State History and Civil Rights Museums Break Ground on October 24

FROM MDAH NEWS RELEASES–Governor Phil Bryant and other elected officials, civil rights leader Myrlie Evers and other movement veterans, children and teachers, and volunteers from across the state will lift shovels to break ground on the 2 Mississippi Museums project—the Museum of Mississippi History and the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum—on Thursday, October 24, at 10 a.m. The public is invited to a historic day of festivities that will feature music, food, fun, and children’s activities. The groundbreaking will be held at 200 North Street in downtown Jackson. Continue reading

MDAH Newspaper Holdings to be Digitized

FROM MDAH NEWS RELEASES–MDAH has received a $274,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to digitize 100,000 pages of Mississippi newspapers published between 1836 and 1922, as part of the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP). The department will partner with Louisiana State University Libraries Special Collections on the project. Continue reading

MDAH Commemorates Life of Medgar Evers Throughout Year

FROM MDAH NEWS RELEASES — In observance of the fiftieth anniversary of his death, the Mississippi Department of Archives and History will commemorate the life of civil rights leader Medgar Evers with exhibits and programs. Evers was the Mississippi field secretary for the NAACP from 1954 until his assassination in the driveway of his family’s home in Jackson on June 11, 1963.

On May 1, a History Is Lunch lecture by Myrlie Evers-Williams, former director of the NAACP and Medgar Evers’s widow, will open the exhibit “This is Home”: Medgar Evers, Mississippi, and the Movement. Drawing on photographs, artifacts, documents, and newsfilm footage from the MDAH collection, the exhibit will cover Evers’s early life and family, his career with the NAACP, and his death. The exhibit will run through October at the William F. Winter Archives and History Building in Jackson, then travel the state.

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Old Capitol Museum Hosts 4th Annual Gathering on the Green April 6

Enjoy a day of games, music, art, and food at the fourth annual Gathering on the Green at the Old Capitol Museum, Saturday, April 6, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“We’re looking forward to another fun-filled day on the grounds,” said Old Capitol Museum director Clay Williams.  “Every year the festival gets bigger and better, and this year we’re excited to add more music and an archaeology dig to our family friendly activities.”

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Foundation to Hold Annual Meeting

The annual meeting of the Foundation for Mississippi History will be held at 2 p.m., Thursday, March 21, 2013, in the William F. Winter Archives and History Building (200 North St., in downtown Jackson).

Come to the Old Capitol Museum and Celebrate with Governor William Winter

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Deadline for Nominations for Capers, Carr Black, Welty Awards Upcoming

Nominations for the Capers, Carr Black, and Welty Awards, given every other year, are due by February 28, 2013. These three awards recognize excellence in the preservation, interpretation, and presentation of Mississippi history.

In 2007 the Foundation for Mississippi History received a contribution to establish achievement awards in honor of Patti Carr Black and in memory of Eudora Welty and Charlotte Capers. After the nomination period is complete, recipients are reviewed by the board of trustees of the Department of Archives and History and the award winners are selected at their April board meeting. The 2013 Capers-Carr Black-Welty Awards each carry a $300 cash prize.

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Mississippi Historical Society Seeking Nominations for Awards

MDAH Press Release – The 2013 meeting of the Mississippi Historical Society will be February 28-March 2, 2013, in Vicksburg. Every year the society awards prizes for outstanding work in interpreting, teaching, and preserving Mississippi history, including the award for best history teacher.

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Foundation Launches Flag Preservation Initiative

The Mississippi Department of Archives and History has the most extensive Mississippi artifact collection in the world, and some of the more remarkable items are the historic flags and banners. The Foundation for Mississippi History and MDAH are introducing the Flag Preservation Initiative in order to create greater awareness of the department’s substantial collection of flags and banners, specifically those in dire need of preservation.

The first flag in need of conservation is one of the department’s most valuable – the Twenty-Star United States flag. This flag represents the state’s admission into the Union on December 10, 1817. Because of its condition, the flag can rarely be handled and it cannot be displayed in any public setting. It will take nearly $50,000 to conserve it and prepare it for travel around the state in celebration of the Mississippi Bicentennial in 2017. The flag will eventually be on permanent exhibit in the Museum of Mississippi History.

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MDAH Launches New Website for 2 Mississippi Museums project

MDAH Press Release — The Museum of Mississippi History and Mississippi Civil Rights Museum projects are in high gear as the department has been coordinating community meetings around the state, collecting artifacts, and raising funds for exhibits through the Foundation for Mississippi History. The foundation has launched a campaign to raise at least $12 million in private funding for the two museums–$8 million for exhibits and a $2 million endowment for each of the museums. The new website documents the progress of the project and offers readers opportunities to be a part of the work. The web address is

Public meetings for the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum (MCRM) began early this year and will continue through April. Hilferty & Associates, the firm hired to develop exhibits for the civil rights museum, met with MDAH staff and members of the Legislative Black Caucus in January to review and discuss preliminary exhibit plans. MDAH director H.T. Holmes asked caucus members to help the department make contact with civil rights movement veterans and other citizens around the state with stories to tell or artifacts to donate. In February the department held a focus group meeting with Jackson-area leaders at Tougaloo College and public meetings in McComb and Hattiesburg. Continue reading