Columbia, Miss., in Marion County was home to a Freedom House, one of many houses that provided lodging to visiting civil rights workers. In addition, Columbia was the site of an attempted chapter of the Deacons of Defense, a militaristic civil rights group founded in Bogalusa, Louisiana. The Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party first attempted to establish a chapter of the Deacons of Defense in Marion County in 1965. Sovereignty Commission reports also mention an attempt to start a civil rights march by Ira Grupper.
Today Columbia is home to a Head Start center.