Tomorrow marks the Sesquicentennial anniversary of the City of Tupelo. And while the celebration and fanfare cannot go on as planned, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we still want to take this time to look back the history of the city and look ahead to its future.

Tupelo was chartered on July 20, 1870, and in that same year the Lee County Journal was established, later becoming the publication you’re reading today.

Many notable events have happened in the last 150 years: The Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918; Tupelo becoming the first power customer of TVA in 1933, two world wars; the 1936 tornado; Elvis’ return to his hometown for a concert in 1957; the desegregation of schools in 1965; the CREATE foundation’s establishment in 1972; flight line service beginning in the city in 1985; the city being named an All-America City five times; the furling of the now former Mississippi state flag earlier this month.

Today, we’ve highlighted a few other stories that make Tupelo unique, and we appreciate and recognize the work done at the Oren Dunn City Museum to tell Tupelo’s story.

We are now in the middle of yet another historical event, and as we have in recent years, Tupelo continues to take the lead and is doing what’s needed to keep its residents safe during the pandemic. Our city continues to see growth and remains the economic hub for this region.

Perhaps we will all be able to join together later this year to celebrate this milestone in the city’s history. Until then, small events will be held tomorrow in neighborhoods throughout the city. We will practice social distancing but still reflect and be proud of what Tupelo has become.

Happy Birthday, Tupelo. Here’s to another 150 years.

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