In 1962, the University of Mississippi, located in Oxford, was the site of a violent confrontation between federal forces and white segregationists over the enrollment of James Meredith, the university's first African American student.
Tate County, Mississippi has a rich history that dates back to its establishment in 1873. The county was named after Thomas Simpson Tate, a prominent politician and early settler in the region. Prior to its official establishment, the area was inhabited by Native American tribes, such as the Chickasaw and Choctaw, who lived off the land and utilized the fertile soil for agriculture.

During the Civil War, Tate County played a significant role as it served as a vital transportation hub for both the Confederate and Union armies. The county's strategic location along the Mississippi Central Railroad made it an important supply route for both sides. The Battle of Wyatts was fought here in 1864, resulting in a Confederate victory and further solidifying the county's significance during the war.

Following the Reconstruction era, Tate County experienced a boom in agriculture, particularly in cotton production. Many former slaves and their descendants turned to sharecropping, working on the vast plantations owned by wealthy landowners. As the demand for cotton increased, the county's population grew rapidly, and the economy thrived.

In the 20th century, Tate County became known for its prominent African American community and for producing notable musical talents. The area was a hotbed for blues musicians, with artists like Mississippi John Hurt and Otha Turner gaining recognition. Today, Tate County continues to honor its history through various cultural events, including the annual Tate County Fair and the Tate County Heritage Music Festival, highlighting the county's vibrant past and promising future.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Tate County, Mississippi.

  • 1836 - Tate County was created on February 9, 1836.
  • 1837 - Senatobia was established as the county seat.
  • 1861-1865 - During the American Civil War, Tate County residents participated on both sides of the conflict.
  • 1870 - The first census recorded 5,054 residents in Tate County.
  • 1883 - A yellow fever epidemic struck the county, resulting in many deaths.
  • 1913 - The Illinois Central Railroad began operating through Senatobia, boosting the local economy.
  • 1920s - The boll weevil infestation negatively impacted cotton production in Tate County.
  • 1973 - The Tate County Courthouse in Senatobia was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • 1996 - The Tate County Genealogical and Historical Society was established.
  • 2002 - A tornado struck Senatobia, causing significant damage to homes and businesses.
  • 2010 - The population of Tate County was recorded as 28,886.