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McComb, Mississippi is in northwestern Pike County, in the southern part of the state. The city was founded in 1872 when the New Orleans, Jackson and Great Northern Railroad moved its maintenance shops from New Orleans to Pike County, Mississippi. The nearby communities of Elizabethtown, Burglund, and Harveytown consolidated to form McComb, which was named for Henry Simpson McComb, the railroad official who made the decision to relocate. The railroad later became the Illinois Central Railroad, and is now part of the Canadian National Railway. The rail center in McComb was one of the flash points for the Illinois Central Shopmen’s Strike of 1911, producing riots, several injuries, and the death of at least three black strikebreakers before the state militia restored order. During the 1960s, McComb became the site of violence by the Ku Klux Klan, and the first voter registration project by the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in Mississippi, but the SNCC pulled out of the region in 1962, moving north where there were less dangerous conditions, but returning in 1964. In 1977, the members and crew of Lynyrd Skynyrd crashed in a swamp near McComb, killing Ronnie Van Zant, Steve Gaines and others. Britney Spears was born in McComb in 1981. McComb is just south of Summit. Other nearby communities include Beardens, Kirkville, Irene, Fernwood, Jennings, Oakland, Stella, and Tangipahoa. Jackson, Mississippi is about seventy-eight miles north, and Kentwood, Louisiana is about twenty-three miles south of McComb.


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