Federal judge James E. Graves, Jr., will be the speaker for the third annual Statehood Day celebration at the Old Capitol Museum. The program, to be held at noon on Friday, December 9, in the House of Representatives Chamber, commemorates Mississippi’s entrance into the Union. A reception will follow.
“We are honored to have Judge Graves deliver the 2011 Statehood Day address,” said MDAH director H.T. Holmes. “Judge Graves’s lifelong commitment to law and education exemplifies the Old Capitol Museum’s mission to examine the state’s evolving government and political history over the past 194 years and to encourage an active citizenry to continue to reach to the future.”
Graves sits on the Fifth Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals. In 2001 he was appointed to the Mississippi Supreme Court and served as presiding justice from 2009 to 2011. Graves was Hinds County Circuit Court judge from 1991 to 2001. In addition to his work in the courtroom, Graves has taught media law, civil rights law, and sociology of law at Jackson State University, Millsaps College, and Tougaloo College. Graves has also coached high school, college, and law school mock trial teams, including the Jackson Murrah High School mock trial team that won the 2001 state championship.
In 2000 Graves received the Hinds County Bar Association’s Innovation Award for his pioneering efforts in creating the first high-tech courtroom in Mississippi state courts, establishing the first court Web site for a Mississippi state trial court, and implementing electronic filing of court documents. In 2001 Graves received the Jackson Public School District’s Parent of the Year Award. In 2002 the Mississippi Association of Educators presented him with the Humanized Education Award, the group’s highest honor given to a non-teacher.
In 2004, Millsaps College named him a recipient of the Livesay Award for his service to the college and the community. In 2009, the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University selected Graves for the Maxwell Public Administration Award, which is given to alumni for their exceptional work in public service.
The Mississippi Territory was organized in 1798 and included both modern-day Mississippi and Alabama. On December 10, 1817, President James Monroe signed the resolution admitting Mississippi into the Union as the twentieth state.
The Old Capitol, Jackson’s oldest building, is a National Historic Landmark. Located on State Street at Capitol, the museum’s regular hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, free of charge. The Old Capitol is a museum of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. For more information call 601-576-6920 or email email@example.com.