Participate in MDOT’s 100-year celebration

Published 12:00 pm Friday, January 15, 2016

Think back to how Oxford and Lafayette County looked 100 years ago. There were dirt roads, buggies, a lot of farmland and a limited number of cars rolling around.

Now look around as you get out and about running errands today. Look at the roads we drive on, whether it is a city street or a highway system connecting everyone to everything.

Lafayette County is home to some of the major arteries for the state, including Highways 6, 7 and 30. Interstate 55 is close by. We can get anywhere in the country using these major roadways out of town.

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Forward thinking from the 1916 Mississippi Legislature helped us get to where we are today. That group of legislators formed the Mississippi State Highway Commission to supervise the administration of federal funds allotted to the state and work with the Federal Bureau of Public Roads to plan the system of highways in the state.

Then in 1930 the legislature enacted the Stansel Act, thereby creating the first effective Highway Department and highway system in the state. The three-member Highway Commission supervised all highway matters.

Fast-forward to 1992 and the two State Highway Commission and the Highway Department reorganized and became the Mississippi Department of Transportation.

In 100 years, Mississippi has come a long way with the rest of the nation, and MDOT is celebrating how far we’ve come by opening up its celebration to Mississippians and needs our help.

MDOT is seeking the oldest living former employee of the department. During the search for the oldest, it wants to seek out all former employees for an invitation to its anniversary celebration later in the year. The second thing MDOT is seeking from us is photographs and videos that show the history of transportation in the state.

If you have photos or videos from the past 100 years, we encourage you to share them with MDOT for its timeline of the evolution of transportation in our state. That timeline will be one for nostalgia for the state’s older residents and also will be one for the history books for generations to come.

Send your submissions to or call 601-359-7074. You can also look it up at