Jewish immigrant, Jacob Kern, migrated from Germany to America in the late 1800s. His daughter, Lourachael Kern Ginsberg recounts how her father paid for twelve of his family members to join them in Bastrop, Louisiana, in 1938. Growing up Jewish in Bastrop, Ginsberg remembers their family was accepted as part of the community. She remembers raising chickens and ducks for food and driving to Monroe to go to Temple.
Ginsberg was attending Tulane University, when she met her future husband Herbie Ginsberg. She recalls knowing immediately that he was ‘the one’, and her mother’s reaction to the news. After the couple married, they moved to his home in Hattiesburg. She describes stopping off at the bootleggers to pick up a bottle for his law partner and future Governor, Paul B. Johnson, Jr.
Funding for two Mississippi museums was approved by the state legislature in 2011. In this episode, Lucy Allen recalls the planning process for the Civil Rights Museum and the message contained in its design. When Mississippi announced plans to build a civil rights museum, some doubted it would tell the whole story. Allen explains how the state’s willingness to ‘go there,’ resulted in a powerful learning experience.
With a mandate that the two museums be opened by the State’s Centennial celebration in 2017, Allen’s team was hard pressed to deliver on time. She recounts the process of selecting the design firms and the endless meetings they sat through.
As the opening day approached for the Two Mississippi Museums, there were countless small details to be addressed. Allen remembers the pre-opening tours and feeling proud of a job well done.
Lucy Allen moved from North Carolina to Mississippi and spent the next seven years teaching school. In this episode, she explains how her interest in photography led to a career with the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.
In 1961, the first State Historical Museum for Mississippi opened in the Old Capitol building. Allen discusses conditions that highlighted the need for a new museum and archives and how MDAH began planning for a new state museum in 1998. She recalls how Hurricane Katrina devastated the old museum in 2005 and altered all their plans.
PODCAST EXTRA: As MDAH developed plans for a new state history museum, the State Legislature’s Black Caucus continued their years-long push for a separate civil rights museum to be located on the campus of Tougaloo College. Allen recounts how Governor Haley Barbour, former Governor William Winter, and Judge Reuben Anderson worked with others to combine the two museums together into one state-funded project.
Don’t miss next week’s episode as Allen discusses the challenges they faced in making the Two Mississippi Museums a reality!
PHOTO: Two Mississippi Museums architectural drawing
Jimmie Person grew up in Port Gibson, Mississippi during the 1930s. In this episode, he recalls summers on his father’s plantation and the warm, nurturing environment small-town life provided the children. Back when Person was a child, the closest hospital to Port Gibson was in Vicksburg. He remembers how doctors would make houses calls, and the childhood diseases of that time.
When Person reached high school, he attended Chamberlain-Hunt Military Academy in Port Gibson. He reflects on life at the all-male school and how they hosted off-campus dances in an old ballroom.
PODCAST BONUS: Person was in his freshman year at Mississippi State when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. He shares those vivid memories and discusses how he ended up as a Military Policeman at a base in England.
PHOTO: MS Dept. of Archives and History