Paper Archives

We will be exploring Mississippi’s rich aviation history in this series. From early flight photographs to the moon landing and beyond, MDAH collections document this exciting part of our past.

Photograph from the Matthews (Burnita Shelton) Papers, Z/1965.000 (MDAH Collection).

Photograph from the Matthews (Burnita Shelton) Papers, Z/1965.000 (MDAH Collection).

This photograph represents one of those times when a researcher comes across an unexpected treasure in the archives.  The photograph, from the Matthews (Burnita Shelton) Papers, depicts (l-r) Judge Burnita Shelton Matthews; Mrs. Harvey W. Wiley, National Woman’s Party; Amelia Earhart, famous aviatrix; Anita Pollitzer, National Woman’s Party; and Mrs. Ruth Taunton at the White House in 1932. Earhart, the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic, is immediately recognizable because of her tall stature and short haircut. Matthews was a Mississippi native who was a prominent figure in the women’s movement.

Burnita Shelton Matthews. Accession Number: 1993.14.1 (Museum Division Collection)

Burnita Shelton Matthews. Accession Number: 1993.14.1 (Museum Division Collection)

Burnita Shelton Matthews (1894-1988) was born in Burnell, Mississippi, and studied music and voice in Cincinnati before marrying lawyer Percy Matthews in 1917. She studied law at the National University in Washington, D.C., (now George Washington University) and received the bachelor of laws degree in 1919. She practiced law in Washington, D.C., for twenty-five years and was actively involved in the National Woman’s Party. In the photograph at top, she is pictured with the leaders of the National Woman’s Party and Earhart, who also was a strong supporter of women’s rights and the Equal Rights Amendment.

Matthews was appointed to the United States District Court of the District of Columbia by President Harry S. Truman on October 21, 1949, becoming the first woman to be appointed as a federal district court judge. She retired from that position in 1968 and continued to serve on other federal courts until 1983. She died in 1988 and is buried in the Shelton family cemetery in Copiah County.

Matthews is in the Mississippi Hall of Fame and the portrait above, as well as other Hall of Fame portraits, are on exhibit at the Old Capitol Museum.

Tagged with:
 

We will be exploring Mississippi’s rich aviation history in this series. From early flight photographs to the moon landing and beyond, MDAH collections document this exciting part of our past.

Program from banquet for Lindbergh. Call Number: B/L7425b/1927 (MDAH Collection)

Program from Lindbergh banquet. Call Number: B/L7425b/1927 (MDAH Collection)

In May 1927, Charles Lindbergh became an instant celebrity when he completed the first solo transatlantic flight. He then embarked on a tour of the United States to promote commercial aviation, which was still in its infancy at that time. Lindbergh arrived in Jackson, one of the tour stops, on October 7, 1927. One eyewitness described the landing at Davis Field (now Hawkins Field):

It was a pleasant, mild October afternoon. The Spirit of St. Louis came in from the west, passed the reviewing stand at a a few hundred feet, then pulled up sharply. The first wing dropped and the plane did a half-roll, then, having reversed course, glided, landed and rolled to a stop in front of the stands. It should be noted that the plane had no brakes. I knew enough about flying to recognize that Lindbergh had executed an Immelmann Turn, one of the most demanding of all flight acrobatics, one for which the Spirit of St. Louis was about as well-suited as a Model T Ford for barrel-jumping.1

It should also be noted that there were no front-facing windows on the Spirit of St. Louis. Lindbergh had to turn to the side in order to see ahead of him!

Lindbergh rode on the backseat of car for a parade down Capitol Street and spoke to the crowd from the steps of the New Capitol. A banquet was given in his honor by the Jackson Chamber of Commerce that evening. The banquet program is pictured above. It was “Lindbergh Day” and his visit sparked aviation fever in Jackson and helped spur the city to construct the state’s first municipal airport at Hawkins Field in 1928.


1 William Ewing, “The day Lindy flew to Jackson,” Clarion-Ledger, October 7, 1988. From “Lindbergh, Charles Augustus 1902-1974″ subject file, MDAH.

Tagged with:
 

In honor of the upcoming Memorial Day holiday, we will be highlighting collections related to the military history of Mississippi and veterans who served the state beginning with the territorial militia in 1797 through World War II (the most recent engagement for which we have collections). Special thanks to Jim Pitts, of the MDAH Government Records section, for compiling the military records and their descriptions and to Nan Prince, Museum Division, for compiling the artifacts.

World War II uniform coat. Accession Number: 2000.10.2 (Museum of Mississippi History Collection)

World War II uniform coat. Accession Number: 2000.10.2 (Museum of Mississippi History Collection)

This World War II uniform coat, known as an Eisenhower jacket, belonged to George C. Sargent of Bentonia, Mississippi. Sargent served in the U.S. Army from 1944-1946. He was a member of Company D in the 3rd Armored Division and in the 67th Armored Regiment of the 2nd Armored Division. He was involved in battles at Ardennes, Rhineland, and in Central Europe.

Artifacts in the collection of the Museum of Mississippi History are available for viewing by appointment only. Please contact Cindy Gardner, Director of Collections or Nan Prince, Asst. Director of Collections by email to schedule an appointment.

Turcotte Diary. Call Number: Z/1606.000/SM; Turcotte (William H.) Diary. (MDAH Collection)

Pages from the Turcotte diary. Call Number: Z/1606.000/SM; Turcotte (William H.) Diary. (MDAH Collection)

The image above shows two pages from the World War II diary of William H. Turcotte, an officer in the 322nd Bombardment Squadron, 91st Bombardment Group, 8th Air Force. Turcotte was shot down in October 1943 and imprisoned in Stalag Luft III, a prisoner-of-war camp in Poland. His diary is an excellent historical source. These images show the diary cover and a page illustrating the various devices constructed from metal cans as part of a contest in the camp.

In honor of the upcoming Memorial Day holiday, we will be highlighting collections related to the military history of Mississippi and veterans who served the state beginning with the territorial militia in 1797 through World War II (the most recent engagement for which we have collections). Special thanks to Jim Pitts, of the MDAH Government Records section, for compiling the military records and their descriptions and to Nan Prince, Museum Division, for compiling the artifacts.

World War I uniform coat. Accession Number: 1985.45.1 (Museum of Mississippi History Collection)

World War I uniform coat. Accession Number: 1985.45.1 (Museum of Mississippi History Collection)

This World War I uniform coat belonged to Luther Manship, Jr., of Jackson.  In 1917, he served as an artillery officer and for a time was attached to the British Army and American Air Forces in France.

Artifacts in the collection of the Museum of Mississippi History are available for viewing by appointment only. Please contact Cindy Gardner, Director of Collections or Nan Prince, Asst. Director of Collections by email to schedule an appointment.

Draft registration card of Albert Pitts. From: National Archives microfilm; World War One Draft Registration Cards from Mississippi.

Draft registration card of Albert Pitts. From: National Archives microfilm; World War One Draft Registration Cards from Mississippi.

The image above shows the May 1917 draft registration card of a Mississippian who was already involved in military training at the Reserve Officer Training Camp in Plattsburg, NY.

Statement of service cards for Albert Pitts. Call Number: Series 1731.  Miss. World War One Statement of Service Cards, 1917-1919 (MDAH Collection)

Statement of service cards for Albert Pitts. Call Number: Series 1731. Miss. World War One Statement of Service Cards, 1917-1919 (MDAH Collection)

The above image shows the same soldier’s World War I statement of service cards, showing that he was in the Army Air Service and served overseas in France.

In honor of the upcoming Memorial Day holiday, we will be highlighting collections related to the military history of Mississippi and veterans who served the state beginning with the territorial militia in 1797 through World War II (the most recent engagement for which we have collections). Special thanks to Jim Pitts, of the MDAH Government Records section, for compiling the military records and their descriptions.

Territorial militia muster roll. Call Number: Series 487. Military Papers, 1807-1815 (MDAH Collection)

Territorial militia muster roll. Call Number: Series 487. Military Papers, 1807-1815 (MDAH Collection)

From the establishment of the Mississippi Territory in 1797 until statehood in 1817, a territorial militia was maintained and then carried over into statehood. This militia eventually became the Mississippi National Guard. Occasionally elements of this militia were called to national service (similar to the current practice of federalizing the National Guard).

Compiled service record for Territorial Militia soldier. From: National Archives microfilm; index to compiled service records of volunteers from 1784 to 1811

Compiled service record for Territorial Militia soldier. From: National Archives microfilm; index to compiled service records of volunteers from 1784 to 1811

The image above is of the compiled service record of a volunteer in the Mississippi Territory Militia. MDAH holds these records on microfilm. See the other types of military service records at MDAH by going to the “Military Records” section of the “Master List of Microfilm” search option on the catalog page.

Tagged with: