Hattiesburg’s Sixth Street Museum District is home to several engaging sites related to Black history, including Smith Drug Co.—a drug store in what was once the heart of the Mobile Street commercial district. For 55 years, Edwin Hammond Smith ran the store, and in addition to running a small business, Smith was one of the city’s first registered Black voters in the 1960s. Groups can tour this former community hub to learn about daily life in the commercial district and the Hattiesburg Civil Rights movement.
The Mississippi Armed Forces Museum offers guided tours detailing the state’s early history, dating to 1812. See the stories of Mississippian veterans illustrated through medals, tactical gear, artworks, and other artifacts. At the African American Military History Museum, exhibits examine the history of African American service—from the Revolutionary War to the modern Global War on Terrorism. Learn the stories of Hattiesburg’s heroes, including Jesse L. Brown, America’s first Black naval aviator, and Ruth Bailey Earl, one of more than 500 Black nurses who served during World War II.
Explore the city’s architecture, public art, and history on a guided Historic Downtown Hattiesburg Walking Tour. Stops include City Hall, built in 1923 by notable architect Robert Emmett Lee; the Historic Train Depot, which houses two retired 20th-century trains; and the Hattiesburg Saenger Theater, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Treat your group to Southern hospitality and Southern staples at one of Hattiesburg’s more than 200 locally owned restaurants. After a long day of exploring and dining, relax in one of the city’s 3,000-plus hotel rooms.
Main Image: African American Military History Museum, Credit: Visit Hattiesburg