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Welcome to the Mississippi Writers Page Newsletter for September 27-October 3, 2002

In this issue:


The following events all happened during this week in Mississippi history.

1830: In the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek, the Choctaw ceded all of their lands east of the Mississippi River and agreed to move to Oklahoma. (Sep. 27)

1862: General Earl Van Dorn, who had joined Beauregard’s troops at Corinth, tried to recapture Corinth from the Union forces in the Battle of Corinth, but he was repulsed. (Oct. 3-4)

1864: Southwestern humorist Joseph Glover Baldwin died in California as the result of an operation undertaken to prevent lockjaw. (Sep. 30)

1890: Novelist Cid Ricketts Sumner was born in Brookhaven, Mississippi. (Sep. 27)

1909: English professor Calvin S. Brown was born in Oxford, Mississippi. (Sep. 27)

1918: English professor John D. Jacobs was born in Vicksburg, Mississippi. (Oct. 1)

1920: Historian David Herbert Donald was born in Goodman, Mississippi. (Oct. 1)

1923: Poet Besmilr Brigham was born in Pace, Mississippi. (Sep. 28)

1925: William Faulkner published “Yo Ho and Two Bottles of Rum” in the New Orleans Times Picayune. (Sep. 27)

1926: Country comedian Jerry Clower was born in Liberty, Mississippi. (Sep. 28)

1926: Missionary, English instructor, and free-lance writer Jo Carr was born in Greenville, Mississippi. (Sep. 29)

1934: William Faulkner published “Ambuscade” in the Saturday Evening Post. (Sep. 29)

1934: Roll Sweet Chariot by Paul Green opened on Broadway at the Cort Theatre. (Oct. 2)

1939: Children’s book writer Otto R. Salassi was born in Vicksburg, Mississippi. (Oct. 2)

1948: Intruder in the Dust, a novel by William Faulkner, was published by Random House. (Sep. 27)

1949: Novelist John Ramsey Miller was born in Greenville, Mississippi. (Oct. 3)

1951: Requiem for a Nun, a novel by William Faulkner, was published by Random House. (Sep. 27)

1951: Writer Neil McGaughey was born in Natchez, Mississippi. (Oct. 3)

1953: Educator Beverly Ruthven was born in Jackson, Mississippi. (Sep. 28)

1959: William Faulkner went to Denver, Colorado, for a four-day UNESCO conference. (Sep. 29)

1962: James Meredith arrived in Oxford to become the first black student to enroll at the University of Mississippi. Overnight riots protesting his integration which left two people dead and many others injured led President John F. Kennedy to order 20,000 federal troops to the area to restore and maintain order. (Sep. 30)

1962: James Meredith enrolled as the first black student at the University of Mississippi following a night of rioting that left two people dead and hundreds injured. (Oct. 1)

1990: Educator and writer Chester E. Swor died in Jackson, Mississippi. (Sep. 28)

1994: Presbyterian minister and pastoral counselor William B. Oglesby, Jr. died in Mechanicsville, Virginia. (Oct. 3)


Integration anniversary draws many to University of Mississippi campus

Sep. 27, 2002

By Patsy R. Brumfield
University of Mississippi News Services

Myrlie Evers-Williams

OXFORD, Miss. — Dozens of former students and prominent figures gather at the University of Mississippi next week to observe its integration’s 40th anniversary, dubbed “Open Doors.”

Myrlie Evers-Williams delivers a Tuesday evening address on UM’s Oxford campus where a memorial to the integration of higher education will be dedicated in spring 2003.

U.S. Senior District Judge Constance Baker Motley of New York, former U.S. Rep. James Symington, author William Doyle and famed photojournalist Charles Moore come to campus Monday to talk with students and to participate in forums about the events on campus 40 years ago when James Meredith of Jackson became the university’s first black student. Motley was Meredith’s attorney and successfully pressed his case before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Among those former students who return to campus are: Dick Wilson of Jackson, 1962 president of the Associated Student Body; Gray Jackson and Sibyl McRae Child of Jackson, other ASB officers; Louis Guy of Jackson and Robin Reed Hendrickson of Oxford, who were Colonel Rebel and Miss Ole Miss that year; and Dr. Cleveland Donald, the university’s second black graduate, now a history professor in Connecticut.

Sidna Brower Mitchell of New Jersey was editor of the campus newspaper, The Mississippian. In 1962 the campus senate censured her for editorials deploring the campus violence, but on her visit next week she will be presented a resolution passed by the 2002 senate repealing that censure.

Other highlights of the observance include a panel Monday at 2 p.m. in the UM Law Center with Senior U.S. District Judge Neal Biggers Jr. (Miss.) and retired journalist Curtis Wilkie of Oxford, both students here in 1962, and Judge Motley. Events Tuesday include a 10:30 a.m. presentation to the university by the U.S. Marshals Service; a midday ceremony and luncheon by the City of Oxford for military personnel who helped quell the civil unrest; and a 3 p.m. event at the law school to honor civil rights activist Evers-Williams and her slain husband, Medgar Evers.

Tuesday evening’s events close with a community dinner on the grounds followed by Evers-Williams’ address between the historic Lyceum building and J.D. Williams Library.

Open Doors activities continue through September 2003, when the university hosts an international conference on race.

For more information about activities, call the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at 662-915-5993 or go to the Web site

For information about accessibility for disabled persons, call 662-915-5993.


Do you have a news item about a Mississippi writer? Please send your information to

AUTHOR EVENTS: Book Signings, Readings, and Appearances

Aug. 1-Nov. 4: J. D. William Library, University of Mississippi, Oxford, Mississippi

“Civil Rights, Mississippi, and the Novelist’s Craft.” This exhibit highlights fictional accounts set in Mississippi during the Civil Rights Movement, including works by Ellen Douglas, Patrick D. Smith, Elizabeth Spencer, Eudora Welty, Lewis Nordan, William Mahoney, Joan Williams, and many others. Supplementing the display of books will be correspondence, manuscripts, and related ephemera drawn from the archive’s literary collections. Located in the Hall of Mississippi Writers in the Special Collections Department, J. D. Williams Library. Open 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekdays. For more information, please contact: Leigh McWhite, (662) 915-7937,

Sep. 26-28: Mississippi State University, Starkville, Mississippi, 7:30 p.m.

“June Recital,” an adaptation of extracts from, among others, Eudora Welty’s “Losing Battles” and “Why I Live at the P.O.” Brenda Currin’s one-woman show also features the direction of David Kaplan and music of Phillip Fortenberry. For more information about ticket prices or details on the performance, contact the Mississippi State University communications department at (662) 325-9810 or

Sep. 27: Square Books, Oxford, Mississippi, 5 p.m.

Rick Bass will sign and read from his short story collection, The Hermit’s Story. For more information, visit the Square Books web site,

Oct 1: Oxford and the University of Mississippi campus, 8 a.m.-9 p.m.

Open Doors: Anniversary Day. Anniversary of James Meredith’s registration at the University of Mississippi. Part of UM’s yearlong observance of the 40th anniversary of the integration of higher education. Full schedule of the day’s events is available at

Oct. 1: Square Books, Oxford, Mississippi, 2 p.m.

On the 40th anniversary of the integration of the University of Mississippi by James Meredith, author William Doyle will sign copies of An American Insurrection: The Battle of Oxford, Mississippi, 1962, which chronicles the history of that epochal event. For more information, visit the Square Books web site,

Oct. 7: Bondurant Hall Auditorium, University of Mississippi, Oxford, Mississippi, 7:00 p.m.

Poetry Reading by Alan Michael Parker. Respected poet Alan Michael Parker will read from his work. Sponsored by the John and Renee Grisham Visiting Writers Series and the Department of English. For more information, contact the English Department at (662) 915-7687,

If you know of upcoming literary events by or about Mississippi writers, please let us know by writing us at 


The following events are planned for the coming weeks and months. You may wish to begin planning now to attend or participate.

November 11, 2002

Poetry Reading by J. D. McClatchy, Bondurant Hall Auditorium, The University of Mississippi campus, in Oxford.

November 14, 2002

Donna Tartt, author of The Secret History, will sign and read from her long-awaited second novel, The Little Friend, at Square Books in Oxford, Mississippi. For more information, visit the Square Books web site,

November 16, 2002

Mary Carol Miller will sign copies of Lost Landmarks of Mississippi. For more information, visit the Square Books web site,

January 16, 2003

Poetry Reading by Tom Chandler, Bondurant Hall Auditorium, The University of Mississippi campus, in Oxford.

February 6, 2003

U.S. Poet Laureate (2001-2002) Billy Collins reads from his poetry and offers commentary on his work and other matters. Bondurant Hall Auditorium, The University of Mississippi campus in Oxford.

February 17, 2003

A reading by Clifton L. Taulbert on the University of Mississippi campus in Oxford.

March 25, 2003

Poetry Reading by Andrew Hudgins, Bondurant Hall Auditorium, The University of Mississippi campus, in Oxford.

March 26-30, 2003

Seventeenth Annual Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival, New Orleans, Louisiana. For information, visit their web site at

April 10-13, 2003

Oxford Conference for the Book, Oxford, Mississippi.

July 20-25, 2003

30th Annual Faulkner & Yoknapatawpha Conference, The University of Mississippi, Oxford, Mississippi

If you know of additional news items for this newsletter or if you have suggestions, please write us at

For more information about events in the Oxford and University of Mississippi community, see the Ole Miss Community Calendar:

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