The history of Jackson, Miss., is not without strife. The Choctaw tribe of Native Americans settled the land and occupied most of what is today recognized as north and central Mississippi. Once the land was released to white settlers, Europeans further developed it as a trading outpost. In years to come, the city was formed and named in honor of Maj. General Andrew Jackson. The city of Jackson was razed and rebuilt no less than three times during the American Civil War.
Jackson, Miss., is located in the central-western part of the state. Jackson is 200 miles due south of Memphis, Tenn., and 230 miles southwest of Birmingham, Ala. The city falls in the Eastern Standard Time zone and is 107 square-miles in area. On average, July and August are equally the warmest months of the year. The coldest month is January. The wettest month is April.
The city is located on the Pearl River in Hines, Madison, and Rankin counties. Historically, Jackson, has been on the forefront of the battle for African-American civil rights. The 1960s were an especially turbulent time for the city. Mass demonstrations, the activism of the Freedom Riders, James Meredith entering the University of Mississippi, the murder of Medgar Evers and Klu Klux Klan activity kept a perpetual tension on the city. However, in in 1994, Byron De La Beckwith was convicted of murdering Evers and in 1997, the city elected Harvey Johnson Jr. its first African-American mayor.
The economy of Jackson, has also suffered in the past two decades. Joblessness led to a crisis situation in the latter part of the 1990s, but the city has been able to bolster the economy, which has led to a decrease in the state's unemployment rate. Tourism is an important facet of Jackson's economy. For a number of years, Jackson has been the host to the USA International Ballet competition. The city also holds annual community gatherings, such as the Festival Latino, JubileeJam, and CeltFest Mississippi.
Accommodations in Jackson are typically provided by chain establishments. The Hilton Garden Inn Jackson Downtown offers the convenience of being close to several attractions and conference venues while also presenting itself with beautiful antebellum architecture. There are many other options for lodging in and around Jackson, as well. Rustic inns and bed and breakfasts are a nice alternative for hospitality and a truly Southern experience.
Written by Michael Paul Maupin