The United States v. Mississippi Interrogatory Answers Collection consists entirely of one large section (pages 387-1276) from the Record of Appeal in the case United States v. Mississippi (cited as United States v. Mississippi, 380, U.S. 128, 1965).
In 1962, the United States government brought an action against the State of Mississippi, state election commissioners and six county registrars, alleging that the defendants had violated the voting rights of African American citizens. The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi dismissed the complaint, but the Supreme Court reversed the suit on appeal in March 1965. However, Congress passed the Voting Rights Act of 1965 before the District Court reconsidered the case… making significant portions moot.
This digital collection contains the answers by the United States government to interrogatories propounded by the state of Mississippi and other defendants. Justice Hugo Black cited and quoted extensively from these answers in his Supreme Court majority opinion.
For researchers interested in Mississippi during the segregation and civil rights eras, the information outlined in the interrogatory answers provide detailed data and sources that illuminate the difficulties African Americans faced in Mississippi when they attempted to exercise their right to vote between 1890 and 1963. Since the subject of African American literacy was relevant to voting registration, researchers will also find information on the segregated school systems in the state. The document breaks much of the analysis down to the county level and lists numerous individual instances where registrars denied African Americans the right to vote.
The United States v. Mississippi Collection finding aid provides more background on both the case and the collection. For other collections with related holdings in the Archives & Special Collections, see the Civil Rights & Race Relations subject guide and the Education subject guide.
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