Mississippi Historical Society News
Mississippi Historical Society Awards Prizes, Elects Officers
The Mississippi Historical Society named the best Mississippi history book of 2006, honored the history teacher of the year, and presented its most prestigious awards at its annual meeting, held this year in Jackson March 1 through 3. "Telling Mississippi's Stories" was the meeting's theme. Presentations examined, among other things, the Jackson Civil Rights Movement, the public broadcasting series Rural Voices Radio, the southern Jewish experience, and the new Museum of Mississippi History.
Charles C. Bolton and James W. Loewen were the featured speakers. Bolton, professor of history and chair of the history department at the University of North Carolina–Greensboro, presented "Oral History: Memories of Mississippi's Past." Loewen, professor emeritus of sociology at the University of Vermont and co-author of the textbook Mississippi: Conflict and Change, presented the keynote address "Ten Little Mississippi Stories."
The society's highest honor, the B.L.C. Wailes Award for national distinction in the field of history, was awarded posthumously to Winthrop Jordan, professor emeritus of history and African-American Studies at the University of Mississippi. Jordan's seminal 1968 book, White Over Black: American Attitudes Toward the Negro, 1550-1812, won the National Book Award, the Parkman Prize, the Ralph Waldo Emerson Award, and the Bancroft Prize. Jordan won another Bancroft Prize for his 1993 work, Tumult and Silence at Second Creek: An Investigation into a Civil War Slave Conspiracy. Jordan was co-author of several widely used history textbooks.
Martha S. Friend, Starkville High School, received the John K. Bettersworth Award, presented annually to an outstanding history teacher. Friend has more than thirty years' experience as a teacher in Mississippi's public schools, having taught at West Point, Neshoba Central, and Starkville. Friend earned her undergraduate degree from the Mississippi University for Women, and master's degrees in secondary education and history from Mississippi State University.
Carter Dalton Lyon won the Glover Moore Prize for the best master's thesis in Mississippi history in 2006. Cheek presented his thesis, "Sanctuaries of White Supremacy: The Story of the Jackson Church Visit Campaign, 1963-1964, Part I," for his master of arts degree at the University of Mississippi.
Robert L. Fleegler, Instructional Assistant Professor at the University of Mississippi, won the Willie D. Halsell Prize for the best article published in the Journal of Mississippi History the previous year. Fleegler's article, "Theodore G. Bilbo and the Decline of Public Racism, 1938-47," was published in the Spring 2006 issue.
The Newton County Historical Society received the Frank E. Everett Jr. Award for outstanding contributions to the preservation and interpretation of Mississippi history. The society boasts a membership of nearly 250, operates the Newton County Archives and a Web site, publishes a quarterly journal, and conducts active research of historical sites in Newton County.
For the second year in a row the Southern Foodways Alliance, an institute of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi, was the winner of the Elbert R. Hilliard Oral History Award. Amy Evans, oral historian at the institute, accepted the award for the institute's project the Mississippi Delta Hot Tamale Trail, created in cooperation with Viking Range Corporation in an effort to document the history, tradition, and culture of hot tamales from Tunica to Vicksburg. To learn more about the Mississippi Delta Hot Tamale Trail, visit its Web site.
Jason Phillips, assistant professor of history at Mississippi State University, won the Mississippi History Now award for his article "Reconstruction in Mississippi, 1865–1876." The award is presented to the author of the best article on the Mississippi History Now Web site the previous year. Phillips's article may be found in the Mississippi History Now online archives.
Awards of Merit were presented to Jennifer Ford for her outstanding work at the University of Mississippi as the Special Collections Librarian at the John D. Williams Library; James G. Hollandsworth for his volunteer work describing and cataloging the Alfred Holt Stone Collection at MDAH; and Suzanne Marrs for her outstanding scholarly work in documenting and interpreting the life and literary career of Eudora Welty.
Newly elected officers of the Mississippi Historical Society are John Marszalek, MSU, president; Gail Tomlinson, Senatobia, vice-president; and Elbert R. Hilliard, MDAH, secretary-treasurer.
New members of the society's board of directors for 2007-2010 are Todd Boucher, Biloxi; Richard Boyd, Oxford; Alton Cobb, Jackson; Jerry Dallas, Cleveland; Matthew Holden, Jr., Jackson; and Stephen Sloan, University of Southern Mississippi. Board of Publications members William Parrish, Starkville, and David Sansing, Oxford, agreed to serve an additional term.
Mississippi Historical Society 2006 Annual Meeting
The Mississippi Historical Society named the best Mississippi history book of 2005, honored the history teacher of the year, and presented its most prestigious awards at its annual meeting, held this year in Natchez March 2 through 4. "Mississippi's Landscapes: An Environmental History" was the meeting's theme, and numerous related presentations examined the state's natural history, human attempts to tame nature, Hurricanes Camille and Katrina, and the Great Flood of 1927.
Neil McMillen, professor emeritus of history at the University of Southern Mississippi, was awarded the society's highest honor, the B.L.C. Wailes Award for national distinction in the field of history. McMillen's publications include The Citizens' Council: Organized Resistance to the Second Reconstruction, 1954-1964 and Dark Journey: Black Mississippians in the Age of Jim Crow, which won the McLemore Prize, Gustavus Myers Outstanding Book Award, and Bancroft Prize and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. He has served as the Charles W. Moorman Distinguished Alumni Professor in the Humanities at USM. McMillen was also the winner of the 2006 Mississippi History NOW award for the best article published on the Mississippi History NOW Web site in the previous year. His "WPA Slave Narratives" was the featured article in February 2005.
Mississippi State University professor Michael Ballard is the winner of the 2006 Dunbar Rowland Award, given in recognition of his major contributions to the study and interpretation of Mississippi history. Ballard has been an archivist in MSU's Mitchell Memorial Library since 1983, serving successively as Associate University Archivist, University Archivist, and University Archivist and Coordinator of the Congressional Collection. In addition to his nine books, Ballard has published dozens of scholarly articles and book reviews. His books A Long Shadow: Jefferson Davis and the Final Days of the Confederacy and Pemberton: A Biography were both History Book Club selections, and Pemberton was chosen by the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters as the best non-fiction book by a Mississippi author in 1991.
A Little Taste of Freedom: The Black Freedom Struggle in Claiborne County, Mississippi by Emilye Crosby won the McLemore Prize for best Mississippi history book of 2005. A Little Taste of Freedom explores the impact of the African American freedom struggle on small communities, studying both black activists and the white opposition and employing more than one hundred oral histories. Crosby is associate professor of history at the State University of New York-Geneseo.
Marlo Hendrix, Tupelo High School, received the John K. Bettersworth Award, presented annually to an outstanding history teacher. Hendrix, who holds her bachelor's and master's degrees in history from the University of Mississippi, has taught for nine years. Hendrix is involved in several history-based programs, creating a two-week after-school program teaching leadership skills to junior-high girls and coordinating her school's "Promote the Vote" campaigns in 2003 and 2004.
Francoise N. Hamlin won the Riley Prize for her doctoral dissertation "The Book Hasn't Closed, the Story Isn't Finished: Continuing Histories of the Civil Rights Movement." Hamlin presented the dissertation for her Ph.D. in history from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.
Gary Coleman Cheek, Jr., won the Glover Moore Prize for the best master's thesis in Mississippi history in 2005. Cheek presented his thesis, "Cultural Flexibility: Assimilation, Education, and the Evolution of Choctaw Identity in the Age of Transformation, 1800-1830," for his master of arts degree at Mississippi State University.
Mark Newman, lecturer in history at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, won the Willie D. Halsell Prize for the best article published in the Journal of Mississippi History the previous year. Newman's article, "The Catholic Church in Mississippi and Desegregation, 1963-1973," was published in the Winter 2005 issue.
The Union County Historical Society received the Frank E. Everett Jr. Award for outstanding contributions to the preservation and interpretation of Mississippi history. The society has demonstrated through its programming the vitality of the music, art, industry, and agriculture of Union County and lower Appalachia.
The Southern Foodways Alliance, an institute of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi, was the inaugural winner of the Elbert R. Hilliard Oral History Award for its Doe's Eat Place oral history project.
Awards of Merit were presented to the Mississippi Department of Archives and History for the staff's dedicated work in assisting local governments and historical organizations in the Hurricane Katrina recovery effort; David Preziosi, executive director of the Mississippi Heritage Trust, for his dedicated work in assisting local governments, historical organizations, and MDAH in the Hurricane Katrina recovery effort; and Samuel A. Tomlinson III of Natchez for his donation to MDAH of the only known copy of the Rules of Order, Decorum and [Debate] for the Government of the House of Representatives of the Mississippi Territory.
Newly elected officers of the Mississippi Historical Society are Jeanne Luckett, Jackson, president; John Marszalek, MSU, vice-president; and Elbert R. Hilliard, MDAH, secretary-treasurer.
New members of the society's board of directors for 2006-2009 are Ray Bellande, Ocean Springs; James R. Kelly, Jr., Jones Junior College-Ellisville; James H. Lacey, Jr., Canton; Panny Mayfield, Coahoma Community College; Mary Carol Miller, Greenwood; and Thomas G. Velek, Mississippi University for Women. New Board of Publications members are John Langston, University Press of Mississippi, and Charles Sallis, Jackson.