Mississippi Planning 2017 Bicentennial Events

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

Jackson, Miss.

Mississippi turned 196 years old Tuesday and officials are starting to plan a bicentennial celebration for 2017.

Mississippi became the 20th state Dec. 10, 1817.

During the bicentennial, a rare 20-star U.S. flag will be displayed around the state before going on exhibit at the Museum of Mississippi History that's scheduled to open in 2017.

The flag is owned by the state Department of Archives and History and is thought to be one of the few in existence.

The Mississippi Legislature will start the bicentennial by meeting briefly in joint session in the small community of Washington, just outside Natchez. The state's first constitution was drafted there in 1817.

Officials say they're working on details for a statewide gala in December 2017, open to the public.

The Mississippi Bicentennial Celebration Committee hopes to raise $10 million for the occasion and to support cities that may have special events with matching grants.

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