In the early days of automobiles, learning to drive was an adventure. As the son of the local Ford dealer, James Allen of Port Gibson learned to drive at a young age. Allen recalls how different the Model T was from other cars. He also remembers how his father taught a local rancher to drive his first car.
By the 1960s, railroads had lost much of their freight hauling business to trucks. Ray Ward of McComb recalls how track maintenance suffered as a result. As a car man, Ward’s job was to re-track derailed cars and locomotives. He explains how he was able to do this with a crew of only two men.
As World War Two raged on, women helped keep the trains rolling back home. Bonnie Stedman of McComb remembers the work as difficult and dangerous.
The advent of Diesel-electric locomotives was a vast improvement over the steam engines they replaced. John Balser worked as a machinist at the McComb Railroad repair shop. He recalls the pride that the steam engineers took in their locomotives. Balser also details how much more efficient the new Diesel engines were than their steam predecessors.
Working on the railroad was always been hard, dangerous work. Woodrow Addison of McComb recalls the frequent derailments he experienced during his 38 years with Illinois Central.
Woodrow Addison worked for the Illinois Central Railroad shop in McComb for 38 years. He worked first as a brakeman and then, a conductor.
Growing up on a farm,
For thousands of troops during World War II, their journey began with a trip to
F. L. Speights of
Palmer Foster of
University of Southern Mississippi graduate student, Isaac Gang, immigrated to Jackson, Mississippi, from post-war Southern Sudan in 1995, several years before the "Lost Boys" of Sudan made their journey to the U.S. He discusses fleeing war and genocide, assisting the Lost Boys in their transition, enjoying the simple modern luxuries, and the importance of giving back. (photo of Isaac Gang at the University of Juba, July 2007)