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Happy Thanksgiving from the Mississippi Advertising Commission

Chloe Edwards, of the Government Records Section, brings us this post in an ongoing series about Mississippi Advertising Commission posters. Many thanks to Ms. Edwards for sharing these fun artifacts.

A Mississippi Advertising Commission poster
A Mississippi Advertising Commission poster wishing all a Happy Thanksgiving. Series 552, MDAH

In 1936, the Mississippi legislature established the Advertising Commission as part of the Balance Agriculture with Industry (BAWI) program, championed by Governor Hugh White. The Commission promoted the BAWI and the state by encouraging Mississippians to pass bond issues to finance construction of industrial facilities. It also promoted Mississippi as an attractive destination for outside investment in industry and tourism. The Commission remained active until 1940, when its enabling legislation was repealed.

The posters strike two notes. The first highlights benefits of the program, including jobs, cash wages, and increased prosperity, and the hard work necessary to make the program successful. The second theme promotes Mississippi to outsiders. Conscious of the state’s reputation as poor and limited, a set of state maps advertises its schools, agricultural riches, history, literature, and recreational opportunities. The posters appear to have been intended for publication as full page newspaper ads.