[Mississippi History Newsletter Online.]

A MDAH Publication  |  Volume 43 No. 12  |  December 2001

Celebrate Holidays with MDAH

From December 2 through 23, Christmas at the Old Capitol will feature traditional holiday decorations, Christmas trees decorated with period ornaments, and antique toys. The Sunday afternoon concert series, held at 3 p.m., includes the Mississippi Youth Symphony Cadet Orchestra Dec. 2, the Poindexter Elementary School Choir Dec. 9, and the St. Andrew's Cathedral Choir Dec. 16.

The sixth Old Jackson Christmas by Candlelight Tour runs on Friday, Dec. 7, from 5 to 8 p.m. This popular annual event features traditional seasonal decorations at the Old Capitol Museum, the Manship House Museum, the Governor's Mansion, and the State Capitol. Trolleys will circulate among the sites during the tours carrying visitors free of charge. Special activities are planned for each site. The first trolley will leave the Old Capitol at 5 p.m. At 7 p.m. the Utica Jubilee Singers from Hinds Community College, Utica campus, will perform spirituals and holiday music at the Old Capitol.

The ever-popular Old Capitol trains will again travel through Possum Ridge, an imaginary town typical of Mississippi railroad towns in the 1940s. The model trains will include customized versions of the "Panama Limited" and the "Rebel."

The holiday animated film "Small One," a perennial favorite of the Old Capitol's young visitors, will be shown weekdays to registered school groups. The film will alsobe shown weekdays at 3 p.m. and Saturdays at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. for the general public. Admission is free.

Hours are 8 to 5 Monday through Friday, 9:30 to 4:30 Saturday, and 12:30 to 4:30 Sunday. Groups of ten or more should call ahead for weekday reservations. For more information, call 601/ 359-6920.

Manship House

Daily tours of the Manship House Museum during the Christmas season, Tuesday, December 4, through Saturday, December 22, will highlight traditional authentic Victorian decorations that the Manship family might have displayed at Christmas. On Monday, December 3, from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., children ages 5-12 will learn how to make Victorian gifts at the St. Nicholas Day Crafts Workshop. To reserve spaces at the workshop or for more information, call 601/961-4724.

Governor's Mansion

From Wednesday, December 5, through Friday, December 21, the historic section of the Governor's Mansion will feature traditional holiday decorations using seasonal greenery such as spruce, cedar, pine, and holly, and fruit such as apples, oranges, lemons, limes, pomegranates, and pineapples. Free guided tours are offered Tuesday through Friday, 9:30- 11 a.m., on the half-hour. Reservations must be made in advance for groups of ten or more. The Governor's Mansion will be closed for tours December 22- January 1. For more information, call 601/ 359-6421.

Children's Victorian Christmas at HJC

Christmas trees decorated by local and regional fifth-grade classes will be on display Dec 8-27 at Historic Jefferson College, Washington. Don't miss these imaginative and exciting creations. For more information, call 601/ 442-2901.

The Journal of Mississippi History: A Closer Look at a Fascinating State

Give a subscription to the Journal of Mississippi History this year (4 issues at $25). Last year, issues examined such topics as Mississippi blues musician John Hurt, the Yellow Fever Epidemic in Bay St. Louis, the U. S. Navy at Lake Borgne, the Forks of the Road slave market in Natchez, and more. Each issue includes reviews of important new books, and there are annual bibliographies of publications and dissertations relating to Mississippi, and manuscript accessions at Mississippi colleges and libraries. Send check for $25 to MHS, P. O. Box 571, Jackson, MS 39205-0571 and please specify address of gift recipient.


Betty Everett, 1940-2001
Singer Betty Everett, a Greenwood native, died in August. Her recording of "The Shoop Shoop Song (It's in His Kiss)" made Billboard's Top 10 in 1964. Her release of "You're No Good" just missed the top 50 best selling records in late 1963. It would later be a hit song for Linda Ronstadt.

Mamie Davis, 1940-2001
Singer Mamie "Galore" Davis, a native of Erwin and regular feature of the internationally known Mississippi Delta Blues Festival, died in October. Her first solo recording, "Special Agent 34-24-38," was in 1965 on the St. Lawrence label; her biggest hit was "It Ain't Necessary," in 1966, also on St. Lawrence.

DAH Honors Coast Preservationists

The MDAH Board of Trustees held its quarterly meeting in Biloxi October 18-19 where the trustees and staff visited historic sites and presented resolutions honoring historic preservation on the Coast. Resolution recipients included the City of Biloxi (for strong commitment to preservation); Harrison County Chancery Clerk John McAdams and Land Records Clerk Tim Barnard (for their records management program); the Ohr-O'Keefe Museum of Art Board of Directors (for preservation and interpretation of the work of George E. Ohr); the Biloxi Council of Garden Clubs (for saving the Old Brick House); the Biloxi Chamber of Commerce (for support of preservation in Biloxi); Peoples Bank (for restoration of the 1896 bank building); James S. Love III (for rescue of the landmark White House Hotel); and Downtown Investors (for renovation of the 1903 Clower Furniture Company, a Gulfport landmark).

Give Mississippi History at Christmas

To order, call the Old Capitol Shop at 601/359-6921 or visit the shop, open daily until December 23.

Poster Contest

The National Trust will award cash prizes up to $2,000 to winners of the 2002 Historic Preservation Week Poster Contest. Submissions must be postmarked January 4. Guidelines can be found on the NTHP website.

Bluesman Tommy Johnson Honored

Blues scholars and fans gathered October 20 at Railroad Park in Crystal Springs for the dedication of a memorial gravestone for native bluesman Tommy Johnson. Sponsoring the monument to Johnson is the Mount Zion Memorial Fund, Skip Henderson, director. Johnson's gravesite was discovered recently by former Jackson City Councilwoman Marcia Weaver, a blues aficionado. Best known for his songs "Canned Heat" and "Big Road Blues," Tommy Johnson was the most important blues musician in the state for a period of about twenty years and has been a major influence on blues and rock.



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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