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Television came relatively late to Mississippi and several other southern states. Following a federal freeze on licensing new stations by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), television stations came on air in 1953 in Mississippi, Arkansas, and South Carolina. Over the next three years Mississippians built six stations-first WJTV and WLBT in Jackson and WCOC in Meridian and later WCBI in Columbus, WDAM in Hattiesburg, and WTWV in Tupelo. Anticipating WJTV's first broadcast, Pres. Dwight D. Eisenhower's January 1953 inauguration, the station's general manager, John Rossitor, told city leaders and educators that television would "bring the world into your home and accent friendliness among neighbors in this city and state:'


Originally published in The Mississippi Encyclopedia. Center for the Study of Southern Culture, University of Mississippi.

ISBN: 978-1-62846-692-8