The Mississippi Civil Rights and History Museums have surpassed their projected visitor numbers since their opening weekend back in December.
According to a news release, the two Mississippi Museums have seen over 185,000 people pass through; 5,000 higher than their projections.
“We are thrilled to have welcomed so many visitors from across Mississippi and around the world to the Two Mississippi Museums,” said Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH) director Katie Blount. “It is especially gratifying to see so many school children experiencing the museums and learning about our shared past.”
Before the museums opened, Governor Bryant discussed how the next generation of Mississippians would benefit from the project as they learn about the state’s past, and that has been a focal point for the museums in their seven months of operation. So far, nearly 100,000 students, ranging from kindergarten to high school, have made a trip to the museums.
While Mississippians from every county have traveled to Jackson to view the exhibits, it has also gotten international attention. International visitors from as far as Australia, Brazil, China, France, Japan, South Africa, and the United Kingdom also have made trips to the museums since December.
Museum officials attribute the strong turnouts to the unique interactive exhibits and unvarnished approach to story-telling that make the histories in both museums compelling and accessible to all age groups. A renewed interest in history and the Civil Rights Movement also has contributed to the high visitor turnout.
“Group tours have been strong since we opened seven months ago,” said Two Mississippi Museums administrator Cindy Gardner. “This summer we have seen summer camps, family reunions, church groups, and special interest tours related to history at the museums.”
More than 20,000 people visited the museums during the grand opening weekend, and visitor numbers have also increased on weekends with special offers. In January, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation sponsored free admission to commemorate the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr., and about 16,000 people took advantage of the offer.