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On This Day in Mississippi Literary History


Oct. 1

1918: English professor John D. Jacobs was born in Vicksburg, Mississippi.

1920: Historian David Herbert Donald was born in Goodman, Mississippi.

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. 2

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

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

Oct. 3

October 3-4, 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.

1949: Novelist John Ramsey Miller was born in Greenville, Mississippi.

1951: Writer Neil McGaughey was born in Natchez, Mississippi.

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

Oct. 4

1909: Historian John K. Betterworth was born in Jackson, Mississippi.

1940: Historian Wayne Flynt was born in Pontotoc, Mississippi.

1972: Novelist Lawrence Wells married writer and editor Dean Faulkner, niece of John Faulkner, Murry Falkner, and William Faulkner.

Oct. 5

1837: Southwestern humorist Joseph Beckham Cobb married Almira Clayton of Athens, Georgia.

1965: Novelist, journalist, and educator John A. Williams married Lorrain Isaac.

1975: Historian John Percy Dyer died.

Oct. 6

1930: As I Lay Dying, a novel by William Faulkner, was published by Cape & Smith.

1932: Light in August, a novel by William Faulkner, was published by Harrison Smith and Robert Haas.

1948: Summer and Smoke by Tennessee Williams opened on Broadway at the Music Box Theatre.

1964: Novelist Lawrence Wells married Gayle Brooke (since divorced).

1971: Eudora Welty’s book One Time, One Place: Mississippi in the Depression, A Snapshot Album, containing 102 photographs taken by Welty during her employment with the Works Progress Administration in the 1930s, was published by Random House, New York.

October 6-7, 1985: The Long Hot Summer, a television movie based on The Hamlet by William Faulkner, was first telecast on NBC. Screenplay was by Rita Mae Brown and Dennis Turner.

Oct. 7

1929: The Sound and the Fury, a novel by William Faulkner, was published by Cape & Smith.

1950: Journalist Willie Kathryn Suggs was born in Holly Springs, Mississippi.

Oct. 8

1923: Psychologist Carol E. Izard was born in Georgetown, Mississippi.

1927: Writer Vivianne Cervantes Gladden, who also worked as a model, concert singer, and actress, was born in Brookhaven, Mississippi.

1927: Novelist Patrick D. Smith was born in Mendenhall, Mississippi.

1963: Novelist, poet, playwright, and jazz musician Al Young married freelance artist Arlin June Belch.

Oct. 9

1965: “Mr. Acarius,” a story originally written by William Faulkner in 1953, was published in the Saturday Evening Post.

1982: Children’s book writer Margaree King married account executive Kevin Lee Mitchell.

Oct. 10

1917: Poet and educator Bessye Tobias Turner was born in Liberty, Mississippi.

1943: Novelist Frederick Barthelme was born in Houston, Texas.

1994: Poet and historian Eddie Gathings McNail died in La Feria, Texas.

Oct. 11

1881: Novelist Stark Young was born in Como, Mississippi.

1922: Writer Thomas Hal Phillips was born on a farm near Corinth, Mississippi.

1925: Journalist Jack Nelson was born in Talladega, Alabama.

1946: Poet and educator Claire T. Feild was born in Yazoo City, Mississippi.

1995: Librarian and medical writer Thomas Edward Keys died in Rochester, Minnesota.

Oct. 12

1922: Novelist Borden Deal was born in Pontotoc, Mississippi.

1935: Newspaper columnist William Raspberry was born in Okolona, Mississippi.

1943: Sociologist Joyce A. Ladner was born in Battles, Mississippi.

Oct. 13

1920: Psychologist Wilse B. Webb was born in Hollandale, Mississippi.

1934: William Faulkner published “Retreat” in the Saturday Evening Post.

2002: Historian Stephen E. Ambrose died in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, from lung cancer, at the age of 66.

Oct. 14

1890: Physician, lawyer, and historian Reuben Davis died of apoplexy in Huntsville, Alabama, while traveling to promote his book Recollections of Mississippi and Mississippians.

1913: Theologian Lee A. Belford was born in Savannah, Georgia.

1931: Journalist and editor William Hodding Carter married Betty Werlein.

1934: Historian John R. Skates was born in Sharkey County, Mississippi.

1955: William Faulkner’s Big Woods was published by Random House.

1964: The Shoe Bird, by Eudora Welty, was published by Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc., New York.

1982: The Wake of Jamey Foster, a two-act play by Beth Henley, opened on Broadway at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre.

Oct. 15

1903: Novelist James Street was born in Lumberton, Mississippi.

1937: Children’s book writer Helen H. King was born in Clarksdale, Mississippi.

1998: Impossible Marriage, by Beth Henley, opened on Broadway at the Roundabout Theatre in New York, starring Holly Hunter and directed by Stephen Wadsworth.

Oct. 16

1960: Painter Maud Butler Falkner, mother of writers John Faulkner, Murry Falkner, and William Faulkner, died at the age of 88 in Oxford, Mississippi.

Oct. 17

1925: Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Dumas Malone married Elisabeth Gifford.

1928: Historian Lerone Bennett was born in Clarksdale, Mississippi.

1936: English professor Thomas McHaney was born in Paragould, Arkansas.

1957: Place in Fiction by Eudora Welty was published by House of Books, Ltd., New York.

Oct. 18

1820: In the Treaty of Doak's Stand, the Choctaw ceded 5.5 million acres of their land to the United States.

1955: Oral historian John Griffin Jones was born in Jackson, Mississippi.

1986: English professor Clyde Samuel Kilby died in Columbus, Mississippi.

Oct. 19

1961: Novelist Lee Durkee was born in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Oct. 20

1832: On behalf of the Chickasaws, King Ishtehotopah signed the Treaty of Pontotoc in which the Chickasaw ceded all their lands east of the Mississippi River and agreed to relocate to Oklahoma, thus opening northern Mississippi to white settlers.

1938: Story magazine rejected Eudora Welty’s short story “Why I Live at the P.O.” More rejections followed from New Yorker, Collier’s, Harper’s Bazaar, Good Housekeeping, Mademoiselle, and Harper’s Magazine.

Oct. 21

1935: Poet Ahmos Zu-Bolton, II was born in Poplarville, Mississippi.

Oct. 22

1848: Southwestern humorist Alexander G. McNutt died in DeSoto County, Mississippi, while on a political campaign.

1919: English professor and biographer Thomas Daniel Young was born in Louisville, Mississippi.

1931: Novelist, playwright, and film-maker Edwin Corley was born in Bayonne, New Jersey.

Oct. 23

1910: Writer Emily Van Sickle was born in Vicksburg, Mississippi.

1929: Writer Jere Hoar was born in Dyersburg, Tennessee.

1942: Eudora Welty’s The Robber Bridegroom was published by Doubleday, Doran & Company, Inc., Garden City, New York.

1944: Poet, photographer, and editor Alice Rose George was born in Lawrence County, Mississippi.

Oct. 24

1801: In the Treaty of Chickasaw Bluffs, the Chickasaw granted the United States the right of way to build a road through their lands along the Natchez Trace.

1942: English professor Alvin Sullivan was born in Pascagoula, Mississippi.

Oct. 25

1930: William Faulkner published “Red Leaves” in the Saturday Evening Post.

1941: Biographer, lyricist, and freelance writer Ellis Nassour was born in Vicksburg, Mississippi.

Oct. 26

1936: Absalom, Absalom!, a novel by William Faulkner, was published by Random House.

1951: William Faulkner received the Legion of Honor in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Oct. 27

1795: The Treaty of San Lorenzo is signed, in which Spain turns over to the United States all its territory between the 31st parallel and the Yazoo River.

1922: Science fiction/fantasy writer George Smith was born in Vicksburg, Mississippi.

1929: Poet and fiction writer Jean Todd Freeman was born in Lumberton, Mississippi.

1954: Writer Jim Fraiser was born in New Orleans.

Oct. 28

1914: Historian W. Magruder Drake was born in Natchez, Mississippi.

1936: Historian Thomas S. Hines was born in Oxford, Mississippi.

Oct. 29

1942: English professor Ted L. Estess was born in Jackson, Mississippi.

1948: Writer David Davis was born.

1980: The Collected Stories of Eudora Welty was published by Harcourt, Brace, and Jovanovich, New York.

Oct. 30

1926: Theologian Roy L. Honeycutt, Jr. was born in Grenada, Mississippi.

1960: The Graduation Dress, teleplay by William Faulkner and Joan Williams, was broadcast on General Electric Theatre.

1997: Writers Donna Tartt and Anne Rice were the guests on National Public Radio’s Talk of the Nation radio show on the topic “Halloween: Gothic Literature.”

Oct. 31

1916: Novelist and poet Charles G. Bell was born in Greenville, Mississippi.

1921: Historian Otis Arnold Singletary, Jr. was born in Gulfport, Mississippi.

1924: William Faulkner resigned as postmaster for the University, Mississippi, post office.

1953: William Faulkner returned to New York after leaving Oxford, Mississippi, the previous year (mid-November) to work on A Fable in Princeton and New York. He alternated between there and Oxford.

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