Come celebrate state’s 200th birthday

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 9, 2017

Happy birthday, Mississippi! The celebration is continuing. We celebrated the 300th birthday of our beloved city for an entire year in 2016, so get ready to do the same for the 200th birthday of the great state of Mississippi in 2017. There are events planned in Natchez during the year that commemorate Mississippi’s 200 years of statehood that you won’t want to miss.

A wonderful way to participate in celebrating Natchez and Mississippi is to become a part of the Natchez Historical Society. Founded on Jan. 12, 1954 for the purpose of collecting and preserving historical material, the organizational meeting was at the House on Ellicott Hill, and the organization was originally called the Old Natchez District Historical Society. The society elected Mrs. Edith Wyatt Moore, a well known Natchez journalist who founded the Pilgrimage Pink Edition, as the first president. Dues were set at $1.00 per year, supplemented by donations, bridge benefits and raffles! For over 60 years the Natchez Historical Society has continued to collect and preserve historical material as well as promote interest in Natchez and Adams County by providing entertaining and educational monthly meetings utilizing highly qualified historians from Mississippi and beyond.

Everyone is invited to become a member of the Natchez Historical Society and join us at the Annual Membership Banquet on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017. This will be a time to enjoy a delicious meal, as well as visit with friends, old and new. After dinner, prepare to be thoroughly entertained and informed about some of Mississippi’s more colorful characters, from William Faulkner to Theodore Bilbo! The program, entitled “Too Small to Be a Country, Too Big to Be an Insane Asylum: Mississippi in the Twentieth Century,” will be presented by Bo Morgan, a native of Hattiesburg who received his B. S. and M. A. degrees in History at the University of Southern Mississippi and his Ph. D. in History at the University of Memphis. He began his career as the director of oral history and assistant professor of history at USM in 1982. Bo continued his career as the executive director of the Presbyterian Christian School, as well as Professorships at the University of Kentucky, and Delta State University before returning “home” to USM in 2009, where he is currently professor of history as well as the university historian. Bo is the author of five publications: “Redneck Liberal: Theodore G. Bilbo and the New Deal;” “Dearly Bought, Deeply Treasured: The University of Southern Mississippi, 1910-1987;” “A Priceless Heritage: The Story of the Mississippi Power Company (with Donald M. Dana, Jr.);” “Treasured Past, Golden Future: The Centennial History of the University of Southern Mississippi;” and his current work in progress, “Mississippi Between the World Wars, 1917-1941.” Bo and his wife, the former Mary Jane Hornsby of Natchez, have three sons and six grandchildren.

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Following the program, the Preservation Award will be presented to an individual who has made a significant contribution to historic preservation. The recipient will be announced at the banquet and will be awarded a plaque by the Natchez Historical Society.

Please plan to join us on Tuesday, Jan. 24 at the Hotel Vue. A social hour will begin at 6 p.m. with a cash bar followed by the banquet at 7 p.m. The cost of the meal is $25 per person and is payable at the banquet.

For reservations, call Marsha Colson at 601-807-5007 or email at no later than Jan. 15. Dues for 2017 are only $15 per person and can be paid at the banquet or mailed to  Natchez Historical Society, P.O. Box 49, Natchez MS 39121.

We hope to see you on Jan. 24 to wish Mississippi a happy 200th birthday!
Kathy King is the publicity chair of the Natchez Historical Society.