[Mississippi History Newsletter Online.]

A MDAH Publication  |  Volume 44 No. 6  |  June 2002

Remembering Welty Opens at Old Capitol June 30

Visitors to Remembering Welty, opening June 30 at the Old Capitol, will have the opportunity to view, for the first time, photographs, furniture, and personal objects from Welty’s home, graciously loaned for this exhibit by the Welty family. Welty’s typewriter and writing desk, at which she created the body of work that earned her international distinction, are the exhibit’s centerpiece. Objects from Welty’s childhood on display include her baby book, a doll, some of her favorite childhood books, and a cartoon book drawn by young Eudora to cheer her brother Edward when he was sick. Photographs from her teens are accompanied by the Central High School yearbook containing Welty’s illustrations, and artwork she created during her sophomore year at MSCW. Welty’s Kodak camera with bellows, records from her Fats Waller collection, gardening tools, and a travel photo album—items illustrating Welty’s wide-ranging and passionate interests—are on display, along with copies of her books, playbills from plays adapted from her work, a letter to Welty from William Faulkner, and a 1946 portrait of Welty by Marcella Comes. In the final panel we see a familiar photograph of Eudora Welty sporting her signature beret—and the beret itself.

The curator of Remembering Welty is Patti Carr Black of Jackson, former Old Capitol Museum director, co-curator of the recent Welty exhibition A Passionate Observer at the Mississippi Museum of Art, and a close friend of Eudora Welty.

For more information, call the Old Capitol Museum, 601/359-6920.

“Juneteenth” Celebrations

The “19th of June,” or “Juneteenth,” is the freedom forerunner to the 13th Amendment, which implemented freedom for all slaves in the United States. In 1997, the 105th Congress of the United States officially recognized Juneteenth Independence Day. Juneteenth commemorates the day freedom was proclaimed to all slaves in the South by Union General Gordon Granger on June 19, 1865. Juneteenth is recognized across the country, and a Juneteenth Independence Day Benefit Concert will be held June 17 at the African American Civil War Museum, Washington, D.C., featuring Mississippi jazz artist Ron Myers. For a calendar of events, visit www.19thofjune.com. In northeast Mississippi, African Americans have celebrated emancipation on May 8 (“Eight of May”), the day that the Department of Tennessee formally surrendered to the Union forces and freed slaves in that portion of the South. In the western counties of Mississippi, some celebrate July 4, the anniversary of the fall of Vicksburg to federal troops.

National Trust applications for scholarships to the National Preservation Conference are due June 15. Download forms at www.nationaltrust.org.

Downtown Detective Quiz Winners Awarded Prizes

Winners in the Downtown Detective Quiz, held in Jackson during Historic Preservation Week May 12-18, were announced in ceremonies May 23 at the Jackson Zoo. Winner of a history of Jackson for the first correct entry was John Lyons, Jr., of Brandon. Other prize winners, chosen randomly from a basket of correct entries, were Mary Merck, Brandon, who won a print of a painting of Windsor Ruins by Jackson artist Tony DiFatta; Chris Merck, Brandon, who won a set of notecards featuring the 10 Most Endangered Sites in Mississippi; and Lindsey Roberts, Florence, who won a Mississippi Heritage Trust t-shirt. Sponsors of the quiz were MDAH, the Mississippi Heritage Trust, the City of Jackson Historic Preservation Commission, and the African American Historic Preservation Council.

The Woodland Hills Garden Club recently made a $1,500 donation to the Eudora Welty Foundation for use toward an anticipated National Endowment for the Humanities matching grant to establish the Welty House Museum. (Pictured from left at the Welty Garden) Nancy Coker, treasurer, Woodland Hills Garden Club; and Myra York, president, Woodland Hills Garden Club, presented the check to James L. Moore, Welty Foundation chairman; Elbert R. Hilliard, director of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History; Mary Alice Welty White, Welty Foundation vice-chairman; and Susan Haltom, historical garden and landscape consultant.

June Calendar of Events

June 15: Music at the Mounds, Winterville Mounds, Greenville, 11 am-4 pm, featuring music groups from around the Delta June 15: Civil War conference, St. Francisville, La. (225/654-3775 for details)

June 1-30: (continuing) Mississippi Choctaws: Traditional Life in a Modern World, Old Capitol Museum

June 1-30: To Love and To Cherish: Rosalie mansion, Natchez, decorated for a wedding (601/ 455-4555 for details)

June-July: Summer Videos, Grand Village of the Natchez Indians (662/446-6502 for details)

June 17-21: Pioneer Week, Historic Jefferson College, Washington (601/442-2901 for registration for children ages 8-12)

June 30-October 20: Remembering Welty, Old Capitol Museum

An Invitation from MHS President

Mississippi Historical Society president David Bowen, Jackson, invites those interested in serving on a Society committee to contact him at 601/366-5005 or the MHS secretary at 601/359-6850. The committees include Awards, Program, Membership, Junior Historical Society, and others. The next annual meeting of the Society will be held in Jackson, February 27-March 1, 2003.

Summer Reading

Lauderdale County, Mississippi: Four Families, by William S. Smith, deals with four families who lived in Lauderdale County 1835-1936 and also provides many sketches on the general history of the area (615 pp. with illustrations, $35, from William S. Smith, 1826 Ridgeover Place, Jackson, MS 39211-6501).

Big Muddy: A Journal of the Mississippi River Valley, from Southeast Missouri State University, offers poetry, fiction, photographs, essays, and book reviews ($20 annually from English Dept., SE Miss. State Univ., Cape Girardeau, MO 63701).

On William Hollingsworth, Jr., by Eudora Welty, joins Welty’s appreciation of the Jackson painter, written in 1958, with twelve full-color reproductions of his paintings and sketches, all inspired by scenes in or near Jackson (from University Press of Mississippi, $20).

The Bluffton Charge: One Preacher’s Struggle for Civil Rights, by Stephen S. Howie, tells Jackson native John Howie’s story of civil rights struggles in a South Carolina community ($14.95 from Mammoth Books, 814/371-7066).

Tennesssee Williams and the South, by Kenneth Holditch and Richard Freeman Leavitt, shows, through photographs of people and places, Tennessee Williams’s intimate connection with the Delta, New Orleans, and Key West (from University Press of Mississippi, $30).


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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