Twentieth Century Mississippi
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"Open All the Year/ Nature's Sanitorium/ A Pleasure Resort, Finest Mineral Springs in the World/ Hunting, Fishing, Boating/ Highest Point in Mississippi/ The Best Equipped Sanitorium in the South/ Modern Hotel Accommodations on the Southern Railroad, 8 Trains a Day Between Memphis & Chattanooga/ Iuka Springs Hotel and Sanitorium Co./ Iuka, Mississippi." c. 1890-1900.

Located in the northeastern corner of the state, the Iuka Sanitorium appealed to anyone who might benefit from the spa's five mineral springs. Of these, the resort boasted that "Here are the fountains of youth of the Red Man as he roamed the inhabitless [sic] wild in search for the 'Spirit Fountains.'" Also available to patrons were various electro-therapeutic treatments, and this previously unrecorded pamphlet contains numerous illustrations of these pseudo-scientific devices.

Pamphlet. "The White House/ Biloxi, Miss." n.d.

"On the Coast one loses/ Fear of winter days,/ For the sun diffuses/ Ultra-Violet Rays." Balmy weather has drawn vacationers to the Mississippi shore since before the Civil War. By the twentieth century, numerous luxury hotels like The White House vied for visitors by touting various attractions--including access to five eighteen-hole courses on "the Golf Coast."

Photograph Album. "The Mississippi River Flood of 1927. Mounds & Cairo, Ill. To New Orleans, La." Illinois Central Railroad Company, 1927.

With nearly 400 prints and proofs, this album documents the routes taken by the Illinois Central Railroad "Flood Committee" to survey damage to their tracks and depots. Mississippi locales constitute the majority of these images. Reproduced here is  a photograph of the African-American refugee camp at Cleveland, Mississippi on April 29th showing residents dining outdoors.

Langston Hughes. Famous Negro Heroes of America. New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1960. 2nd printing. With dust jacket. Inscribed by Hughes: "For James Meredith-backed up by these folks, too-Sincerely-Langston Hughes/ New York, October 3, 1962."

After a tour of duty abroad in the U.S. Air Force, James Meredith returned to his home state determined to attend the University of Mississippi. The state, under Governor Ross Barnett, adopted several measures to prevent the black veteran's admission. Meredith enrolled at Ole Miss only after a protracted court battle and a campus riot suppressed by federal troops. Letters of support for the young man arrived from all over the world: Rosa Parks, whose refusal to surrender her seat sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott, sent a postcard; Western Union delivered a message from celebrity Josephine Baker; author Langston Hughes wrote an inscription that compared Meredith to the subjects of Hughes's Famous Negro Heroes of America; and Mississippi NAACP President Aaron Henry expressed his admiration of Meredith's "courage and determination" in a typed letter. In 1997, James Howard Meredith donated his extensive papers to his alma mater.

"Deputy U.S. Marshal Armband." 1962.

On the afternoon before Meredith's registration, a crowd had already begun to gather outside the Lyceum to confront the U.S. Marshals sent to keep order on the campus. Later that evening, an angry mob of whites would assault the marshals with bricks and bullets until the arrival of federal troops quelled the riot in the early morning hours. The final tally of that confrontation: two bystanders dead, 206 wounded marshals and soldiers, 200 individuals arrested, and one African-American student enrolled at the University of Mississippi.

Antebellum and Civil War Mississippi | Late 19th Century | Book of Gold | Literary Mississippiana | Introduction