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Location of McComb, Mississippi
|• Total||11.6 sq mi (30.1 km2)|
|• Land||11.6 sq mi (30.0 km2)|
|• Water||0.1 sq mi (0.2 km2)|
|Elevation||423 ft (129 m)|
|• Density||1,184/sq mi (424.4/km2)|
|Time zone||Central (CST) (UTC−6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC−5)|
|Area code(s)||601/ 769|
|GNIS feature ID||0673307|
McComb is a city in Pike County, Mississippi, about 80 miles (130 km) south of Jackson. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 13,644. It is the principal city of the McComb, Mississippi, Micropolitan Statistical Area.
McComb was founded in 1872 after Henry Simpson McComb of the New Orleans, Jackson and Great Northern Railroad, a predecessor of the Illinois Central Railroad (now part of the Canadian National Railway), decided to move the railroad's maintenance shops away from New Orleans, Louisiana, outside of the attractions of that city's saloons. Main Street has the downtown's shops, attractions, and business. The railroad purchased land in Pike County, and three nearby communities, Elizabethtown, Burglund, and Harveytown, agreed to consolidate to form this town.
During the 1960s, McComb and nearby areas were the site of extreme violence by KKK and other opponents to the Civil Rights Movement. In 1961, it was the location of SNCC's first voter registration project in the state, which was quickly met with violence and intimidation by authorities and local KKK. Fifteen-year-old Brenda Travis was expelled from high school for being in a sit-in at an all-white luncheonette and ordering a hamburger; she was sentenced to a year in a juvenile facility. In addition to physical attacks on activists, Herbert Lee, a member of the NAACP, was murdered in front of witnesses in nearby Liberty, Mississippi, by a state representative, who was exonerated by an all-white coroner's jury. More than 100 black high school students in McComb were arrested in 1961 for protesting his murder.  After severe beatings of staff, SNCC pulled out of the region in early 1962, moving north in Mississippi to work in slightly less dangerous conditions. In January 1964, Lewis Allen was murdered in Liberty; a witness to Lee's murder, he had been suspected of talking to Department of Justice officials about it.
The song, "We Shall Never Turn Back," was related to the 1961 events in Amite and Pike counties. One verse said: "We have hung our heads and cried, Cried for those like Lee who died, Died for you and he died for me, Died for the cause of equality, But we'll never turn back..."
In 1964, civil rights activists began the Mississippi Project and what would be called Freedom Summer, returning to southwest Mississippi. They sang, "We Shall Never Turn Back." SNCC members of the Council of Federated Organizations (COFO) returned to McComb in mid-July, 1964 to work on voter registration. From late August 1964 through September, after passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, McComb was the setting for eleven bombings directed against African Americans. Malcolm Boyd took part of COFO's Freedom House as a member of a clerical delegation to assist African-American voter registration. The following summer, Congress passed the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and African Americans began to be able to register and vote again in the South. In Mississippi, most had been disenfranchised since 1890.
On October 20, 1977, a chartered plane carrying members and crew of rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd crashed in a swamp near McComb, killing lead singer Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines, Steve's sister Cassie (a backup singer), and road manager Dean Kilpatrick.
McComb is located at 31°14'40.1022" North, 90°28'17.7342" West (31.2444739, -90.4715930).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 11.6 square miles (30 km2), of which 11.6 square miles (30 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) (0.54%) is water.
As of the census of 2010, there were 13,644 people and 5,073 households in the city. The population density was 1,184 people per square mile (424/km²). There were 5,825 housing units at an average density of 500.6 per square mile (193.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 66.29% African American, 31.22% White, 0.91% Asian, 0.17% Native American, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.53% from other races, and 0.82% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.41% of the population.
As of the 2000 census, there were 5,265 households out of which 33.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.5% were married couples living together, 25.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.2% were non-families. 32.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 3.13.
In the city the population was spread out with 29.0% under the age of 18, 9.5% from 18 to 24, 24.7% from 25 to 44, 20.0% from 45 to 64, and 16.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 78.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 71.6 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $26,507, and the median income for a family was $31,758. Males had a median income of $27,899 versus $17,402 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,790. About 27.4% of families and 31.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 43.7% of those under the age of 18 and 21.3% of those 65 and older.
The City of McComb is served by the McComb School District. There are 7 schools in the district, Otken Elementary, Kennedy Early Childhood Center, Higgins Middle School, Denman Jr. High School, McComb High School, Business & Technology Center, and Summit Academy. The McComb and the surrounding Pike County area has three separate school districts, three private schools, and a community college in the northern part of the county. St. Alphonsus Catholic Church is located in McComb and provides classes kindergarten through seventh grade. McComb is also the location of Parklane Academy, a K4 through 12th grade private college preparatory school. And Jubilee - Performing Arts - Center, a private school catered in the performing arts. It is the first of its kind in the Pike County Area. It is located in the central McComb region. Southwest Mississippi Community College is located seven miles north of McComb, and northeast of Summit, MS. McComb High School is one of the 100 National Model Schools.
- Woodie Assaf, weather reporter on WLBT television (Jackson, Mississippi) from 1953 until 2001, making him the longest serving weather report in the United States.
- Jimmy Boyd, singer, musician, actor
- John Brady, head coach of the Arkansas State University men's basketball team, former head coach of the LSU Tigers men's basketball coach
- Steve Broussard, National Football League player for the Green Bay Packers
- Adrian Brown, Major League baseball player with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Boston Red Sox and Kansas City Royals
- Jackie Butler, former NBA player
- Cooper Carlisle, NFL Football player
- Bo Diddley, blues singer
- Charles E. Dunbar, New Orleans attorney and civil service reformer
- Jarrod Dyson. Major League Baseball player with the Kansas City Royals
- Omar Kent Dykes, blues singer and guitarist
- James Govan, soul singer
- King Solomon Hill, early blues musician
- Little Freddie King, American Delta blues guitarist
- Robert "Squirrel" Lester, singer in the soul music group The Chi-Lites.
- Bobby Lounge, blues pianist and songwriter
- Sam McCullum, NFL football player
- Bucky Moore, NFL player
- Brandy Norwood, singer and actress
- Willie "Ray J" Norwood, singer and actor; brother of Brandy Norwood
- Willie Norwood, singer; father of Brandy and Ray J Norwood
- Steven Ozment, American historian
- Edward Grady Partin, Teamsters Union figure, spent his last years in McComb but died in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
- Britney Spears, singer and actress
- Jamie Lynn Spears, actress and singer
- Lynne Spears, author and mother of Britney and Jamie Lynn Spears
- Dale Thorn, journalist, Louisiana State University professor, and press secretary to Governor Edwin Edwards, born in McComb in 1943
- Matt Tolbert, Major League Baseball Player for the Minnesota Twins
- Jack Wardlaw, Louisiana journalist, born in McComb in 1937
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, McComb has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.
- Civil Rights Movement Timeline 1961
- Peter Cummings, "11 New Bombings Continue Long Legacy of Violence In Southwestern Mississippi" First of three articles, The Crimson (Harvard), 30 September 1964, accessed 11 January 2015
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- Amtrak City of New Orleans - the Train Travels between Chicago and New Orleans through Memphis
- Bo Diddley: inducted in 1987 | The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum
- "Mississippi Blues Commission - Blues Trail". www.msbluestrail.org. Retrieved 2008-05-28.
- "Dunbar, Charles E.". A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography. lahistory.org. Retrieved December 16, 2010.
- "Obituaries: Barlow and Related Families". Baton Rouge State Times, March 12, 1990, p. 6-!. Retrieved May 7, 2010.
- "Obituary - Dr. Jesse Dale Thorn, May 14, 2014". Ouachita Citizen. Retrieved May 17, 2014.
- Climate Summary for McComb, Mississippi
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to McComb, Mississippi.|
- McComb City Railroad Depot Museum
- Civil Rights Movement Veterans ~ McComb Project
- History of Civil Rights Movement in McComb