Dr. A. H. McCoy

On June 15, 2011, in Uncategorized, by Amanda
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Dr. A. H. McCoy. Call Number: PI/1986.0029, No. 1 (MDAH Collection)

Dr. A. H. McCoy. Call Number: PI/1986.0029, No. 1 (MDAH Collection)

Many Jacksonians associate the name of Dr. A. H. McCoy (1903-1970) with the federal building located downtown. It was indeed named for Dr. McCoy in 1984, making the structure the first federal building in the country to be named for an African American. His remarkable life and accomplishments prompted a local grassroots movement to name the building after him.

McCoy was born in Jackson where his parents operated a large dairy farm near present day County Line road. He attended Tougaloo College and Meharry Medical College in Nashville. In 1930, McCoy returned to Jackson and started a dentistry practice. It was located near the corner of Farish and Capitol Street, on part of the present day site of the federal building. In addition to his successful dentistry practice, McCoy co-founded the Security Life Insurance Company in 1938, two movie theaters, and helped develop the Farish Street business district. McCoy was also active in the Mississippi chapter of the NAACP.

Sources:

“McCoy, A. H.,” Subject File, MDAH.

“Jackson Federal Building, Dr. A. H. McCoy Building,” Subject File, MDAH.

 

The Freedom Rides: Journey for Change Exhibit

On May 26, 2011, in Uncategorized, by Amanda
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Our new temporary exhibit “The Freedom Rides: Journey for Change” is open!

The public is invited to participate in the “Speak Now” audio recording program component of the exhibit. Participants will share their memories of the Civil Rights Era on audio recording for inclusion in the MDAH collection. To schedule an appointment, please call 601-576-6838; walk-ins are also welcome. Recording times are:

May

Thursday, May 26 from 3:00-7:00 p.m.

Friday, May 27 from 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

Saturday, May 28 from 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

June

Wednesday, June 15 from 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

Thursday, June 16 from 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

Friday, June 17 from 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

Saturday, June 18 from 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

 

Hugh White’s Second Term: 1952-56

On May 5, 2011, in Uncategorized, by Amanda
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This two-part series brings you photographs from the Hugh Lawson White Photograph Collection, comprising thirty-eight black and white prints of various scenes of White, and his gubernatorial administrations (1936-1940 and 1952-1956). The collection has been digitized and is available to view online.

Governor Hugh L. White, second inauguration, 1952. Call Number: PI/2002.0002, No. 11 (MDAH Collection)

Governor Hugh L. White, second inauguration, 1952. Call Number: PI/2002.0002, No. 11 (MDAH Collection)

White was inaugurated as governor for the second time in 1952. During his second term, White presided over several controversial issues, notably Civil Rights challenges to the status quo in Mississippi. Soon after his reelection, he began trying to reorganize the school system in order to avoid federal desegregation. White hoped to raise teacher pay and improve facilities in African American schools. However, the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision in 1954 overturned the “separate but equal” doctrine that White and the legislature had been counting on to avoid integration. The legislature even went so far as to adopt an amendment to the state constitution that would abolish the public school system and pay each child’s tuition to segregated private schools.

In another effort to avoid segregation, the legislature belatedly passed a bill to fund improvements to African American schools. State leaders could not avoid the inevitable, though, as the Supreme Court issued its second ruling in Brown v. Board of Education in 1955, saying that schools must be desegregated with “all deliberate speed.” With the murders of Emmett Till and NAACP leader Gus Courts occuring in 1955, White’s second term saw the state fully transition into the Civil Rights era.

Luncheon conversation at the Delta Council Annual Meeting in Cleveland on May 9, 1957, involves Honorable Hugh White and Harvey S. Firestone, Jr., CEO of Firestone Tire and Rubber. Call Number: PI/2002.0002, No. 37 (MDAH Collection)
Luncheon conversation at the Delta Council Annual Meeting in Cleveland on May 9, 1957, involves Honorable Hugh White and Harvey S. Firestone, Jr., CEO of Firestone Tire and Rubber. Call Number: PI/2002.0002, No. 37 (MDAH Collection)

Sources:

Westley F. Busbee, Jr., Mississippi: A History (Wheeling, Illinois: Harlan Davidson, Inc., 2005), 234-37, 274-279.

David G. Sansing, “Hugh Lawson White: Forty-fifth and Fifty-first Governor of Mississippi: 1936-1940; 1952-1956,” Mississippi History Now (January 2004), http://mshistory.k12.ms.us/articles/265/index.php?s=extra&id=145 (accessed December 16, 2010).

 

Charles Evers in 1966

On September 13, 2010, in Uncategorized, by Amanda
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Call Number: PI/1994.0005 (MDAH Collection)

Charles Evers (1922- ), along with his brother Medgar Evers (1925-1963), was a civil rights leader during the 1960s. He was the state NAACP executive secretary and was active in state politics, running for several offices, including the United States House of Representatives (1968), governor of Mississippi (1971), and United States Senate (1978).

Evers is pictured here giving a speech at demonstrations associated with the 1966 murder of Vernon Dahmer in Hattiesburg (Forrest County). This image is part of the Moncrief Photograph Collection, which documents the Civil Rights era, the 1953 Vicksburg tornado, Paul B. Johnson Jr.’s successful 1963 gubernatorial campaign and inauguration, and a 1964 Tatum Salt Dome nuclear test. The collection may be viewed online in the Digital Archives.

Source: Westley F. Busbee, Jr., Mississippi: A History (Wheeling, Illinois: Harlan Davidson, Inc., 2005), 312, 329, 333.