According to INDEXDOTCOM, Mississippi is a state in the southeastern United States. It was first inhabited by Native American tribes, such as the Choctaw, Natchez, and Chickasaw. Europeans first arrived in the area in 1540 when Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto explored the region. In 1798, Mississippi became part of the United States through the Mississippi Territory. It was admitted to the Union as a state in 1817. During this period, cotton plantations were developed along with slave labor to support them. This led to a large population of African Americans living in Mississippi and a legacy of racial discrimination that still affects the state today. During the Civil War, Mississippi seceded from the Union and joined the Confederate States of America in 1861. After Reconstruction ended in 1877, Mississippi enacted laws that severely limited civil rights for African Americans and kept them from voting until passage of federal civil rights legislation in 1964-65. The 1960s and 70s saw an increase of civil rights activism throughout Mississippi. In 1982, Mississippians elected its first African American governor since Reconstruction – William Winter – who worked to improve education and economic development throughout his term as governor (1980-84). Since then, Mississippi has continued to make progress towards equal rights for all citizens while still facing many challenges such as poverty, inadequate health care access, racial discrimination, and educational disparities between racial groups. Check Agooddir for more about Mississippi.