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What to Know Before You Go to Mississippi Makers Fest at the Two Mississippi Museums swarnock Tue, 05/07/2024 - 11:10

Mississippi blues and Grammy award-winning artist Christone “Kingfish” Ingram will headline the free 2024 Mississippi Makers Fest—a music, food, and arts festival sponsored by Nissan—at the Two Mississippi Museums from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, May 11. Additional musical performers include Hud & The Hurricane and American Blonde. Concerts start at 4 p.m.

The free event will kick off the 2024 summer season with the Mississippi Department of Archives and History’s third annual Mississippi Makers Fest. More than 40 vendors and food trucks will gather to celebrate Mississippi’s creativity. Visitors can look forward to handcrafted pottery, paintings, charcuterie boards, jewelry, and more from local vendors. Mini Makers also returns, full of make-and-take crafts and activities for children, including face painting.  

The 2024 Makers Fest title sponsor is Nissan, with additional support from sponsors Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi, Nancy and Ray Neilsen, StateStreet Group, Visit Mississippi, Capital City Beverages, the Foundation for Mississippi History, Cathead Distillery, Lucid Ink, and radio stations Y101, 102.1 The Box, Blues 93.1, Your Hometown Country US96, Mix 98.7, and 93.5 The Legend. 

Blankets and one collapsible lawn chair per person are allowed. Only clear bags will be allowed through security—including purses, fanny packs, diaper bags, and all other bags.  

The Mississippi Civil Rights Museum and the Museum of Mississippi History are in downtown Jackson at 222 North Street. Access to public parking is available at the Mississippi State Fairgrounds on Jefferson Street at Amite Street.

For more information on Mississippi Makers Fest, join the event at @MSMakersFest, visit msmakersfest.mdah.ms.gov, or email info@mississippimakersfest.com. Click here to see a full list of vendors. 

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Higher Purpose Co. to Sponsor Free Weekend at Two Mississippi Museums   swarnock Mon, 05/06/2024 - 15:03

Higher Purpose Co. is sponsoring free admission to the Two Mississippi Museums Friday, May 31, through Sunday, June 2, to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Freedom Summer.

“We are grateful to Higher Purpose Co. for making it possible for people to visit the Museum of Mississippi History and the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum free of charge,” said Katie Blount, director of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. “Visitors will learn about the importance of Freedom Summer and its critical role in the Civil Rights Movement.”

The statewide economic opportunity nonprofit Higher Purpose Co. continues to expand access to powerful stories at the museums as part of its arts and culture strategy. This Freedom Summer Free Weekend marks the third consecutive year HPC has offered free admission to museum guests.

“Higher Purpose Co. is excited to deepen our relationship with MDAH and collaborate on this commemorative event,” said Tim Lampkin, founder and chief executive officer of Higher Purpose Co. “As we gather for a Freedom Summer Free Weekend at the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, we honor the stories of resilience and triumph that have shaped our history. Through storytelling, we not only commemorate the past but also inspire a new generation of Black entrepreneurs to forge their own paths towards economic empowerment.”

Launched in June 1964, the Mississippi Summer Project was a volunteer campaign designed to help Black Mississippians register to vote and enhance their education by enlisting the help of college students. During Freedom Summer, three civil rights workers—James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner—were murdered. Nonetheless, the combined efforts of civil rights groups, college students, local people—and media coverage of the violence—led to the passage of the national legislation, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, assisting in the dismantling of Jim Crow segregation.

Staff at the Two Mississippi Museums will offer visitors themed tours about Freedom Summer at 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Friday, May 31, and Saturday, June 1, and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, June 2. On Sunday afternoon from 2 to 3 p.m., the Anderson United Methodist Church Choir will provide a concert.

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Students Compete in Annual Mississippi History Day Competition at Two Mississippi Museums swarnock Wed, 04/24/2024 - 15:16

The Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH) hosted the 2024 Mississippi History Day competition at the Two Mississippi Museums on Saturday, April 20. The competition drew middle and high school students from across the state. 

Mississippi History Day (MHD), the state’s National History Day (NHD) affiliate, is a cross-curriculum program focusing on in-depth research and critical analysis. While the program’s basis is in history, students presented topics related to a variety of subjects, such as science, arts, mathematics, foreign language, and culture. The event encourages students to conduct primary and secondary source research through archives, digital archives, libraries, museums, and historic sites. 

“Mississippi History Day provides a unique opportunity for students to study history they are interested in and present it in a way they are comfortable with. Seeing students from across the state show off their research in creative ways is always inspiring and this year was no different. It was a great event for all involved,” said Al Wheat, MDAH director of education and MHD affiliate coordinator. 

Sixty-three students competed in thirty-seven projects at MHD, having advanced from the regional competition to the state event. Students participated in one of five categories, organized in two separate divisions, Junior Division (grades 6–8) and Senior Division (grades 9–12). The categories have individual and group options, except for the paper category. Group teams were comprised of up to five members. 

First and second place finishers in each category at MHD qualify for the NHD National Contest in June 2024. Students at the state and national level can also win monetary prizes through special awards. 

2024 Mississippi History Day winners:  

Exhibits  

  • Senior Individual First Place (eligible for nationals): Keylee Lang, Starkville High School, The Modern Woman: How Flappers Changed Society’s Views on Women. 

  • Senior Individual Second Place (eligible for nationals): Joey Knight, Mississippi School for Math and Science, The Great Amphibious Landing at Inchon.  

  • Senior Individual Alternate: Londyn Kirkland, Tougaloo Early College High School, Mississippi Blues.                                                                    

  • Junior Individual First Place (eligible for nationals): Nathaniel Little, Simpson Central School, Brown v. Board of Ed: A Turning Point in American Education? 

  • Senior Group First Place (eligible for nationals): William Hardwick, Lucas Houston, and William Warfield, Hernando High School, Meiji: Japan’s Transformation into a Global Power.  

  • Senior Group Second Place (eligible for nationals): Trinity Collins and Heidi Overstreet, Hernando High School, Women’s March on Versailles.  

  • Senior Group Alternate: Stephen Hacker and Colby Marr, Hernando High School, The Wright Brothers.  

  • Junior Group First Place (eligible for nationals): Takiah Gilmore, Breanna Landing, Johnya Johnson, and Rylee Rainey, Simpson Central School, Major Turning Point for Equality.     

Websites  

  • Senior Individual First Place (eligible for nationals): Emily Barnes, Mississippi School for Math and Science, “Shoot For the Stars: How the Space Race Changed Education.” 

  • Senior Individual Second Place (eligible for nationals): Shachiko Clay, Starkville High School, “The Meiji Restoration: How Modernization Transformed Sexuality in Japanese Society.” 

  • Senior Individual Alternate: Theo Milnor, Tougaloo Early College High School, “Pride Was a Riot.” 

  • Senior Group First Place (eligible for nationals): Marlasha Johnson, Cambreah Spires, and Jatalya Williams, Tougaloo Early College High School, “Black Women in the Harlem Renaissance.” 

  • Junior Group First Place (eligible for nationals): Theo Ahn, Peter Buys, and Brendon Seo, Armstrong Middle School (Starkville), “The Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand: How Two Gunshots Altered History Forever.” 

  • Junior Group Second Place (eligible for nationals): Ian Alexander, Owen Crews, Brooks Fulford, and Joseph Thompson, Armstrong Middle School (Starkville), “The Collapse of the Indestructible: How the Fall of Constantinople Altered History.”  

Documentaries  

  • Senior Individual First Place (eligible for nationals): Samar Rahimi, Mississippi School for Math and Science, The Iranian Hostage Crisis: A Multi-Perspective Review. 

  • Senior Individual Second Place (eligible for nationals): Walter Giesen, Starkville High School, Mississippi Turning: How School Desegregation Redefined a Southern Town.  

  • Senior Individual Alternate: Eduardo Gonzalez-Orozco, Starkville High School, The Russian Revolution: The Rise of Communism. 

  • Senior Group First Place (eligible for nationals): Johnny Ford, Chyla Hanna, Jenna Holder, and Lindy Peterson, Starkville High School, Plague and Progress: How the Black Death Created a Turning Point in Medicine

  • Senior Group Second Place (eligible for nationals): Amy Choi, Jimin Kim, Mirae Nishikawa, and Claire Rhee, Starkville High School, The Jungle: How One Book Impacted the Future of Food and Labor Safety Laws. 

  • Senior Group Alternate: Jennifer Bui, Ean Choi, Lisa Seid, and Vincent Wang, Mississippi School for Math and Science, Infamous Investigation: The Tuskegee Syphilis Study.  

Performance  

  • Senior Individual First Place (eligible for nationals): Dylan Wiley, Mississippi School for Math and Science, The Forgotten Valor: Contributions of African American Soldiers in the Civil War and the First World Frontiers from Lowndes County.  

  • Junior Group First Place (eligible for nationals): Jerney Gray, Italiah Ross, Aniya Robinson, and Elize’a Scott, Whitten Middle School (Jackson), Freed With No Knowledge  

Paper 

  • Senior First Place (eligible for nationals): Harrison Shao, Mississippi School for Math and Science, “From Small Wonder to Big Salvation: How the Mass Production of Penicillin Became Possible in the Early 1940s.” 

  • Senior Second Place (eligible for nationals): Cohen Suttles, Mississippi School for Math and Science, “The Emmitt Till Generation.”  

  • Senior Alternate: Allswell Nukpezah, Starkville High School, “Exploring Ghanaian Independence as a Turning Point in Pan-African History.” 

  • Junior 1st Place (eligible for nationals): Ian Jung, Armstrong Middle School (Starkville), “A Treaty and a Dictator: How the Treaty of Versailles Influenced the Rise of Hitler.”   

National History Day State Contest Special Awards 

  • Best Project in Mississippi History: Cohen Suttles, Mississippi School for Math and Science, “The Emmett Till Generation.” 

  • Best Project in Maritime History: Joey Knight, Mississippi School for Math and Science, “The Great Amphibious Landing at Inchon.”  

  • Best Project in Civil War History: Dylan Micheal Wiley, Mississippi School for Math and Science, “The Forgotten Valor: Contributions of African American Soldiers in the Civil War and the First World Frontiers from Lowndes County.”  

  • Reflecting Mississippi History Award: Walter Giesen, Starkville High School, “Mississippi Turning: How School Desegregation Redefined a Southern Town.” 

  • Reflecting Mississippi History Award: Londyn Kirkland, Tougaloo Early College High School, “Mississippi Blues.”  

  • Best Project in Women’s History: Keylee Lang, Starkville High School, “The Modern Woman: How Flappers Changed Society's Views of Women.” 

  • Best Project in Black History: Marlasha Johnson, Cambreh Spires, and Jatalya Williams, Tougaloo Early College High School, “Black Women in the Harlem Renaissance.” 

  • Best Project in Military History: Theo Ahn, Peter Buys, and Brendan Seo, Armstrong Middle School (Starkville), “The Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand: How Two Gunshots Altered History Forever.” 

  • Best Project in Gulf South History: Khloe Robinson, Tougaloo Early College High School, “The Evolution of Lynchings in Mississippi.”  

  • Best Project in Archival History: Sachiko Clay, Starkville High School, “The Meiji Restoration: How Modernization Transformed Sexuality in Japanese Society.” 

Patricia Behring Teacher of the Year for Mississippi 

  • Senior Division: Alexandria Drake, Tougaloo Early College High School 

  • Junior Division: Abigail Myers, Simpson Central School  

Sponsored special awards with a prize of $150 each included: Best in Military History, provided by The Dale Center for the Study of War and Society at the University of Southern Mississippi; Best in Black History and Woman's History, provided by The School of Interdisciplinary Studies and Professional Development at the University of Southern Mississippi; Best in Gulf South History, provided by The Center for the Study of the Gulf South at the University of Southern Mississippi; Best in Archival History, provided by the Society of Mississippi Archivists; Two Reflecting Mississippi Awards, provided by the Mississippi Humanities Council; Best in Mississippi History, provided by the Mississippi Historical Society; Best in Maritime History, provided by the National Maritime Historical Society; Best in Civil War History, provided by Mississippi State University; Two Patricia Behring Teacher of the Year Awards, provided by Patricia Behring and National History Day. 

Each teacher who received the Patricia Behring Teacher of the Year Award received $500 and a chance to compete on the national level for $10,000. 

NHD is a non-profit organization based in College Park, Maryland, which seeks to improve the teaching and learning of history. Established in 1974, the National History Day Contest engages more than half a million students every year in conducting original research on historical topics of interest. Projects compete first at the local and affiliate levels, where the top entries are invited to the National Contest at the University of Maryland at College Park. NHD is sponsored in part by HISTORY®, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Park Service, The Better Angels Society, and the Diana Davis Spencer Foundation. 

MDAH was founded in 1902 to collect, preserve, and provide access to the archival resources of the state. The commitment to preservation continues today through the work of the department’s five divisions. By preserving Mississippi’s diverse historic resources and sharing them with people around the world, MDAH inspires the discovery of stories that connect our lives and shape our future. 

Images of winners are available on the MHD Facebook page.

For more information on Mississippi History Day, please call 601-576-6850 or email info@mdah.gov

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2024 Eudora Welty Research Fellow Chosen swarnock Mon, 04/22/2024 - 10:26

Gabrielle Bowden, a doctoral student at the University of Mississippi, has been named the Eudora Welty Research Fellow for 2024. Bowden will use archival holdings in the Eudora Welty Collection housed at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH) to research the influence of Welty’s travel in Ireland on her 1951 publication “The Burning.” 

“In theme and style, 'The Burning' feels distinctly Irish; its dark, grotesque, modernist humor reflects the style of Irish contemporaries like Joyce,” said Bowden. “I hope to discover certain materials and texts that would further demonstrate Irish influence on 'The Burning.' From the Welty archives, the newly opened family correspondence would be particularly useful to this research. While previous scholarship has acknowledged her grand, pastoral description of Bowen’s Court in letters to John Robinson and others, none have yet explored what she wrote to her mother and other close family members about her experience in Ireland.” 

Established in 2010 by MDAH and the Eudora Welty Foundation, the fellowship seeks to encourage and support research of the Eudora Welty Collection by graduate students.  

“We’re grateful to the Eudora Welty Foundation for their continued support of our fellows,” said David Pilcher, director of the MDAH archives and records services division. “I am certain Gabrielle will gain valuable insight this summer, making excellent use of newly digitized Welty materials and extensive paper archives within the Eudora Welty Collection.”  

After receiving a bachelor’s degree in English from The College of William and Mary, Bowden pursed a master’s degree in Irish writing at Trinity College Dublin, graduating in 2020. She is currently working towards her doctorate in English, concentrating on twentieth-century American literature, especially literature of the American South. She will use the $5,000 fellowship award to cover her travel, housing, and other expenses incurred while doing her primary research at the William F. Winter Archives and History Building in Jackson.  

The Eudora Welty Collection is the world’s finest collection of materials related to Welty and one of the most varied literary collections in the United States. The collection includes manuscripts, letters, photographs, drawings, essays, and film and video footage that spans Welty’s entire life.  

Beginning in 1957, and over the course of more than forty years, Welty donated materials to the department, primarily literary manuscripts and photographs. At her death, her remaining papers were bequeathed to MDAH and included unpublished manuscripts and 14,000 items of correspondence with family, friends, scholars, young writers, and noted writers.  

The Eudora Welty Collection may be accessed at the William F. Winter Archives and History Building at 200 North Street in Jackson. For more information on the archival collection or the Eudora Welty Research Fellowship, contact Lis Cambonga at 601-576-6868 or by email at ecambonga@mdah.ms.gov

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MDAH Board Approves Demolition Permit For Eudora Welty Library Building

Jackson, Miss.—At its April 19 quarterly meeting, the Mississippi Department of Archives History (MDAH) Board of Trustees approved a demolition permit for the Eudora Welty Library building in Jackson. The permit approval followed a period of public comment during which two comments were received supporting the demolition and three against. 

This building was built in 1946 as a Sears department store. In the late 1980s, it became the downtown public library and was named for Mississippi author Eudora Welty. By 2023, the building was in serious disrepair, the City declared that it would no longer maintain it, and the Jackson/Hinds Library Board voted to move the library to a different location.  

MDAH will continue to work with the City of Jackson and the Jackson/Hinds Library Board to mitigate the loss of the historic building. Proposed strategies include providing MDAH grant funds for the adaptive reuse of a downtown historic building to house the library. 

In 2024, MDAH acquired the library property with plans to replace the building with a new public park and green. The plans for this project align with the original layout for Jackson from 1822, which included public green spaces on alternating blocks. There are currently only two: the Old Capitol Green and Smith Park.  

MDAH is working with a national firm that specializes in park design to create a vista between the Two Mississippi Museums and State Street, which will connect to the Museum Trail and enhance the experience of visitors to the Two Mississippi Museums. The first $1 million for the project was donated by retired businessman Noble T. Crigler, and the park will be named after his late wife, Margaret Ann Crigler. The Mississippi Legislature has provided funding for the project, and the remaining funds will be raised privately by the Foundation for Mississippi History.  

MDAH board president Spence Flatgard commented, “We have the opportunity to replace an abandoned building with a beautiful public park that will be an asset to our capital city. We are grateful to Noble Crigler, the Mississippi Legislature, and the other donors who will help us make this vision real. We are committed to helping the City and the library system find a suitable location downtown for a new state-of-the-art Eudora Welty Library.” 

Members of the MDAH Board of Trustees are Spence Flatgard, president, Ridgeland; Nancy Carpenter, vice president, Columbus; Reginald Buckley, Jackson; Carter Burns, Natchez; Betsey Hamilton, New Albany; Mark E. Keenum, Starkville; Lucius Lampton, Magnolia; and TJ Taylor, Madison. 

For more information, call 601-576-6934, email info@mdah.ms.gov.

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MDAH Awards More Than $97,000 in Preservation Grants Statewide

The Mississippi Department of Archives and History has awarded grants totaling more than $97,000 to eight preservation projects in seven Certified Local Government (CLG) communities across the state.  

The scope of work for awarded projects ranges from professional assessments, as with the evaluation of three National Register-listed buildings for future use by the City of New Albany, to more advanced phases of rehabilitation, as with the Lundy House project in Lexington.   

“We are pleased to partner with these communities in 2024,” said deputy director of Historic Preservation, Meredith Massey. “The projects mainly focus on rehabilitating historic buildings and conducting professional assessments and surveys, as well as technological upgrades that benefit CLG communities. We look forward to assisting these communities in their preservation efforts.” 

The 2024 grants are:

Aberdeen, $10,000.00, High Street Community Center professional assessment. 

Aberdeen, $10,000.00, second Neuberger Library rehabilitation. 

Greenwood, $10,000.00, Confederate Memorial Building and Greenwood Carnegie Library professional assessments. 

Hattiesburg, $18,000.00, Historic Site Management Tool map viewer upgrades. 

Lexington, $13,000.00, Lundy House rehabilitation. 

New Albany, $12,558.10, Benjamin F. Ford School, old police station, and light, gas, and water building professional assessments. 

Ocean Springs, $15,000.00, historic guidelines and district updates. 

Woodville, $9,400.00, Polk’s Meat Market rehabilitation. 

The Certified Local Government program is a federal-state-local partnership designed to assist local governments in dealing with diverse preservation needs through funding and technical assistance. CLG communities may apply for annual grants to undertake preservation projects of importance to the community. Grants may be used for such diverse projects as the restoration of historic buildings; preparation of nominations to the National Register of Historic Places; educational programs; publication of local design guidelines; and marketing tools for historic resources. 

Funding for the grants comes from the Historic Preservation Fund, a federal grants program appropriated by the U.S. Congress and administered by the National Park Service, which provides financial support to State Historic Preservation Offices, including the Historic Preservation Division of MDAH. 

To become a CLG, a community must adopt a preservation ordinance establishing a preservation commission in accordance with federal and state guidelines. Once the commission has been established, application for CLG status may be made to the National Park Service through the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. MDAH works closely with local government officials and citizens to help them create and manage a workable local historic preservation program. To learn more about the CLG program, visit https://www.mdah.ms.gov/historic-preservation/preservation-planning-development#clg

The fifty-seven CLG communities in Mississippi are Aberdeen, Baldwyn, Bay Saint Louis, Biloxi, Booneville, Brandon, Canton, Carrollton, Carthage, Claiborne County, Clarksdale, Cleveland, Clinton, Columbia, Columbus, Como, Corinth, Durant, Eupora, Gautier, Greenville, Greenwood, Hattiesburg, Hazlehurst, Hernando, Holly Springs, Indianola, Jackson, Kosciusko, Laurel, Leland, Lexington, Louisville, McComb, Meridian, Mound Bayou, Mount Olive, Natchez, New Albany, Ocean Springs, Oxford, Pascagoula, Philadelphia, Port Gibson, Quitman, Raymond, Senatobia, Sharkey County, Starkville, Tunica, Tupelo, Vicksburg, Water Valley, West, West Point, Woodville, and Yazoo City. 

Members of the MDAH Board of Trustees are Spence Flatgard, president, Ridgeland; Nancy Carpenter, vice president, Columbus; Reginald Buckley, Jackson; Carter Burns, Natchez; Betsey Hamilton, New Albany; Mark E. Keenum, Starkville; Lucius Lampton, Magnolia; and TJ Taylor, Madison. 

For more information, call 601-576-6940 or email clg@mdah.ms.gov

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Eudora Welty: Other Places Exhibit Open to the Public swarnock Tue, 04/16/2024 - 16:55

The Eudora Welty: Other Places photography exhibit is now open at the Eudora Welty House & Garden (EWHG) Visitor Center. The special exhibit is free to visit and will be on display for two years.

“In her memoir One Writer's Beginnings, Eudora Welty wrote, ‘Through travel I first became aware of the outside world; it was through travel that I found my own introspective way into becoming a part of it,’” said Eudora Welty House & Garden director Jessica Russell. "Eudora Welty: Other Places showcases Welty's empathetic eye for the human condition and the curiosity she experienced as a young writer traveling away from her native state and discovering the rhythm and culture of other places.”

Focusing on Welty’s photography, the exhibit explores the way travel forms connections with people from beyond their homes. It also interprets twenty photographs Welty took in New York and New Orleans throughout the 1930s. Artifacts related to Welty's photography, including three of Welty’s cameras, a selection of archived letters, and souvenirs related to her travels will also be on display.

Following the two-year showing at the EWHG, Eudora Welty: Other Places will be showcased in public spaces throughout Mississippi as a traveling exhibit.  Eudora Welty: Other Places was developed and curated through a partnership between MDAH and Eudora Welty, LLC. 

The EWHG Visitor Center is free and open to the public Tuesday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. Parking can be found alongside 1109 Pinehurst Street.

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Inaugural Fellow Chosen for Religion in Mississippi History Research Fellowship

Summer King, a graduate student at the University of Mississippi, has been selected as the inaugural fellow for the Religion in Mississippi History Research Fellowship. King will use archival holdings at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH) to research the spread of Pentecostalism to interracial congregations during Jim Crow segregation.

“My research will shed light on Bishop Charles Harrison Mason and his work in starting an interracial Pentecostal movement in Mississippi during the earliest part of the twentieth century and the height of the Jim Crow legislation,” said Summer King.

Established by MDAH’s Religion Initiative and funded through Lilly Endowment Inc., the fellowship seeks to encourage research regarding the role of religion in Mississippi history.

“We are excited to announce Summer King as the inaugural Religion in Mississippi History Research Fellow," said director of MDAH Katie Blount. "King's examination of Bishop Charles Harrsion Mason's pivotal role in establishing The Church of God in Christ will provide unique insight into the long-standing influence of religion on Mississippi history.”

After receiving her bachelor’s degree in history from Tennessee Technological University, King completed her master’s in history at Mississippi State University where she is currently working toward her doctorate. She will use the $5,000 fellowship to cover travel, housing, and other expenses incurred while doing primary research.

In December 2022, Lilly Endowment awarded a $2.5 million grant through its Religion and Cultural Institutions Initiative to the Foundation for Mississippi History to help MDAH expand public understanding of religious history in Mississippi.

Archival holdings related to religion may be accessed online and at the William F. Winter Archives and History Building at 200 North Street in Jackson. For more information on the archival collection or the Religion in Mississippi History Research Fellowship, contact Laura Heller at 601-576-6889, or by email at lheller@mdah.ms.gov.

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2024 Evers Research Fellow Chosen 

Keon Burns, a dual doctoral candidate in history and Africana studies at Pennsylvania State University, has been named the Medgar and Myrlie Evers Research Fellow for 2024. Burns will conduct research this summer in the Medgar Wiley and Myrlie Beasley Evers Papers housed at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH) in Jackson.

By examining the records and correspondence of Medgar Evers during his time as Mississippi field secretary for the NAACP, among other archival collections at MDAH, Burns hopes to gain insight into the role of Black businesspeople, particularly grocery store owners, and their impact as grassroots activists during the Civil Rights Movement.

“I will use the Evers Papers and other MDAH holdings as the basis for a dissertation chapter that builds off my master’s thesis,” said Burns. “The chapter will highlight the role of Black grocers in the Civil Rights Movement. I will use Mississippi and the grocery industry as a case study for the impact of Black-owned businesses on community organizing, resistance, and uplift.”

The Medgar and Myrlie Evers Research Scholars Program is a collaboration between MDAH and the Medgar and Myrlie Evers Institute. The program seeks to nurture upper-level graduate students and faculty scholars at the beginning of their academic careers to increase their life-long interest in history, and to promote continued academic and public appreciation of Medgar and Myrlie Evers’s life and works, the Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi, and the struggle for human rights.

Burns will use the $5,000 fellowship to cover travel, housing, and other expenses incurred while doing primary research at the archives.

The Medgar Wiley and Myrlie Beasley Evers Papers may be accessed at the William F. Winter Archives and History Building, 200 North Street, in Jackson. For more information on the fellowship or about the collection, contact Laura Heller at 601-576-6850 or by email at lheller@mdah.ms.gov.

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Eudora Welty House & Garden to Celebrate Welty Birthday with Free Weekend of Activities swarnock Wed, 04/03/2024 - 08:34

The Eudora Welty House & Garden (EWH&G) will hold a free, celebratory weekend honoring the late author and photographer Eudora Welty’s 115th birthday with free tours and activities on Friday, April 12, and Saturday, April 13. 

On Friday, the party begins at 9 a.m. with free birthday cupcakes and lemonade available to guests on the side porch of Welty’s 1925 Tudor Revival house. Visitors are invited to create complimentary, wearable button-pins using historic photographs of Welty and other scrapbook materials. From 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., local DJ Tyler Tadlock will play records with music from Welty's era on the side porch. Free tours of the Welty house will be given at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m. Reservations are recommended. 

On Saturday, the birthday celebration continues at 10 a.m. with a garden volunteering opportunity led by EWH&G garden assistant, Jess Stein, where visitors can honor Welty by tending to her garden. Registration is encouraged for garden volunteering, but not required. Free tours of Welty’s house will be available at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.  

Eudora Welty was born on April 13, 1909, in Jackson. For 76 years, the Pulitzer Prize–winning author lived, entertained, and wrote her stories in her Jackson home at 1109 Pinehurst Street. A National Historic Landmark since 2004, the Mississippi Department of Archives and History interprets the site to 1986, when Welty was still actively writing and traveling.  

Space is limited for tours. Reservations are recommended. Email info@eudoraweltyhouse.com to book a reservation or call 601-353-7762 for more information. 

The EWH&G Visitor Center is free and open to the public Tuesday–Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. Parking can be found alongside 1109 Pinehurst Street.  

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