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On This Day in Mississippi Literary History


April 1

1925: Writer Nathaniel Pace was born in Stone County, Mississippi.

1940: The Hamlet, by William Faulkner, was published by Random House.

1993: Writer Joseph Alexander died following a severe burn in a household fire in San Francisco, California.

April 2

1932: Walker Percy’s mother was killed in an automobile accident. Percy was fifteen years old.

1937: Historian Ray Mathis was born in Sanford, Mississippi.

1946: Historian Lee E. Williams II was born in Jackson, Mississippi.

1953: The Brooch, a teleplay written by William Faulkner, Ed Rice, and Richard McDonagh and based on Faulkner’s story, was broadcast on Lux Video Theatre.

1961: William Faulkner arrived in Venezuela on a two-week State Department trip.

1972: Small Craft Warnings by Tennessee Williams opened at Truck and Warehouse Theatre in New York. The play ran for 200 performances as a commercial but not a critical success.

April 3

1944: Science writer Frank White was born in Greenwood, Mississippi.

1965: Muna Lee died of lung cancer in San Juan, Puerto Rico, two months after retiring from her position in the U.S. State Department.

April 4

1911: Theologian H. Leo Eddleman was born in Morgantown, Mississippi.

1940: Historian Eric N. Moody was born in Vicksburg, Mississippi.

1997: Poet Otis Williams, director of the Nyumburu Cultural Center at the University of Maryland, died suddenly in College Park, Maryland, at the age of 57.

April 5

1925: William Faulkner published “Cheest” in the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

1937: Historian James W. Hammack Jr. was born in Scooba, Mississippi.

1981: Journalist Mark Foster Ethridge died after several strokes in Chatham County, North Carolina.

April 6

1862: The Battle of Shiloh, the first major battle in the western theater of the American Civil War, began near Pittsburgh Landing along the Tennessee River, a few miles north of Corinth, Mississippi. The attacking Confederates on this first day were initially victorious, pushing Union troops under the command of Ulysses S. Grant back to a line of defenses near the river, although the Confederate commanding general, Albert Sidney Johnston, was hit in the leg and bled to death as his personal surgeon attended to other wounded.

1942: Historian John Worthington Jeffries was born in Oxford, Mississippi.

1951: Journalist Frank Trippett married Betty Timberlake.

1953: Children’s author Jerdine Nolen was born in Crystal Springs, Mississippi.

1955: The Bride of the Innisfallen and Other Stories by Eudora Welty was published by Harcourt, Brace and Company in New York.

April 7

1862: The Battle of Shiloh concluded with a Union counterattack that overwhelmed Confederate forces under General Pierre G. T. Beauregard, who succeeded Albert Sidney Johnston as commander after his death on the first day of the battle. The Confederate forces retreated to Corinth, Mississippi, and then to Tupelo, Mississippi.

April 8

1916: English professor John H. Long was born in Carthage, Mississippi.

1967: The Wishing Tree, by William Faulkner, was published in the Saturday Evening Post.

April 9

1682: Following a journey down the Mississippi River from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, claimed the entire Mississippi River watershed for France and named it Louisiana in honor of King Louis XIV.

April 10

1732: The Mississippi Company, bankrupted by the long struggle with the Natchez, surrendered its charter and was reverted to direct control by the crown.

1939: Historian Jimmie Lewis Franklin was born in Moscow, Mississippi.

2000: A new play by Beth Henley, Family Week, opened at the Off-Broadway Century Theatre for the Performing Arts in New York, starring Angelina Phillips, Rose Gregorio, and Carol Kane, and directed by Ulu Grosbard. It closed after one week.

April 11

1819: Southwestern humorist Joseph Beckham Cobb was born near Lexington, Georgia.

1951: Fiction writer Kay Sloan was born in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

2004: Writer Joan Williams died at the age of 75.

April 12

1921: Carolyn Bennett Patterson, a writer and editor for National Geographic, was born in Laurel, Mississippi.

1925: William Faulkner published “Out of Nazareth” in the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

1933: The film Today We Live, based on the short story “Turnabout” by William Faulkner, premiered in Oxford at the Lyric Theatre.

1951: William Faulkner left for a three-week trip to France and England.

April 13

1909: Eudora Welty was born in Jackson, Mississippi.

1924: Kelly Rollins, a U.S. Air Force officer and author of the novel Fighter Pilots, was born in Grenada, Mississippi.

1944: Film director, producer, and screenwriter Charles Burnett was born in Vicksburg, Mississippi.

1970: Losing Battles by Eudora Welty was published by Random House, New York.

1988: Biology professor Joseph J. Schwab died in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

2012: Novelist Lewis Nordan died of complications from pneumonia in Cleveland, Ohio.

April 14

1929: Historian Charles T. Davis was born in Natchez, Mississippi.

1959: I Rise in Flame, Cried the Phoenix, Tennessee Williams’ biographical account of D.H. Lawrence and his wife Frieda, opened at Theatre de Lys, New York.

1968: Boys in the Band by Mart Crowley was first produced Off-Broadway at Theatre Four in New York City.

April 15

1946: Delta Wedding by Eudora Welty was published by Harcourt, Brace and Company in New York.

April 16

1934: William Faulkner published Doctor Martino and Other Stories.

1943: Writer and psychologist C. Rayfield Haynes was born in Prentiss, Mississippi.

1964: David Edgar Guyton died.

2000: Family Week by Beth Henley closes after one week of performances at the Off-Broadway Century Theatre for the Performing Arts in New York.

April 17

1947: Insurance writer and newspaper columnist John E. Gregg married Sue Burke.

April 18

1910: Jamie L. Whitten, U.S. Congressman and author of That We May Live, was born in Cascilla, Mississippi.

1918: Estelle Oldham, future wife of William Faulkner, married her first husband, Cornell Franklin, in Oxford, Mississippi.

April 19

1931: Poet Etheridge Knight was born in Corinth, Mississippi.

1962: William Faulkner went on a two-day visit to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York.

April 20

1933: A Green Bough, a book of poetry by William Faulkner, was published.

1937: Tennessee Williams received notification from Washington University that he would not graduate and was placed on academic probation.

April 21

1936: Theologian Daniel C. Noel was born in Jackson, Mississippi.

1938: Educator Chalmers Archer, Jr., was born in Tchula, Mississippi.

April 22

1702: Pierre Le Moyne, Sieur d’Iberville, who led a French expedition to establish a settlement in present-day Mississippi, returned to France, never to return to Louisiana.

1896: Journalist Mark Foster Ethridge was born in Meridian, Mississippi.

1932: Methodist minister William R. Lampkin was born in Baldwyn, Mississippi.

1934: Henry T. Sampson, who has researched the role of African Americans in entertainment, was born in Jackson, Mississippi.

April 23

1800: The U.S. Congress established a post route between Nashville, Tennessee, and Natchez, Mississippi, along what became known as the Natchez Trace.

1942: Novelist Barry Hannah was born in Meridian, Mississippi.

April 24

1807: J. F. H. Claiborne, “the father of Mississippi history,” was born near Natchez, Mississippi.

1925: Leon M. C. Standifer, who published memoirs about his combat experience in World War II, was born in Gulfport, Mississippi.

April 25

1935: The novel Pylon, by William Faulkner, was published by Harrison Smith and Robert Haas.

1940: Novelist Margaret-Love Denman was born in Oxford, Mississippi.

April 26

1925: William Faulkner published “The Kingdom of God” in the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

1943: Cookbook author Mary Lou McCracken was born in Louisville, Mississippi.

April 27

1929: English professor Ernest Claude Bufkin, Jr., was born in Monticello, Mississippi.

1973: “The Grassroot Woman,” a one-act play by T. J. Whitaker, was first performed in Vicksburg, Mississippi, at Baltes Gym.

1983: Journalist Turner Catledge died after suffering a stroke in New Orleans.

April 28

1945: In the novel Clifford’s Blues, by John A. Williams, the diary kept by the title character, who is a prisoner in the Nazi concentration camp Dachau, ends, the same day that the camp was liberated by American forces.

April 29

1910: Philosopher W. T. Jones was born in Natchez, Mississippi.

1945: Richard Wright’s Black Boy was the number one bestseller in the nation. Later, U.S. Senator Theodore Bilbo of Mississippi would denounce the book as obscene.

1946: William Faulkner published “Appendix, Compson, 1699-1945” in The Portable Faulkner.

April 30

1906: Entomologist Ross Elliot Hutchins was born in Ruby, Montana.

1927: William Faulkner’s novel Mosquitoes was published.

1928: Children’s writer Jean Burt Polhamus was born in Mississippi.

1930: William Faulkner published “A Rose for Emily” in Forum.

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