 to Present

US.3.2 - Trace the development of political, social, and cultural movements and subsequent reforms, including: Jim Crow laws, Plessy vs. Ferguson, women’s suffrage, temperance movement, Niagara movement, public education, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and Marcus Garvey.

The Citizens' Council

Theme and Time Period

In May 1954, the United States Supreme Court announced in a unanimous decision that segregation—the practice of separating Black and White students, by law, within the public school system—was unconstitutional. That decision, Brown v. Board of Education, set into motion decades of organized, White opposition in southern states that had, since the 1890s, enforced laws to ensure that Black students and White students would not attend the same schools.

Minnie Geddings Cox and the Indianola Affair, 1902-1904 Lesson Plan

Overview

In January 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt refused to accept the resignation of Minnie Geddings Cox, postmistress for the city of Indianola and Mississippi’s first African American postmistress. Roosevelt subsequently closed Indianola’s post office, and it remained closed for more than a year. The newspapers called the incident the “Indianola Affair.” Raised by business owner parents and educated at one of the premier schools for aspiring African American women, Cox sought opportunities beyond the traditional expectations for women of the time.

Minnie Geddings Cox and the Indianola Affair, 1902-1904

Theme and Time Period

In January 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt refused to accept the resignation of Minnie Geddings Cox, postmistress for the city of Indianola and Mississippi’s first African American postmistress. Roosevelt subsequently closed Indianola’s post office, and it remained closed for more than a year. The newspapers referred to the post office closing as the “Indianola Affair.” Cox’s role in the Indianola Affair, however, has been reduced to a footnote in early twentieth-century United States history.

The History of Mississippi's State Flag

Theme and Time Period

Inauspicious beginnings

On February 23, 1894, the Pascagoula Democrat-Star, in its “State News Boiled Down” section, listed news from across the state alerting readers to items like public resignations and appointments, legislative actions, warnings of floods, and new businesses. Situated between an announcement speculating that state senator C.

James O. Eastland

Theme and Time Period

In 1949, political scientist V. O. Key suggested that “insofar as any geographical division remains within the politics of [Mississippi] it falls along the line that separates the delta and the hills.” By the time Key thus defined the state’s political line of demarcation, James O. Eastland had already been a significant player on both sides of it.

The Federal Census: Why People are Counted

Theme and Time Period

Every ten years the federal government takes a census; it counts everyone living in the United States and its territories. It has done this since 1790. The census counts everyone — adults, children, citizens, and foreign nationals, and gathers demographic information such as age, education, employment, and the number of family members.

Walter Sillers and His Fifty Years Inside Mississippi Politics

Theme and Time Period

The Charles W. Capps Jr. Archives and Museum, which sits on the campus of Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi, is named, like a number of buildings at DSU, after a state political figure who needed to be thanked. The structure’s handsome white façade aspires to something classic and grand, with the entrance’s square columns suggesting that perhaps some of democracy’s great secrets lie within.

Lucy Somerville Howorth: Lawyer, Politician, and Feminist

Theme and Time Period

Lucy Somerville Howorth once described herself as a lawyer, politician, and feminist. She believed that girls and women should have the same access to college, a career, and professional promotions as society offered to boys and men. It really was not a radical idea in her day, but many women were afraid to be called a “feminist.” Not Lucy, who once said, “I glory in being a feminist.”

Lucy Somerville Howorth: Lawyer, Politician, and Feminist Lesson Plan

OVERVIEW

“I think that life has to be lived positively and affirmatively,” Lucy Somerville Howorth once declared to an interviewer. Students will find in this lesson numerous examples across diverse areas where Mrs. Howorth lived a life true to her declaration. As an activist, she was involved in issues that ranged from social and economic fairness and justice for women and Black people, to political campaigning and holding office, to conservation and stewardship.