Seeing Red: Anti-communism efforts in Mississippi, 1944-1968

What can I do to combat communism? D uring and after World War II, the belief that communism would infiltrate the United States was a fear that overcame many Americans. With communism, the American people were frightened that their way of life would become obsolete. To combat the possibility of communism taking over, citizens organized anti-communism efforts to inform the public about the possible communist activities on local and national levels.

Mississippi had numerous anti-communism activists and programs. Politicians used anti-communism as an important tool to preserve "the southern way of life." This approach was particularly useful in Mississippi when trying to prevent integration. Because the Communist Party supported equal rights for African Americans, people who worked in the civil rights movement were often called communists. It came to the point where politicians in the South would label anyone a communist who disagreed with them on any issues. To be branded a communist would often destroy a person's life causing him to possibly lose his job or be ostracized by his peers.

Items in this exhibit represent various areas where communism was thought to exist, including religion, education, and the civil rights movement.

The exhibit will be available until October 27, 2008, from 8:00-5:00 Monday through Friday on the 3rd floor of McCain Library.

For more information, contact Jennifer Brannock at or 601.266.4347.