Local History Awards at Mississippi History Day 2016

On March 5, 2016, the annual Local Mississippi History Awards were given at the Mississippi History Day competition at the University of Southern Mississippi.

The goal of the award is to deepen student appreciation of and exploration of the untold stories and role of “everyday people” in local Mississippi history, using the National History Day competition as an incentive and a focus for student projects. (See 20132014, and 2015 awardees.)

Thanks to a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to Teaching for Change, four Local History Awards were given for $100 for each student or student team.


2016 Award Winners

Clash of Cultures in Attala County (Senior Group Website)

Students in Kosciusko conducted interviews with participants in the 1960s freedom movement to learn about the organizing–and the resistance–in their county. One of the people they interviewed was MacArthur Cotton who shared the history of racism in Attala County prior to 1960. Cotton’s grandfather was murdered for teaching young African Americans to read. His father was taken off the voter registration rolls. Cotton went on to become a SNCC organizer and then to work with the Algebra Project.

(L to R) Hipkins, Alexis Caldwell, Maddy Gilmore, Audrey Claire Henderson, Trey Johnson, Feria Mays (Kosciusko High School) Photo credit: Samantha Taylor

Blues in Mississippi (Junior Group Website)

The trials and tribulations encountered by the innovative artists from the Mississippi Delta led to the exploration of a new musical genre that ultimately received worldwide attention in exchange for the musicians’ perseverance.

(L to R): Hipkins, Alyssa Brohawn, Victoria Van, and Evalyn Ramirez. (Not pictured Elizabeth Fulgham and Olivia Dickey) (Tupelo Middle School)

Heber Ladner: Exploring Mississippi Civil Rights and Exchanging Personal Beliefs For Progress (Senior Paper)

Heber Ladner, who in 32 years as Mississippi’s Secretary of State was a central figure in suits by Blacks to revise election and school laws. As the elected Secretary of State from 1948 until 1980, he was a defendant in suits brought by Blacks in the 1960s to achieve school desegregation and proportional representation on county election commissions. In 1968, he administered the oath to Robert G. Clark (pictured below), the first African American in the 20th century to be elected as a state representative to the Mississippi House.

Rachel Bobo (Mississippi School of Math and Science) Photo credit: Samantha Taylor

Croatian Immigrant Explorers of the Mississippi Gulf Coast and the Hardships They Encountered (Senior Group Exhibit)

During the early 20th century, Croatian immigrants supplied much of the workforce for the Mississippi coast’s seafood industry which was the region’s economic engine.

Hipkins and Grace Cueva (Nya Laurie not pictured) (Pass Christian High School) Photo credit: Samantha Taylor

Judges, Coordinators, and Teachers

Local history award judges (L to R) Julian Hipkins III, Marsha McNeil, Glendolyn Crowell, and Raymond Brookter. (McNail, Crowell, and Brookter are Mississippi Civil Rights Movement and Labor History teacher fellows.)
Alan Wheat, MHD co-coordinator and Julian Hipkins III.