GULFPORT FELT BOOM IN 1960S
In an effort to increase awareness of the benefit of Gulfport promotional campaigns were held during the 1960s.
In an effort to increase the public’s awareness of the economic benefits and the importance of the port of Gulfport several promotional campaigns were held during the 1960s, including the making of this early 1965 postcard. The legend on the back of the card explains the picture: “Savings to ship owners, ship users, and shippers using the state port of Gulfport, Miss., are dramatized in this stack of $490,000 in cash on the docks under the protection of two armed guards. The sum, port officials said, represents the savings effected by 245 vessels using the port in 1964 as compared to other ports along the Gulfport. Two Gulfport banks furnished the money.”
In another campaign, port officials sponsored a statewide high school essay contest in April 1964. Thousands of stu- dents submitted their views on the importance of the port of Gulfport. One of the two grand prize winners enjoyed a 60-day trip to West Africa, and the other won a 45-day trip to Europe.
During the 1960s, the port did not stop at instate promotion, it advertised itself to the world, and it worked. A history of the port of Gulfport compiled by Jim Miller, editor of The Manifest, the port magazine, reports that “by 1968 tonnage figures had more than doubled, reaching a record high of 802,127 tons handled off 307 ships.”
Murella H. Powell, a local historian, writes the weekly Flashback column. Do you have a local photograph to submit? It can be of any subject or event in the Coast’s distant or recent past. Please send a description with your name, address and phone number to Flashback, Sun Herald, 205 DeBuys Road, Gulfport, MS 39507.
The port of Gulfport thrived during the 1960s due to such promotions as this postcard.