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Named in honor of Major General Andrew Jackson, who would go on to become the seventh president of the United States, the city was authorized in 1821 to become the permanent seat of government for the state of Mississippi.
The area had been the home of numerous pre-Columbian cultures, including the Mississippian civilization. This early Native American tribe, whose actual name is lost to time, was responsible for the numerous mounts built in the Mississippi Valley region. The culture had faded into history by the time of the arrival of European explorers, but the descendent tribes, including the Chickasaw and Choctaw, as well as other tribes including the Natchez, the Yazoo and the Biloxi all called the area around what is modern day Mississippi their home.
The first Europeans arrived in the 16th century, with Hernando de Soto leading the first expedition through the region. Louis LeFleur, a French-Canadian trader, settled the area that is modern day Jackson at the end of the 18th century. Originally known as Parker’ville, the town, which was centrally located in the Mississippi territory, was chosen as the state capital, and thus it became Jackson.While the city prospered in the following decades, it suffered greatly in the Civil War, with Union forces twice burning the city. In the reconstruction years the city rebounded. During the American Civil Rights Movement, the city became famous for the “Freedom Riders,” who helped to end segregation in the south. Today Jackson is the state capital, and is home to numerous tourist attractions that reflect its historic past.