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Mississippi Moments Podcast

Since 1971, the Center for Oral History and Cultural Heritage has been preserving the memories of Mississippians from all walks of life. Our collection of over 4,000 interviews and counting has proven an invaluable resource for teachers, writers, researchers, and museums. While our collection has a recognized strength in the history of the civil rights movement and veterans' histories, the Center has collected broadly. The topics covered within the collection encompass the breadth of the state’s history.   Mississippi Moments began in early 2005 as a weekly series of radio spots broadcast statewide on Mississippi Public Broadcasting with funding provided by the Mississippi Humanities Council. Each episode features stories gleaned from hours of research, edited for time and clarity and narrated by Mississippi broadcast veteran, Bill Ellison. These stories range in topic and tone, but war stories and the struggle for civil rights receive the most attention. MSMO is not a History series. History frequently comes along for the ride, but Story drives the narrative. In 2009, the Mississippi Moments Podcast was launched as a way to make past and future episodes available online and searchable by subject. The podcast format allows us to greatly expand on the broadcast version and bonus content is a given. So give us a listen. With over 600 episodes available and new ones added each month, you are certain to find some amazing, moving stories about the diverse and colorful people who call Mississippi home.
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Now displaying: September, 2013
Sep 20, 2013

In 1910, O’Neal Chambers was born in Lorman, Mississippi. The son of a farmer, he recalls helping his father clear the land with a cross-cut saw.

Growing up on a farm meant that there was always work to be done. Chambers remembers Sunday as the one day to relax and play. He also talked about how he used to accompany his father to Cohn Brothers’ cotton gin and general store in Lorman and describes a suit his father bought for him there.

Sep 20, 2013

Leakesville native, Dr. John Allums was teaching at the University of Georgia in 1951 when the Korean War began. He recounts making the transition from college professor to Air Force Intelligence Officer. He also explains how he worked with representatives from various government agencies to prepare reports for the president. 

On May 1st, 1960, a US U2 spy plane was shot done by the Soviet government while on a mission to photograph Russian military bases. Allums discusses why he feels that President Eisenhower made a mistake when he publicly acknowledged the U2 program.

Sep 20, 2013

Created in 1956, the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission was a state agency set up to hinder the progress of the civil rights movement through public relations and intelligence gathering.

Erle Johnston of Forrest was promoted to director of the Sovereignty Commission in 1963. In this frank and detailed interview he describes how he used informants to spy of various civil rights groups. Johnston claims as desegregation became unavoidable, his role shifted from investigator to mediator. 

The Sovereignty Commission, a sad chapter in our state's history, was disbanded in 1977 and its files ordered sealed for fifty years. Johnston explains why he feels that the files should have been destroyed.





In 1989 the Sovereignty Commission files were ordered unsealed and can be viewed online through the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.

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