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ATC 30th Anniversary: Mississippi 30 Years Later

All Things Considered is marking its 30th anniversary this week with a series of special reports from the show's three hosts. Today, host Noah Adams brings us reflections on the state of Mississippi, then and now. Mississippi's Sovereignty Commission has been called by some "the KGB of the Cotton Patch." Three decades ago, the state agency that secretly collected files on its citizens lost its funding. The agency had spied on Mississippi citizens for more than 30 years, reporting in detail on their every action. The last of the files were unsealed this year, opening the past for future generations to see. It is this notion that has become vital to the state -- talking about the past to create a better future. Noah Adams gathered conversations and impressions during a week's travel in the state. He visited people who were involved with the Sovereignty Commission, civil rights activists who were spied on, citizens who lived through those days and young people born long after the violent struggles over racial segregation.

Copyright 2001 NPR