Focused on Mississippi: The River City and the Fourth of July


WJTV 12's Walt Grayson explores Vicksburg's bond to the Fourth of July

It’s the week of the Fourth of July, and for this edition of “Focused on Mississippi”, Walt Grayson looks at one city’s refusal to celebrate the national holiday.
After the Civil War between the Union and the Confederacy ended in 1865, the City of Vicksburg didn’t observe an official Independence Day celebration until 1947. And residents in the city have one American hero to thank – Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Before he became Commander-In-Chief, Eisenhower visited Mississippi and stayed in a Vicksburg house. The room he stayed in is now known as “The Eisenhower Suite”, but the house also helped lead Eisenhower on the path to the White House. It was also there where he said that he would accept the nomination for President if it were offered to him.
That visit also marked the first time an Independence Day celebration was recognized in Vicksburg, though according to historian Gordon Cotton, the day was observed as “The Carnival of the Confederacy.”
Fast forward to the future and history has played itself out: Eisenhower served as the 34th President of the United States, the house where he stayed still remains, and thanks in part to the city’s Bicentennial celebration in 1976, the Fourth of July is now regularly observed.
WJTV 12’s Walt Grayson sits with Ann Morrison, the owner of that home, and Cotton, as they discuss the relationship between the Fourth of July and Vicksburg.

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