Hattiesburg is a city-state located in the southern portion of the former U.S. state of Mississippi.
Hattiesburg was one of the few towns in its region that survived Doomsday. It was the capital of a provisional Mississippi state government that lasted from October 1983 through April 1986, then became an independent city-state that has lasted to the present.
An estimated 133,000 live in Hattiesburg proper and the surrounding region. Its territory extends roughly 30 miles in all directions from central Hattiesburg, but also extends south to former Bay St. Louis on the Gulf of Mexico. Hattiesburg's constitution is based on both the United States constitution and the Mississippi state constitution, with a governor as head of state and a bicameral legislature.
Hattiesburg's economy is agrarian, and like many survivor communities in the former U.S., reflective most of a hybrid 19th- and 20th-century society. Conservatism and Protestant Christianity are heavily influential in Hattiesburg, despite the presence of a small, secular community centered at the University of Hattiesburg (formerly University of Southern Mississippi) campus.
Johnny L. DuPree is the current mayor of Hattiesburg.
Hattiesburg, as the largest surviving city in southern Mississippi, became a primary destination after Doomsday for Mississippians and Alabamans looking for refuge from the multiple blasts that hit the region, particularly along the Gulf of Mexico.
On September 28, an emergency meeting was held at Hattiesburg's City Hall. Chaired by Mayor Bobby Chain, the meeting included all of Hattiesburg's City Council members; National Guard officials from nearby Camp Shelby; the Hattiesburg police chief; University of Southern Mississippi's President; officials from nine surrounding countries, including Forrest, Lamar and Perry; and other local business, civic and religious leaders.
This meeting is credited as crucial in keeping order in the area and helping the vast majority of the population survive the initial months post-Doomsday. At the meeting, plans were laid for a provisional regional government and for the distribution of food, medicine and other necessary supplies. The cooperation of civilians was especially important, as it is credited with helping Hattiesburg avoid the fate that other southern college towns - like Athens, Georgia - suffered.
By March 1984, the regional government had taken on itself the designation of the acting government of Mississippi, knowing only that the state capital, Jackson, had been hit. One of the first acts of the new Legislature was to formally approve a State Army, which was headquartered at Camp Shelby.
Cooperation between political, religious, business, civic entities and the National Guard helped diffuse tensions over low food supplies throughout the spring and summer of 1984. The resources and knowledge of the university was tapped to help find ways to overcome struggles to grow crops in '84 and '85. That cooperation between people who have significant differences of opinion and belief on various issues has lasted to the present day and has proven beneficial to the entire region over the years.
Over the next few years, most of central and south Mississippi, and western Alabama, were explored; wild rumors of other survivor states throughout the south, and even in Mississippi, were heard by National Guard scouts. But limited fuel supplies, combined with the effects of the electromagnetic blasts over the United States on Doomsday and uncertainty over danger presented by radioactivity near the blast sites, kept Hattiesburg scouts from going very far from home.
In 1986, however, the scouts did come across a traveler who claimed to have come from Natchez, in southwest Mississippi along the Mississippi River. A subsequent trip proved the traveler's claims to be true. Several weeks later, Natchez and Hattiesburg were in an alliance, and Hattiesburg was also aware at least of survivors in Louisiana.
By 1989, it was clear to locals that the United States as it had been known pre-DD was not going to be restored anytime soon. Neither was the former state of Mississippi. In May, Hattiesburg Provisional Governor Bobby Chain signed off on the Legislature's bill to rename the city's political entity the State of Hattiesburg.
The Natchez Accords, uniting Hattiesburg with Natchez and Louisiana in a trade pact and economic and defense alliance, were signed in Natchez.
Throughout the 1990s, Hattiesburg grew into its role as a regional political, cultural and economic center. The Army, constantly training and preparing for an invasion by hostile (re: Soviet, Cuban) forces, dealt occasionally with militia forces from the breakaway city-state of New Montgomery. Its leaders' reputations preceded them, and despite its relative small size, the Army treated it as a serious threat to the region.
The closest Hattiesburg came to all-out war is considered to be in 1992, after New Montgomery spies were captured outside Hattiesburg. The threat posed by a combined Hattiesburg-Natchez-Louisiana force apparently scared off the New Montgomery militia.
The most serious skirmish afterwards came in 1998, with an attempted bank robbery that led to the arrest of five New Montgomery men and the shooting death of a teller.
The Natchez-Hattiesburg-Louisiana alliance solidified in the face of the potential threat from New Montgomery, and also grew to include the state of South Texas and the nations of eastern Texas, Rio Grande Valley and West Texas.
In the 2000s scouting expeditions were authorized to points east, southwest and north. Much of what the scouts found corresponded to what was already known. Relations were established with the survivor community of Corinth, which had been the capital of a northern Mississippi state government since the mid-1980s. Through Corinth, information was confirmed about survivors throughout the southeast.
Scouts also returned with information about survivor communities in Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma; distance was also a factor in prompting Hattiesburg leaders to decline long-term, ongoing relations. Instead, the city worked on strengthening ties with Natchez, Louisiana and the various states in Texas.
In 2009, League of Nations scouts made "first contact" with Hattiesburg residents who were having a church picnic southeast of the city. The scouts met with Hattiesburg mayor and other city officials; in turn, this led to an official visit from LoN official Brant McAllister in October 2009.
The League of Nations was impressed enough with the organization and influence of Hattiesburg in the region that the LoN opted to make it a regional headquarters. With encouragement from the LoN, Hattiesburg officially annexed the area of former Bay St. Louis in January 2010, with the aim of opening up a port for trade with other area nations.
Over the next five years Hattiesburg has been targeted by the LoN to become a military and economic base for the former mid-South, as well as a base for further exploration of the southern United States region.
While the LoN is looking to solidify its regional base in Hattiesburg, the Hattiesburg government itself is working on solidifying its ties with other regional nations.
The Natchez Accords have a clause in them allowing for "full" economic, military and political union by 2013, and Hattiesburg officials admitted to LoN and local media in May 2010 to exploring the idea, as well as to extending the union into the survivor states of Broken Bow, Hot Springs and Selma as well as covering other survivor farms, villages and towns throughout former Mississippi, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Alabama.
One area being closely looked at is currency. One proposal would set the Texas dollar as the official currency for the region, the idea being that when the various Texas survivor nations merge into one in the next few years, Texas will become the power in the region, second only to Mexico in military and economic might, and it makes sense to align economically with it.
There have been loose discussions regarding merging Hattiesburg and Natchez with the state of Mississippi that currently is centered in the northern portion of the former state.
With encouragement from the LoN, Hattiesburg officials declared the Tatum Salt Mine southwest of Hattiesburg a 'no-go zone'. Tatum Salt Dome was the site of an underground nuclear bomb tests by the United States in 1964 and 1966; it was closed off to residents in the 1970s.
Hattiesburg is not only a member of the League of Nations, but also the home to the LoN's regional headquarters.
Hattiesburg is part of the Natchez Accords, a free-trade and economic alliance with the states of Louisiana and Natchez. It has close ties with West and eastern Texas, the Rio Grande Valley Republic and Mexico. More recently it has been developing close ties with the state of Mississippi government based in the northeast corner of former Mississippi.
Many people still consider themselves to be citizens of the United States. There are small movements to connect with the restored U.S. government in the west, as well as to link up with other survivor states in the south for a similar union; both have been endorsed by the Committee to Re-establish the United States of America.
The CRUSA has been criticized by officials from the LoN and West Texas for attempting to force itself "too soon" on the affairs of a small nation-state just learning of the existence of similar states in the former U.S.
Hattiesburg was a signer of the Natchez Accords in 1989, which created a common economic market and currency for itself, Natchez and the state of Louisiana.
Hattiesburg is currently governed via a mayor-council system. The mayor is elected for a term of four years, and can serve unlimited terms. The city council consists of nine members who are elected from one of nine wards, five in Hattiesburg proper and four outside the city. The four non-Hattiesburg wards represent smaller towns and villages that, though independent, for political purposes, are considered part of Hattiesburg. This is leftover from Hattiesburg's status as the capital of the provisional government of Mississippi; then, the mayor acted as the governor, and the council expanded to act as the state legislature.
Law enforcement and military
The Army is responsible for the nation's defense, and is organized along the lines of the former U.S. Army. The Marine Corps and Air Corps are divisions of the Hattiesburg Army.
Camp Shelby, formerly the largest U.S. National Guard training base east of the Mississippi River, is home to the Hattiesburg Army, Marine Corps and Air Corps, as well as a small LoN peacekeeping regiment.
Local law enforcement falls on police departments protecting Hattiesburg and associated nearby towns. Hattiesburg Regional Police keeps the peace in nearby towns and villages without local police departments.
Hattiesburg has played a role in the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, and it's commemorated in a small museum on the UH campus opened in 2008.
The Hattiesburg Zoo is one of the largest such zoos still existing in post-Doomsday North America.
Hattiesburg is home to one of the region's most important universities, the University of Hattiesburg (UH). Known as the University of Southern Mississippi pre-Doomsday, UH offers degrees in a wide variety of areas.
Hattiesburg Public Schools, established in 1988, operates eight grade, middle and high schools.
The University of Hattiesburg competes athletically against other regional universities and against schools from Mexico.
High school football, basketball and baseball have been popular since their revival in 1994. Hattiesburg High School competes in a league with Natchez High School and other high schools in Louisiana. It will expand its schedule to compete against schools in Mississippi in the 2010-11 school year.
Little League youth baseball and softball and American Legion baseball (for high school-aged players) are popular summer spectator sports.
Golf, fishing, hunting and outdoors activities are popular amongst Hattiesburg residents.
The Hattiesburg American is the region's newspaper of record, publishing every day except Mondays.
Currently, eight radio stations operate in the Hattiesburg area, including a League of Nations-operated station. The LoN and the Hattiesburg government jointly own the area's lone television station, Channel 2, that operates from 7 p.m. to midnight Monday through Saturday and 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Sundays.