This program is Friday, January 7, 2011 from 10 a.m.-noon in the House of Representatives Chamber at the Old Capitol Museum. It will feature the following speakers:

  • Reenactment of the speech of John Wood, delegate to the Secession Convention from Kosciusko, by Ray McFarland
  • “Into the Abyss: Secession and Confederate Revolution” by George Rable
  • “Observations on the Mississippi Secession Convention” by Timothy Smith

January 7 is the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Secession Convention, which convened in Jackson (at the Old Capitol, of course) to discuss Mississippi’s exit from the Union in 1861. The Ordinance of Secession document, signed by members of the convention, will be on display in the Chancery Court at the Old Capitol for the program and for the rest of 2011.

For more information, please call 601-576-6920.

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Today’s post comes from guest blogger Clay Williams, director of the Old Capitol Museum.

Statehood Day, House Chamber, Old Capitol Museum, 2009

MDAH Director H.T. Holmes and featured speaker Governor Haley Barbour. Statehood Day, Old Capitol Museum, 2009.

On December 10, 1817, President James Monroe signed the joint resolution from Congress admitting Mississippi as the twentieth state. Mississippi’s road from a federal territory to statehood was a turbulent one, but after nearly twenty years, Mississippi had become a part of the Union.

The Old Capitol Museum proudly celebrates Mississippi’s 193rd birthday by hosting the second annual Statehood Day. On December 10 at noon in the historic House of Representatives Chamber, former governor William F. Winter will speak on this momentous occasion.  Governor Winter is the perfect choice for this presentation due to his perspective as a former governor and his tenure as the longtime president of the MDAH Board of Trustees. 

The Old Capitol’s over 170 years of history also provides the perfect setting to discuss Mississippi’s past, present, and future. The Old Capitol Museum looks forward to hosting this event and joining its citizens in wishing Mississippi a happy birthday!

Located on State Street at Capitol, the Old Capitol 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. For more information, please call 601-576-6920 or email the Old Capitol.

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Decorating at the Winter Building, November 30, 2010

Museum division staff decorate the historic Christmas trees in the lobby

The holiday season has arrived at the William F. Winter Archives and History Building! Here’s a look at the decorations sprouting up all over the place.

Christmas decorations in library, 2010

The Reference Library has extra security for the holidays!

Library Christmas decorations, 2010

Decorations in the library

Come by tonight for the Old Jackson Christmas by Candlelight tour and see the decorations, as well as holiday decor at the Mississippi Governor’s Mansion, Mississippi State Capitol, and Old Capitol Museum. Tours are tonight only from 4:30-8:30 p.m.
Musical entertainment is scheduled at the Governor’s Mansion, State Capitol, Old Capitol Museum, and Winter Building. Historic holiday film footage will be shown at the Winter Building. Refreshments will be available at the Governor’s Mansion and the Old Capitol Museum.

Shuttle buses will run between sites approximately every 5 minutes. Visitors may begin the tour at whichever site they choose and take the shuttle to the various sites. Parking is available at all sites, except the Governor’s Mansion. For more information, please call 601-576-6800.

Possum Ridge train exhibit

Possum Ridge train exhibit detail

For more images of decorations at the Winter Building and other MDAH museums and sites, check out the department facebook page and the Old Capitol Museum facebook page!

Mississippi Governor's Mansion 2009

Mississippi Governor's Mansion, 2009

Don’t miss the Old Jackson Christmas by Candlelight tour this Friday, December 3 from 4:30-8:30 p.m. See the Mississippi Governor’s Mansion, Mississippi State Capitol, and Old Capitol Musuem in all their holiday splendor! The William F. Winter Archives and History Building will also be host to the village of Possum Ridge and its famous trains, as well as the historic Christmas tree exhibit.

Experience the magic of the holiday season as you visit Jackson’s most historic buildings! These images show the popular event in past years. Read more details about the tour below.

Mississippi State Capitol, 2005

Old Capitol Museum, 2009

Refreshments will be available at the Governor’s Mansion and the Old Capitol Museum. Musical entertainment, including choirs and instrumental ensembles, is scheduled at the Governor’s Mansion, State Capitol, Old Capitol Museum, and Winter Building. Historic holiday film footage will be shown at the Winter Building. 

Shuttle buses will run between sites approximately every 5 minutes. Visitors may begin the tour at whichever site they choose and take the shuttle to the various sites. Parking is available at all sites, except the Governor’s Mansion. For more information, please call 601-576-6800 or email the Museum division.

The Mummy Returns!

On October 1, 2010, in Artifacts, Museums & Historic Sites, by Amanda
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The State Historical Museum’s most famous attraction returns to the Old Capitol for the month of October! The Egyptian “mummy” (pictured above), that so many visitors came to see, was unfortunately discovered to be a fake in 1969. Charlotte Capers, director of MDAH at the time, wrote of the discovery, saying:

The shrunken Egyptian mummy which was the stellar attraction of the Mississippi State Historical Museum for many years was exposed as a fake, when Gentry W. Yeatman, an enterprising University of Mississippi medical student with an interest in archaeology, x-rayed the little lady for a paleo-pathology project and found her heart was full of nails. Further, her shoulders were built of boards, she had a German language newspaper in her foot, and over her liver was a fragment of The Milwaukee Journal for 1898. This discovery was a death blow to a cherished legend, and raised more questions than it answered.

(In the old exhibit photograph above, the X-rays are shown next to the mummy. You can see the boards and nails.)

Today, the origins of the “dummy mummy” are still unknown, though Capers, later on in her report, posited that it was constructed by a German immigrant in Milwaukee. The mummy then made its way to a Mississippi collector who included it with a collection of Native American artifacts acquired by the state around 1923.

The mummy now resides in storage, but from October 1-31 at the Old Capitol Museum in Jackson, you can see the dummy mummy for yourself! Located at 100 South State Street, the museum is open Tuesday-Saturday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday 1-5 p.m., free of charge. Parking is behind the Old Capitol, off Amite St. For more information call 601-576-6920 or email the Old Capitol.

Source: Charlotte Capers, “Dummy Mummy,” The Delta Review, November-December 1969.

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