[Mississippi History Newsletter Online.]

A MDAH Publication  |  Volume 44 No. 12  |  December 2002

Old Jackson Christmas by Candlelight Tour

The seventh Old Jackson Christmas by Candlelight Tour runs on Friday, Dec. 6, from 5 to 8 p.m. This popular annual event features traditional seasonal decorations at the Old Capitol Museum, the Manship House Museum and the Governor's Mansion. Buses will circulate among the sites during the tours carrying visitors free of charge. Special activities are planned for each site. The first bus will leave the Old Capitol at 5 p.m. Three different groups will perform at the Manship House, and the Governor's Mansion will offer holiday piano music. At 7 p.m. the Utica Jubilee Singers from Hinds Community College, Utica campus, will perform spirituals and holiday music at the Old Capitol. For more information, call the Museum at 601/359-6920.


Christmas at the Old Capitol

The museum's traditional historical holiday exhibits will be on display from Wednesday, December 4, through Monday, December 23. The traditional giant Mississippi cedar, decorated with hand-crocheted snowflakes, gold tinsel garlands, and other ornaments representing the 1870s and 1880s, will stand in the Old Capitol Rotunda surrounded by antique toys. Smaller trees decorated with ornaments typical of the Antebellum, Victorian, and Depression eras will be displayed in the Hall of Flags. Holiday wreaths and garlands will ornament the Old Capitol's exterior.

The Old Capitol trains will again run through Possum Ridge, an imaginary town typical of Mississippi railroad towns in the 1940s. The model trains-including customized versions of the "Panama Limited" and the "Rebel," which traveled through Mississippi-run throughout the day.

The holiday animated film "Small One," a perennial favorite of the Old Capitol's young visitors, will be shown weekdays to registered school groups and will also be shown for the general public weekdays at 3 p.m. and Saturdays at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Holiday concerts will be presented at 3 p.m. on December 8 (Encore Show Choir, Kirk Academy, Grenada) and December 15 (St. Andrew's Cathedral Choir).

Old Capitol Museum hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, and 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday. All events are free and open to the public. Groups of ten or more should call ahead to make weekday reservations. For more information or to arrange tours, please call 601/ 359-6920.


2003 MHS Meeting: "Mississippi in the Early Twentieth Century"

Members attending the Mississippi Historical Society annual meeting to be held February 27-March 1, 2003, in Jackson will be welcomed at the Governor's Mansion, according to MHS president David Bowen. Program chair Dennis Mitchell reports that scholars to explore the topic of Mississippi in the early twentieth century include Thomas K. McCraw, Harvard University; William C. Allen, architectural historian, United States Capitol; and Stephen Cresswell, West Virginia Wesleyan University. Participants will tour the Mississippi State Capitol and the newly renovated War Memorial Building. Headquarters for the meeting is the Edison Walthall Hotel. Pre-registration packets will be sent to all members in coming weeks. The pre-registration fee of $10 (individual) or $12 (couple) is available through February 21. After that date and at the door, registration will be $15 and $17, respectively. Rates at the Edison Walthall are $75 single or double. Meeting participants should make reservations promptly (a block of rooms is reserved until February 14) and specify that they are attending the MHS annual meeting. For more information, call 601/ 359-6850.


Children's Victorian Christmas at Historic Jefferson College

From Saturday, December 7, through Friday, December 27, Christmas trees decorated by local and regional fifth-grade classes will be on display in the site's historic buildings at Historic Jefferson College, Washington. These trees are always extraordinarily imaginative and fresh. Don't miss them. For more information, call 601/ 442-2901.


Natchez Literary and Cinema Celebration: Bicentennial of the Lousiana Purchase

Historians, fiction writers, non-fiction writers, film makers, poets, and more will gather February 19-23 to salute the bicentennial of the Louisiana Purchase at the 14th Annual Natchez Literary and Cinema Celebration. There will be presentations of awards for literary excellence and screenplay writing, writing workshops, dramatic presentations, receptions, dinners, and more. For more information, visit www.colin.edu/nlcc.

 

Declaration of Independence Road Trip Stops in Jackson

One of only twenty-five remaining original copies of the Declaration of Independence will visit Jackson December 7-15, one of the stops on the rare document's three-year tour across the country. The Declaration and its accompanying multi-media exhibition will be on display in the Mississippi State Capitol.

Television and film producer Norman Lear acquired the broadside print of the Declaration in 2000 with the goal of bringing the "People's Document" directly to Americans, especially young people, to inspire them to participate in civic activism, to exercise their rights as citizens, and to vote.

Two hundred copies of the Declaration were printed in 1776 by John Dunlap for distribution throughout the colonies, but only 25 of these original copies are known to exist today. The copy that will be on view in Jackson had been thought lost until 1989, when the document was discovered underneath a painting that had been purchased at a flea market. Experts authenticated the document, and Lear purchased it for more than $8 million.

Local civic, educational, and preservation groups have come together to form a host committee to coordinate events celebrating the Declaration's visit.

Exhibit hours are Monday through Saturday 9 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday 1-6 p.m.


Christmas at the Manship House

The Manship House Museum kicks off the holiday season with a St. Nicholas Day Crafts Workshop on Monday, December 2, 3:30-4:30 p.m. The workshop, for children ages 5-12, is free of charge. Daily tours of the Manship House Museum during the Christmas season, Tuesday, December 6, through Saturday, December 21, will highlight traditional authentic Victorian decorations that the Manship family might have displayed at Christmas. Reservations are requested for groups of ten or more. For information call 601/ 961-4724.


Governor's Mansion Tours

From Wednesday, December 4, through Friday, December 20, the historic section of the Governor's Mansion will feature traditional holiday decorations using seasonal greenery and fruit. Free guided tours are offered Tuesday through Friday, 9:30 to 11 a.m., on the half-hour. Reservations should be made for groups of ten or more. The Governor's Mansion will be closed for tours from Saturday, December 21, through Wednesday, January 1, 2003. The Mansion may be closed at other times during the month for official state functions. To confirm the availability of tours, call 601/ 359-6421.


Winterville Holiday Open House

On Friday, December 6, at the Winterville Mounds Museum, Greenville, a Christmas Open House will be held 5-7 p.m., with vocal groups from local schools caroling. For more information call 601/359-6855.


Make Plans Now To Attend January 25 Genealogical Seminar

Margaret M. Hofmann, a nationally known genealogist and author, will be the featured speaker at the January 25 Mississippi Genealogical Seminar, to be held at Mikhail's Northgate Convention Center in Jackson. The theme will be "Three Hundred Years of North Carolina Patents and Grants." The cost of the seminar (including lunch) is $39. For information, call Sandra Boyd, 601/ 359-6889.


The Journal of Mississippi History: A Year-Long Gift

Give a subscription to the Journal of Mississippi History (4 issues at $25). Last year's issues examined Mississippi's pioneering lung transplant; the Sovereignty Commission's public relations program; the occupation of Natchez by the Choctaw, and more. Each issue includes reviews of important new books as well as history news from around the state. Send your check to MHS, P. O. Box 571, Jackson, MS 39205-0571. Please specify address of gift recipient.


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Published by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History • Elbert R. Hilliard, director • Chrissy Wilson, editor
Please send correspondence to: MHN, P.O. Box 571, Jackson, MS 39205 or email to pubinfo@mdah.state.ms.us