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By Chad Groening

TUPELO, Miss. (WCBI) – Those stopping by the Natchez Trace Parkway Visitors Center got a real history lesson, Saturday.

Members of the Mississippi Valley Education programs dressed up like the Spanish Conquistadors representing the exhibition of Hernando de Soto to the area during the winter of 1540-41.

The Spanish were looking for treasure in the new world but failed to colonize the area because the ancestors of the Chickasaw Indians defeated them.

“Essentially that’s what it was,” said historian Kent Goff. “The local tribe at that time was an advanced culture which is called by historians and archeologists the Mississippian Period. They lived in large villages. They had fairly advanced military systems themselves. They were capable of advance warfare. They had fortifications.”

Saturday’s presentation was to commemorate National Hispanic Heritage Month.

The Missississippi Valley Education programs were also presented to elementary school children on Thursday and Friday of this past week.

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