A MDAH Publication | Volume 46 No. 4 | April 2004
MHS Annual Meeting Succeeds Despite Exciting Weather
At its annual meeting in Tupelo March 4-6, the Mississippi Historical Society held sessions on the Great Depression and New Deal in Mississippi, weathered a near-tornado, honored distinguished friends of Mississippi history with prestigious prizes, and elected officers for 2004-05.
John F. Marszalek, professor emeritus of history at Mississippi State University, was awarded the society's highest honor, the B.L.C. Wailes Award for national distinction in the field of history. Marszalek is an internationally respected authority on the history of the Civil War, but his far-ranging areas of expertise also include the Jacksonian Era and race relations in the United States. He has written or edited eleven books (with a twelfth due out later this year) and over two hundred articles and book reviews. With his wife, Jeanne, he recently established the John F. and Jeanne A. Marszalek Library Fund and Lecture Series at MSU to promote the purchase of primary source materials for the MSU Libraries and to expose students to the talents of noted scholars from around the country.
American Congo, The African American Freedom Struggle in the Delta by Nan E. Woodruff won the McLemore Prize for best Mississippi history book of 2003. American Congo focuses on African American sharecroppers in the Arkansas and Mississippi Delta during the first half of the twentieth century. Wood- ruff, an associate professor of history at Pennsylvania State University, was also the meeting's keynote speaker. The McLemore Prize includes a $700 cash award.
Twenty-seven-year teaching veteran Shelia Hooker Thorne received the John K. Bettersworth Award, presented annually to an outstanding history teacher. An MSU graduate, Thorne teaches at Tishomingo County High School. The prize includes a $100 cash award.
Buck T. Foster, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, won the Riley Prize for his doctoral dissertation "Dress Rehearsal for Hard War: William T. Sherman and the Meridian Expedition." The prize is awarded biennially as merited and carries a $500 cash award.
Susan Thorsten Falck won the Glover Moore Prize for best master's thesis in Mississippi history for her study of the organizers of the first Natchez Pilgrimage, "The Garden Club Women of Natchez: "To Preserve the South We Love," her thesis for her master of arts degree at California State University, Northridge.The Glover Moore Prize includes a $300 cash award.
Two college professors will share this year's award for the best article published in the Journal of Mississippi History. Jerry Dallas, professor of history at Delta State University, and Thomas Upchurch, assistant professor of history at East Georgia College (and a former student of Dallas), were each awarded the Willie D. Halsell Prize, which carries a cash award of $200. Dallas won for his article "Sectional Contrasts and the Demise of Old South Jackson's White Residential Areas," published in the Spring 2003 issue of the Journal. Upchurch's winning article, "Why Populism Failed in Mississippi," was published in the Fall 2003 issue.
The Historic DeSoto Foundation received the Frank E. Everett Award for outstanding contributions to the preservation and interpretation of Mississippi history. The prize includes a $300 cash award.
Awards of Merit were presented to Harris Barnes, Clarksdale, for his outstanding work in photographing and documenting the agricultural history of the Mississippi Delta since 1948; Lynda L. Crist, Rice University, for her exemplary service as editor of The Papers of Jefferson Davis; Walt Grayson, Brandon, for his promotion of Mississippi history through his work on "Look Around Mississippi" on WLBT-TV, "Mississippi Roads," on MPB, and his monthly column "Mississippi Seen" published in Today in Mississippi; and the Marion County Board of Supervisors for exemplary efforts in preserving some of Marion County's oldest records and for the renovation and adaptive reuse of the historic Rankin Company Warehouse building as office space for the Board of Supervisors.
Newly elected officers of the Mississippi Historical Society are Donna Dye, Ridgeland, president; Martha Swain, MSU, vice-president; and Elbert R. Hilliard, MDAH director, secretary-treasurer.
New members of the society's Board of Directors for 2004-2007 are Curtis Austin, USM; Bonnie Feig, Starkville; Martha Hutson, Clinton; Luke Lampton, Magnolia; Sam Olden, Yazoo City; and Charles Sullivan, MGCCC. Dixie Butler, Columbus, will fill the unexpired 2002-2005 term of her deceased husband, Carl Butler. New members of the society's Board of Publications are William Parrish, Starkville; and David Sansing, Oxford.
Bern Keating, 1915-2004
Leo Bernard "Bern" Keating, Greenville writer/photographer, died March 8. A native of Canada, he moved to America as a child. After college he worked as a newspaper editor and radio news director before serving in the Navy for four years during World War II. After the war he moved to Greenville and opened a successful photography studio. Finally, he returned to writing and wrote a wide variety of books, including travel, history, and biography. He teamed up with his wife, Franke, also a photographer, and they traveled all over the world together on assignments. Keating received many prizes for his work, including the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Lifetime Achievement Award.
Thomas H. Gandy, 1922-2004
Thomas H. Gandy, M. D., Natchez, died January 26. A local physician for 40 years, Gandy was also widely respected for his preservation work, including the restoration of an extensive collection of photographic negatives documenting one hundred years of Natchez history. During Gandy's term as president of the Natchez Historical Society, he formed a committee to determine what could be done to save Natchez's historic buildings. That committee evolved into the Historic Natchez Foundation. Gandy served as chairman of the city's Architectural Review Board, which led the way for the Natchez Preservation Commission and the passage of important preservation ordinances. He and his wife Joan wrote and published several important volumes on Natchez history and culture and restored their antebellum home, Myrtle Bank.
Subscribe to the print version of the Mississippi History Newsletter by sending your postal address to firstname.lastname@example.org
by the Mississippi Department of Archives
and History Elbert R. Hilliard, director Chrissy Wilson, editor