Pearl is Rankin County's largest city. Its 2000 census population was 21,961. With continued growth and the 2005 annexation of a 2.2 square mile area, Pearl's population is now estimated at 24,304.
The city was incorporated in 1973 to include approximately 11 square miles of area. It has expanded over the years to now include 23.8 square miles.
The first meeting to incorporate Pearl was held on September 16, 1968. The meeting attracted 657 residents with 651 voting in favor of incorporation.
On October 28, 1968 the "Boundary Committee" presented 3 suggested boundaries.
A majority voted on January 6, 1969 to approve the boundaries which consisted of the area from the Pearl River to the Airport Road, excluding East Jackson, with only Cunningham Heights and Grandview Heights being including South of Interstate 20.
At that same meeting, two other big questions were settled. One, the majority in attendance selected the name Pearl for the new City. Other names submitted and considered were "Riverview" and "Brightsville."
After a report from the nomination committee, Harris Harvey was selected to be Mayor of the new City. The alderman selected were: District 1 Jimmy Joe Thompson, District 2 W.D. McAlpin, District 3 James Netherland, District 4 Mrs. Ophelia Byrd, District 5 Mack Morgan, District 6 W. L. Maddox, and At-Large Bobby Joe Davis.
The Mississippi Supreme Court ruled in favor of Pearl's incorporation on June 5, 1973. The charter was issued on June 12, 1973. City officials were sworn in on June 29, 1973 and held their first organizational meeting on July 3, 1973.
Since its incorporation Pearl has continued to grow and is the commercial center of Rankin County.
HISTORIC EVENTS IN THE CITY OF PEARL
September 11, 1968 - 657 residents attend the first public meeting held to plan the incorporation of the City of Pearl.
June 5, 1973 - Mississippi Supreme Court approves the incorporation of the City of Pearl.
June 29, 1973 - Lt. Gov. William Winter presents Charter to City Officials at the First Pearl Day.
May 18, 1976 - The Pearl Municipal Separate School District is created by an Ordinance of the City of Pearl Mayor and Board of Alderman.
July 6, 1976 - First franchise granted by the City of Pearl for cable television to be installed.
August 24, 1978 - Pearl Chamber of Commerce is formed.
December 1, 1981 - Pearl Citizens approve a $1.5 million bond issue to construct a new junior high school.
July 1, 1983 - Rankin County Branch of Hinds Community College opens in Pearl.
1986 - Northside Elementary School receives the prestigious Blue Ribbon Schools Award from the U.S. Department of Education.
May 19, 1987 - Pearl Citizens overwhelmingly approve a $ 7.5 million bond issue to construct a new high school.
June 13, 1987 - Pearl track star George Kersh shatters the national high school record in the 800- meter run with a 1 minute 46:58 seconds time.
1991 - Pearl High School is recognized by the U. S. Department of Education with the prestigious Blue Ribbon School designation.
January 15, 1992 - Open House held commemorating the official opening of Pearl City Hall in a renovated portion of old Pearl High School.
June 23, 2003 - The new modern equipped Community Room, adjacent to City Hall, is officially opened with the annual Mayor's Prayer Breakfast. The adjoining new Alumni Clock Tower is dedicated. It includes inscriptions of the names of graduates of Pearl High School for the period 1949-89 while the high school occupied this site.
April 18, 2005 - A standing room only crowd welcomed the Mississippi Braves, a Class AA affillate of the Atlanta Braves, to their new home in Pearl, Trustmark Park, a $28 million new ball park situated on 30 acres near the intersection of I-55 and I-20 in Rankin County.
July 18, 2005 - The new 25,000 sq. ft. state-of-art Pearl Municipal Library opens at 2416 Old Brandon Road, near City Hall.
November 2013 - The 325,000 sq. ft. Outlets of Mississippi opens with over 76 stores at 200 Bass Pro Drive.
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