Wicker Highlights New Designations, Investments in Mississippi

Events Across the State Seek to Preserve the Past and Prepare for the Future

August 13, 2018

In June, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced the Senate would not take its usual state work period in August.  Instead, lawmakers would have one week to travel home before returning to Washington to resume consideration of President Trump’s nominees. Earlier this summer, I had joined several of my colleagues to call on the Majority Leader to make this change, given the excessive delay tactics used by Democrats to stall the confirmations of nominees.  Despite a shorter schedule at home in Mississippi, the past week was well spent in the Delta, on the Gulf Coast, and in our capital city, where I participated in events honoring Mississippi leaders, unveiling exciting new technology, and celebrating our state’s rising economic potential.

Interior Secretary Visits Jackson for Designation of Evers’ Home

A particularly powerful event was the designation of the Medgar and Myrlie Evers’ home as part of the African American Civil Rights Network.  The legislation creating this network was signed into law by President Trump last year.  The goal is to ensure the many significant places of the civil rights movement will continue to share the stories of this pivotal time in our nation’s history.  The Evers’ home in Jackson deserves to be included in this network, and I am glad Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke came to Mississippi to take part in the designation ceremony.  

Last year, the Evers’ home became a national historic landmark, and I hope to see it become a national monument.  Earlier this year, I introduced a bill with Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith calling for this prestigious designation by the National Park Service.  Not only would this raise the home’s visibility nationwide, but it would also provide additional resources for its preservation.  

Another notable event to take place in Jackson was the naming of the federal courthouse, which will now be called the Thad Cochran United States Courthouse.  Congress passed the legislative measure to name the building after Sen. Cochran shortly after his retirement earlier this year.  

Positive Developments for Economic Growth, Defense, and Public Safety

In the Delta, I joined Mississippians to celebrate yet another sign that our state continues to have strong business appeal.  The groundbreaking on August 10 of a new hotel by Hilton in Greenville is a testament to the booming tourism of the region, fueled in no small part by the popular GRAMMY Museum Mississippi and Mississippi Blues Trail. 

On the Mississippi Gulf Coast, I had a positive discussion with members of the Hancock County Port and Commission about South Mississippi’s leadership in strengthening our nation’s defense.  Our conversation came on the heels of the Senate sending the annual defense bill to the President’s desk to become law.  That bill contains a number of wins that will impact Camp Shelby, Keesler Air Force Base, Stennis Space Center, and Ingalls Shipbuilding.

Across the state, Mississippians can also look forward to the development of a Mississippi Center for Emergency Services at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.  On August 9, the center’s groundbreaking was a major step in a years-long process to connect our emergency responders in a high-tech network.  The ability to share data can equip first responders with vital details about an emergency before they even arrive, helping to save more lives. 

These events have already made for a significant month in our state, and I hope they are a precursor to more good news.  These recognitions and investments are the product of hard work and dedication by many Mississippians to see their communities succeed.