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On This Day in Mississippi Literary History


Dec. 1

1951: Eudora Welty’s story “The Bride of the Innisfallen” was published by the New Yorker.

Dec. 2

1908: Librarian and medical writer Thomas Edward Keys was born in Greenville, Mississippi.

1930: Law professor Eugene F. Mooney was born in Jackson, Mississippi.

Dec. 3

1923: Historian Kenneth K. Bailey was born in Coldwater, Mississippi.

1923: Malcolm Franklin was born in Shanghai, China.

1929: Philosopher John Howie was born in Jackson, Mississippi.

1932: William Faulkner published “Mountain Victory” in the Saturday Evening Post.

1947: Tennessee Williams’s play A Streetcar Named Desire premiered on Broadway, directed by Elia Kazan, and starring Marlon Brando and Jessica Tandy. At the same time the play also debuted in New Orleans (without the Broadway cast).

1970: I Can't Imagine Tomorrow and Talk to Me Like the Rain and Let Me Listen, by Tennessee Williams, were televised together under the title Dragon Country by New York Television Theatre.

Dec. 4

1894: Librarian and etymologist Margaret Samuels Ernst was born in Natchez, Mississippi.

1981: Psychiatrist Harley Cecil Shands died of a ruptured aortic aneurysm in New York City.

Dec. 5

1925: Novelist and nonfiction writer John Alfred Williams was born in Jackson, Mississippi.

1931: Journalist Robert N. Pierce was born in Greenville, Mississippi.

1936: William Faulkner published“Vendee” in the Saturday Evening Post.

1952: Eudora Welty’s story “The Ponder Heart” was published in the New Yorker.

1995: Historian James Franklin Hopkins died in Lexington, Kentucky.

Dec. 6

1920: Journalist and fiction writer Elinor Richey was born in Braxton, Mississippi.

Dec. 7

1934: Accounting professor Thomas Richard Prince was born in New Albany, Mississippi.

Dec. 8

1931: William Faulkner’s Idyll in the Desert was published by Random House, New York.

1950: William Faulkner and his daughter Jill departed for Stockholm, Sweden, where he would receive the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Dec. 9

1901: Education professor Samuel Proctor McCutchen was born in Greenville, Mississippi.

1935: English professor Joseph Larry Simmons was born in Tylertown, Mississippi.

1998: Actor, writer, and lightweight boxing champion Archie Lee Moore died in San Diego, California.

Dec. 10

1817: Mississippi was admitted to the Union as the twentieth state. Its capital was Washington, Mississippi, and the governor was David Holmes.

1871: Novelist Katherine Sherwood Bonner McDowell gave birth to a daughter, Lilian.

1912: Theologian John Allen Moore was born in Clarksdale, Mississippi.

1913: Theologian Paul Ramsey was born in Mendenhall, Mississippi.

1935: William Faulkner left for a five-week assignment at Twentieth Century Fox Studios, where he met Meta Dougherty Carpenter and began an intimate relationship that would last intermittently for fifteen years.

1950: William Faulkner received the Nobel Prize for Literature for the year 1949 in Stockholm, Sweden.

1999: Historian Woodrow Borah died in Oakland, California.

Dec. 11

1924: Fiction writer and editor Charles East was born in Shelby, Mississippi.

1947: Novelist and English professor Patrick Creevy was born in Chicago, Illinois.

Dec. 12

1801: The capital of the Mississippi territory was moved from Natchez to Washington, Mississippi.

1862: Confederate General Earl Van Dorn made a daring raid on Grant’s storehouses in Holly Springs. Capturing more than 1500 Union soldiers and much-needed supplies, the raid would set back Grant’s planned Vicksburg campaign by several months.

1907: Educator William S. Vincent was born in Tupelo, Mississippi.

Dec. 13

1916: Actor, writer, and lightweight boxing champion Archie Lee Moore was born in Benoit, Mississippi.

1948: Richard Wright delivered a speech at the Writer’s Congress in Paris, France.

Dec. 14

1929: Technical writer and editor Charles W. Ryan was born in Greenville, Mississippi.

1933: Baptist minister and historian Bill Russell Baker was born in Pontotoc, Mississippi.

1942: Novelist Bo Hathaway was born in Biloxi, Mississippi.

1963: Children’s nonfiction writer Renea Denise Nash was born in Morehead, Mississippi.

Dec. 15

1924: William Faulkner published his first book, The Marble Faun, a collection of poems.

Dec. 16

1918: Baptist minister William S. Cannon was born in Meridian, Mississippi.

1921: Children’s writer John T. Carter was born in Mantee, Mississippi.

1946: Religion writer Isabel Anders was born in Gulfport, Mississippi.

1956: Civil rights activist James Meredith married Mary June Wiggins.

1979: Women!! Make Turban in Own Home by Eudora Welty was published by Palaemon Press Limited.

Dec. 17

1801: The Treaty of Fort Adams officially opened Old Natchez District to settlement and the Choctaw agreed that the United States could open a road, the Natchez Trace, through their lands.

1926: Sportswriter Perian Collier Conerly was born in Clarksdale, Mississippi.

1938: Civil rights activist L. C. Dorsey was born in Tribbett, Mississippi.

Dec. 18

1935: Journalist Wesley Pruden, Jr., was born in Jackson, Mississippi.

1939: Tennessee Williams received an Authors’s League of America fellowship for $1000.

Dec. 19

1996: Historian Nash K. Burger died in Charlottesville, Virginia.

2000: Musician and photographer Milt Hinton, also known as “The Judge” and hailed as the dean of jazz bassists, was born in Vicksburg, Mississippi, died in Queens, New York, after an extended illness.

Dec. 20

1938: Novelist and musician Mack Allen Smith was born in Carroll County, Mississippi.

1996: The movie Ghosts of Mississippi opened in the United States, based on the real-life murder conviction in 1994 of white supremacist Byron De La Beckwith for the killing of civil rights leader Medgar Evers more than three decades earlier.

Dec. 21

1968: Poet Sterling Plumpp married Falvia Delgrazia Jackson.

Dec. 22

1889: Novelist and memoirist Reuben G. Davis was born in Charleston, Mississippi.

1902: Agricultural writer and porcelain collector George W. Ware was born in Belen, Mississippi.

1912: Historian Woodrow Borah was born in Utica, Mississippi.

1934: Religion writer John A. Ishee was born in Laurel, Mississippi.

1942: Newspaper columnist and storyteller Robert Hitt Neill was born in Leland, Mississippi.

1959: The film Suddenly, Last Summer, based on the play by Tennessee Williams, opened.

Dec. 23

1879: Poet and fiction writer Irwin Russell died of exposure and pneunomia in New Orleans at the age of twenty-six.

1917: Historian John D. Winters was born in McCool, Mississippi.

Dec. 24

1915: Business professor Francis Barns May was born in Cascilla, Mississippi.

1945: Fiction writer Judy Vernon was born in Belden, Mississippi.

1951: Civil rights leader Medgar Evers married Myrlie Beasley.

1953: William Faulkner met Jean Stein while in Europe working on Land of the Pharaohs for Howard Hawks.

1975: Memoirist Murry C. Falkner died in Mobile, Alabama. He was later buried in Oxford, Mississippi.

2001: Storyteller Jimmy Faulkner, nephew of William and son of John, died in a hospital in Tupelo, Mississippi, at the age of 78.

Dec. 25

1946: Singer/songwriter and prose writer Jimmy Buffett was born in Pascagoula, Mississippi.

1951: Philosopher and literary critic Paisley Livingston was born in Pascagoula, Mississippi.

1977: Novelist and playwright Louise Blackwell died.

Dec. 26

1944: Tennessee Williamss play The Glass Menagerie opened in Chicago, starring Laurette Taylor. It was greeted by rave reviews but sparse audiences attended.

Dec. 27

1914: Actress Doris Johnson, who published a collection of letters written by her husband, film writer and journalist Nunnally Johnson, was born in Mississippi.

1986: Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Dumas Malone died after a brief illness in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Dec. 28

1843: Prentiss Ingraham, author of several hundred dime novels, as well as a number of plays, articles, and poems, was born near Natchez, Mississippi.

1941: Writer and educator Otha Richard Sullivan was born in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

1960: William Faulkner willed his manuscripts to the William Faulkner Foundation.

1961: Night of the Iguana by Tennessee Williams opened at the Royale Theatre in New York.

Dec. 29

1927: Art critic Barbara Cortright was born in Oxford, Mississippi.

1938: Tennessee Williams arrived in New Orleans, where he soon found a small room in the French Quarter at 431 Royal Street, where he would live until spring 1939, began calling himself “Tennessee.”

1950: The Rose Tattoo by Tennessee Williams premiered at the Erlanger Theatre in Chicago.

1955: Novelist and outdoor writer Ernest Herndon was born in Memphis, Tennessee.

1958: Period of Adjustment High Point over a Cavern by Tennessee Williams opened at Coconut Grove Playhouse, Miami.

Dec. 30

1940: Battle of Angels by Tennessee Williams premiered in Boston, starring Miriam Hopkins. It bombed.

Dec. 31

1971: Journalist and editor P. D. East died.

1974: A Pageant of Birds by Eudora Welty was published by Albondocani Press, New York.

1991: Historian John K. Betterworth died in Starkville, Mississippi.

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