Vignettes - Events

The Day We Nuked Mississippi

At 10:00 a.m. on October 22, 1964, the United States government detonated an underground nuclear device in Lamar County, in south Mississippi.  Residents there felt three separate shocks, and watched as the soil rose and behaved like ocean waves.  Hunting dogs howled in terror, and two miles from the test site the blast shook pecans… (read more)

Battle of Pass Christian – Bedsheet Surrender

Life was hard but not so hard as it might have been for Mississippi Coast Residents during the Civil War. The Union naval blockade certainly caused food and material shortages, but the blood and destruction that spread through Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, Missouri and South Carolina mercifully was not to happen along the Coast. Suffering was… (read more)

The Battle of the Bay of Saint Louis

The War of 1812 is the last time that a foreign army invaded United States soil.  British forces arrived in great force along the eastern seaboard, and because of the importance of the port of New Orleans which controlled the Mississippi River, authorities knew it was only a  matter of time until British naval forces… (read more)

The British Period 1763 – 1779

England’s defeat of France in the seven Years’ War brought an end to French rule in North America.  As a result of the peace treaty signed by George III and France in 1763, the Gulf Coast became a part of the newly-created province of British West Florida.  The Fleur de Lis was lowered and replaced… (read more)

Mystery of the Honey Island Swamp-Rat Killings

Mystery, intrigue, and legend have enshrouded one area of the lowest part of the Pearl River basin for centuries—Honey Island Swamp.  Located between the East and West Pearl Rivers, it has engendered tales of pirates, ne'er-do-wells, robbers, murderers, and other unsavory characters.  While respectable, honest people have lived there through the years, it has also… (read more)

The Influenza Epidemic of 1918

The influenza pandemic of 1918 killed an estimated fifty million people worldwide.  In fact, one-fifth of the world’s population was affected, and this disease killed more people than any other illness in recorded history.  Erroneously referred to as “Spanish” flu because Spanish newspapers initially reported its pervasiveness, it was not confined to this one country. … (read more)

Notes on the Yellow Fever Epidemic

From “The New Orleans Medical and Surgical Journal” July 1851 by A.P. Merrill Notes taken by Emma Clay of Medical Officer with 8th U.S. Infantry who was not named. An epidemic occurred not named but believed to be Yellow Fever. At the time of the appearance of this epidemic I held a commission in the… (read more)

March 19,1886 – Red Letter Day for City of Bay Saint Louis

In a communication mailed from Jackson, Mississippi and directed on March 19, 1886 to the Honorable James A. Ulman, Mayor of the City of Bay St. Louis was the long awaited approval of the Charter and Ordinances of the City of Bay St. Louis. A copy of this document is filed in the City Hall,… (read more)

The Louisiana-Mississippi War of 1905

In the 1890’s the South endured annual plagues of yellow fever, borne by mosquitoes.  Even though the Army Yellow Fever Commission headed by Major Walter Reed confirmed in 1901 the hypothesis of Cuban scientist Dr. Carlos Juan Finlay that yellow fever was caused by a mosquito, most of the South ignored its implications.  Mosquito control… (read more)

Early Telephone Service

Telephone service came to Bay St. Louis August 18, 1899 and 47 total telephones were initially served by this exchange. One year later the total number of telephones had climbed to 108 and by 1905 to 190. It wasn’t until 1910 that the total number of telephones served by the Bay St. Louis exchange passed… (read more)

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Hancock County Historical Society
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