The 1947 football season was pivotal for the Ole Miss program. That fall marked the beginning of Johnny Vaught's legendary 24 year career as head football coach. Vaught led the team in his first year to a 9-2 record and would go on to guide his players to 23 winning records before his retirement in 1970. The 1947 season also saw Charlie Conerly considered for the Heisman Trophy. Although he placed fourth in the standings, Conerly was the University's first player to be considered for the prestigious award and would later play for the New York Giants.
Adopted on November 1st, the Mississippi Constitution of 1890 resulted from a special constitutional convention which began that summer. Fourteen years after Reconstruction ended, many white Mississippians wished to remove African Americans from political life, and the special convention resulted in a constitution which formalized this policy. Isaiah T. Montgomery, then recent founder of the all black community of Mound Bayou, was the only black delegate at the convention and one of the few voices expressing hope in a more just form of government. The 1890 Constitution’s requirements of poll taxes and literacy tests effectively crushed Montgomery’s hopes. In addition, the Constitution was not sent to the people for ratification after being drafted.
Dated “Oct 24th 1860,” this two-page handwritten manuscript contains a debate speech by University of Mississippi student Evan J.
Juliette Derricotte was born in Athens, Georgia on April 1, 1897. She became the first woman trustee of Talladega College and travelled across the US and abroad on speaking tours in support of black colleges and education. She was a delegate at the convention of the World's Student Christian Federation in 1924 and 1928. In 1929 she became Dean of Women at Fisk University.
When Congress is in session, a day in the life of a member can be packed with meetings, phone calls, and events…even more so when you are Chair of the House Appropriations Committee which directs federal spending. The selection for this week’s blog is from U.S. Representative Jamie L.
On 30 September 1962, when a deal was reached between Mississippi Governor Ross Barnett and U.S. Attorney General Robert Kennedy to allow James Meredith to enroll at the University of Mississippi, a riot broke out on campus which lasted well into the next morning. In the early hours of October 1, 1962 a young University of Mississippi student, Curtis Wilkie, wrote to his family after witnessing many of the tumultuous events of the previous evening. He accompanied the letter with a detailed map of many of the most significant events of the night. The map featured below is now a part of the Curtis Wilkie Collection in the Department of Archives & Special Collections.
On September 20, 1918, Lt. Allan Boyce Adams, a young soldier from Claremont, MS, wrote to his mother from France describing his satisfaction at having enlisted in the war early, although his sentiments were tempered due to his disappointment at being sent away from the Western front lines to become an instructor. Adams perfectly summed up his feelings by writing, "I am glad, I have always been glad that I came over when I did. There is no news of importance here. The war is going good except I am dissatisfied when away from my out-fit."
Yellow Fever in Mississippi in 1899
During the 19th century, the American South experienced waves of devastating yellow fever outbreaks, with Mississippi being no exception. According to historian Deanne Stephens Nuwer, the 1878 epidemic cost the lives of over 4,000 Mississippians, decimating the population of towns such as Holly Springs and Vicksburg. The disease made several reappearances in the state continuing through the early 20th century.