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.
Union County, Mississippi, located in the northeastern part of the state, has a rich and diverse history that dates back thousands of years. The area was initially inhabited by Native American tribes, primarily the Chickasaw, who established villages and cultivated the land. However, the arrival of European settlers in the 19th century dramatically changed the landscape.

In the early 1800s, Union County was established as part of the Chickasaw Cession, where the federal government secured land from the Chickasaw Nation. The county's name was chosen to symbolize the unity and reconciliation between the newly arrived settlers and the Native American inhabitants. The city of New Albany, now the county seat, was founded in 1837, becoming a prominent center for trade and commerce due to its strategic location along the Tallahatchie River.

During the Civil War, Union County played a significant role, being located at the intersection of key railway lines. New Albany became a vital supply hub for the Confederate army, providing troops, munitions, and provisions. However, in 1862, the Union army under General Ulysses S. Grant captured New Albany, gaining control of the region and securing their hold on the Mississippi River.

After the war, Union County experienced a period of growth and development, particularly in agriculture and industry. The county became known for its production of cotton, timber, and livestock, supporting a thriving economy. Over time, new industries such as manufacturing and retail emerged, further diversifying the local economy.

In recent years, Union County has continued to evolve and adapt to changing times. Today, it embraces its rich history while looking to the future, with a focus on preserving its heritage and fostering economic growth. The county's vibrant community, coupled with its natural beauty and historical significance, makes Union County a unique and fascinating place to explore.

This timeline provides a glimpse into the major events and milestones that have shaped the history of Union County, Mississippi.

  • 1836: Union County is founded as part of the Chickasaw Cession.
  • 1850: The town of New Albany is established as the county seat.
  • 1861-1865: Union County residents actively participate in the American Civil War.
  • 1870s: The railroad arrives in Union County, improving transportation and stimulating economic growth.
  • 1888: Union County suffers a devastating tornado that destroys much of the town of New Albany.
  • Early 1900s: Agriculture becomes a major industry in Union County, with cotton as the primary crop.
  • 1920s: The boll weevil infestation severely impacts the cotton industry in Union County.
  • 1940s: Union County experiences an economic boost due to increased defense spending during World War II.
  • 1950s-1960s: The Civil Rights Movement brings social and political changes to Union County.
  • 2000s: Union County continues to grow and diversify its economy, attracting new industries and businesses.