Jackson, Miss. Mississippi breaks ground Thursday on side-by-side museums that are expected to present a complete and honest account of the state's history.
The Mississippi Civil Rights Museum promises a frank focus on a difficult era, and the Museum of Mississippi History vows to address the state's story starting long before European settlement.
Officials say the museums won't sugarcoat history, addressing slavery, the Civil War and civil rights. Even the rifle used to kill state NAACP leader Medgar Evers in 1963 will be displayed.
District 83 state representative and speaker pro tempore of the House, Greg Snowden, of Meridian, will be one of the speakers. He will speak on the behalf of the state House of Representatives. The principal speakers include Gov. Phil Bryant and former governors, Haley Barbour and William Winter.
"These facilities will be side by side on North Street which is immediately north of the Winter building in downtown Jackson, so it's a great place for people, visitors to be able to come and enjoy Mississippi history and learn more about civil rights history," Snowden said.
Evers' widow, Myrlie Evers-Williams, in an article co-written with U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran of Mississippi, backs the museums and the stories they'll contain. She says, "Mississippi, in many ways, provides America with a clear look into the mirror."
The event will take place at 10 a.m. Thursday. The state hopes to have the museums open to the public by the state's bicentennial anniversary in 2017.