Philadelphia, Mississippi

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Philadelphia is a city in and the county seat of Neshoba County[1], Mississippi, United States. The population was 7,303 at the 2000 census.

Contents

History

Philadelphia was incorporated as a municipality and given its current name in 1903, two years before the railroad brought new opportunities and prosperity to the newly renamed town. The history of the town and its influences- social, political and economic- can still be seen in the many points of interest within and beyond the city limits, from the large ceremonial Indian mound and cave at Nanih Waiya to the still thriving Williams Brothers Store, a true old-fashioned general store founded in 1907 and featured in National Geographic in 1939 as a source of anything from “needles to horse collars”, and still offering everything from bridles, butter and boots to flour, feed and fashion.

Murders of three civil rights workers

Philadelphia is known as the site of one of the most infamous race-related crimes in American history. Shortly after midnight on June 21, 1964, three civil rights workers were murdered by white supremacists on a highway outside of Philadelphia. The crime and decades-long legal aftermath inspired the 1988 movie Mississippi Burning.

Ronald Reagan's visit

On August 3, 1980, Ronald Reagan gave his first post-convention speech after being officially chosen as the Republican nominee for President of the United States at the Neshoba County Fair. The speech drew attention for his use of the phrase "states' rights" at a place just a few miles from a town associated with the 1964 murders of civil rights workers. Reagan said, "I believe in states' rights ... I believe we have distorted the balance of our government today by giving powers that were never intended to be given in the Constitution to that federal establishment." He went on to promise to "restore to states and local governments the power that properly belongs to them".[2] The use of the phrase was seen by many as a tacit appeal to Southern white voters and a continuation of Richard Nixon's Southern Strategy, while some argued it merely reflected Reagan's libertarian economic beliefs.

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