Father Peter Quinn was the priest of Hattiesburg’s only black Catholic Church, Holy Rosary, during the Civil Rights movement. Taking a leadership position in the movement made him a frequent target. He was protected by a group called the Deacons of Defense.
In 1966, Father Peter Quinn was a young priest at Hattiesburg’s Sacred Heart Church. When he was asked to become the priest for the community's black parish, he soon found himself involved in the Civil Rights movement. Quinn explains how as spiritual leader, he was called on to calm the community’s young people after Dr. King’s assassination.
Having the right mixture of fresh water and salt water is crucial for growing oysters. Clyde Brown recalls how community leaders in Jackson County increased oyster production.
Reecy Dickson decided to run for Superintendent of Education of Noxubee County in 1975. She recalls her decision to run for a position that had only been held by white males.
Our coastal wetlands are an important natural resource for a variety of reasons. Jennifer Buchanan of the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources discusses how they affect the seafood industry. Buchanan explains why the waters of the
For many Mississippians, family recipes are cherished keepsakes. Lisa Burnett of Ruleville remembers cooking with her family and a favorite cookbook. Burnett recalls both her grandparents, George and Tina Burnett, were excellent cooks. She describes a typical Friday night growing up in Ruleville and her Papaw’s unusual smoker.
In 2009, Burnett published her own cookbook of family recipes called Cooking on the
After building the first four Holiday Inns in
Mike Sturdivant, of
By 1976, when Studivant sat down to reflect on twenty years in the business, their company, Mississippi Management was operating over 2000 hotel rooms.
Today, MMI of Flowood. operates over 100 properties throughout the southeast.
Over the years, commercial fishermen and conservationists have often viewed each other as adversaries.
Peter Floyd of
Floyd explains how a life-long interest in herpetology, the study of reptiles and amphibians, led to a second career as a turtle researcher.
Floyd sees in the Gulf, an abundant variety of marine life. He feels that over-regulation of the fishing industry is costing the state millions in lost income.
Founded in 1876, P&J Oyster Company of
Al Sunseri explains that oyster shucking has always been done by immigrants. He laments having to lay off long-time employees. He marvels at the out-pouring of support for their company as they look to the future.
P&J Oysters can be found online at Oysterlovers.com.
After the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, British Petroleum established a program to compensate those affected. Roscoe Liebig, a shrimper from Pas Christian, says that program was poorly administered and rife with fraudulent claims.
Liebig has noticed that young people are no longer choosing a career in the shrimping industry. He wonders about the future of the industry.
By the 1950s, the Catholic Church was actively supporting racial equality and integration. The Honorable Gerald Blessey, former Mayor of Biloxi recalls how growing up Catholic influenced his decision to become politically active in college.
While attending Ole’ Miss as an undergrad, Blessey witnessed the riot sparked by the enrollment of the school’s first black student, James Meredith. Later, as a law student, he assisted Civil Rights activists during the 1964 Freedom Summer.
For Frank Parker of
Norman Yandell of
He recounts how he started making and selling his own brand of fishing lures called “Norm Bait.”
Yandell can be found most Saturdays at the Biloxi Maritime and
Jerome Myles of
For over 27 years, Leo Welch has hosted a Gospel music TV show on WO7BN in Bruce, MS. He discusses his early career as a Blues musician and the switch to Gospel.
The Mary Queen of Vietnam Community Development Corp. was established in 2006 to assist area Vietnamese-Americans after Hurricane Katrina. Known as the CDC, they were called on once again to assist the Gulf Coast Vietnamese fishing community after the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.
Here is our gift to you, our loyal listeners: 30 minutes of our annual Roots Reunion Show recorded live Saturday, December 3rd at the historic Saenger Theater in downtown Hattiesburg. The show features traditional music from Mississippi and the surrounding area. This month's show included bluegrass byour house band, The Patchwork String Band, the traditional music of Doug and Rhonda Webb, Irish folk singer Jim Flanagan, Jazz by Heather and the Monkey King, and more bluegrass by Delta Reign. You can get a CD of the entire show FREE with your paid membership to the Center for Oral History and Cultural Heritage by going to http://www.usm.edu/oral-history/become-member .
Historic Mobile Street in downtown Hattiesburg was for many years the hottest strip for live music outside of Bourbon Street in New Orleans. It was on Mobile Street in 1947 a young guitarist named Tommie Pruitt began a career that has lasted 64 years and counting.
Pruitt recalls learning to play on a homemade guitar and how his father earned money as a street musician.
Taken from an interview provided by the Mississippi Arts Commission's Folklife Archive.
In the early sixties, NASA decided to construct a rocket engine test facility in
Lee Paul of Bay St. Louis was part of a team of engineers sent to test how the noise would affect the surrounding area. He recalls the massive horn they used and the community’s reaction to the tests. Paul also recounts how area wildlife inspired the names of some of the roads.
As a boy in Nesbit, Kenny Brown had a hard time learning to play the guitar. That changed when blues legend, Mississippi Joe Callicott, moved next door.
Years later, Brown befriended another blues legend, R.L. Burnside. Brown recalls playing with Burnside and his first trip to a juke joint.
Brown also demonstrates the difference between the Hill Country blues of
In 1894, a group of African American men from the Bay St Louis area formed the One Hundred Members Benevolent Debating Association. In 1922, the Association constructed a meeting hall as place to conduct fundraising events. Known as the Hundred Men Hall, it became a regular stop for many of the greatest musical acts of the day.
Walter Biggins and Anna Kline are newly weds from
As a boy, Hattiesburg resident, Jimmy Swan dreamed of performing on the Grand Ole Opry. He tells the story of how he ran away from home at the age of 13 and a young man he met named Hank Williams.
Randy Yates of Oxford is co-owner of the Ajax Diner on the Square. He recalls growing up in Jackson and the restaurants that influenced his decision to go into food service. He also details the foods offered at the Ajax Diner and why he feels it's important to have a wide variety.
Elsie McWilliams of Meridian loved to write plays for her church's you group, but had never tried to write a song. That changed after she received a phone call from her famous brother-in-law, country singer, Jimmie Rodgers