Pictures of the great Mississippi flood of 1927 on display - - Jackson, MS

Pictures of the great Mississippi flood of 1927 on display

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By  Julie Straw - bio | email | twitter

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Some call it a disaster worse than Hurricane Katrina.  It swept through the homes of nearly one million people and covered 27,000 square miles.  The great Mississippi flood of 1927 is a huge part of our state's history and now people can view snapshots of the devastation.

"There's so many stories in there you wouldn't believe it," said Meredith Spencer.  He owns the black and white photos that date back 83 years to when the great flood devastated the Delta.

"That one single event changed Mississippi forever," said Spencer.

It was April 21, 1927 when the largest levee just north of Greenville broke. "As many as 20 to 30 miles away, when that wall broke it sounded like a freight train coming through town. So the people ran to the levees and to the railroad tracks because those were the highest places," said Spencer.

About 185,000 people were displaced.  Each picture tells a story.  One reveals with a social worker in Cleveland talking to a mother and father carrying three young children with one on the way.  "This is obviously one family and you can tell by her expression they are just lost," said Spencer.

Another photograph features the location where hundreds of men were swallowed by the river at Mound Landing.  "The police took 400 black men out and made them sand bag.  When that collapsed the police left them and the men went into the river.  Just the human part of it all fascinates me," said Spencer.

"I think this was on the same scale or even larger than the devastation of Katrina," said Howard Barron.  He is co-owner of One Blu Wall gallery in Fondren.  At first glance he knew the photographs had to be shared with the people of Jackson.

"When I saw these I was just taken back by them because they are probably the oldest pictures we've had in here," said Barron.


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