The 2011 meeting of the Mississippi Historical Society will be held March 3–5 in Jackson at the Old Capitol Museum. Presentation topics will include cotton and race, the Freedom Rides, longtime Speaker of the Mississippi House Walter Sillers, Mississippi in Liberia, and local history projects.
On March 4 author and Ruleville native Gene Dattel will give the banquet address, “Mississippi’s Destiny: Cotton and Race in the Making of America.” Dattel’s book Cotton and Race in the Making of America (2009) examines the connection between cotton, race, and the American experience between 1787 and the 1930s. Dattel received his B.A. in history from Yale and his J.D. from Vanderbilt Law School. He worked as an international capital markets investment banker at Salomon Brothers and Morgan Stanley for twenty years and is now a government and private sector advisor on American and Asian financial institutions.
At the March 4 luncheon Benjamin Sperry will present “‘Mr. Delta’: Walter Sillers, Jr., and Fifty Years in Mississippi Politics (1916-66).” Sperry is a historian of the South, race, and civil rights. He holds a PhD in history from Case Western Reserve University. During the 2009-10 academic year, Sperry was a visiting professor of history at Delta State University, where he also conducted research on Walter Sillers, Jr. Sperry is currently a lecturer in U.S. history at Cleveland State University and Lakeland Community College, both in Ohio.
A walking tour of downtown Jackson is planned, and winners of the McLemore Prize for best book and the Bettersworth Award for outstanding history teacher will be announced on March 5 at the awards luncheon.
Registration cost for the annual meeting is $50 for individuals and $65 for couples, or for MHS members $25 for individuals and $30 for couples. Rooms are reserved at the Old Capitol Inn, 888-359-9001 or 601-359-9000, until February 11, 2011; specify MHS rate of $110 plus tax per night. Additional rooms will be available for $89 plus tax per night at the Cabot Lodge Millsaps, 601-948-8650. For more information call 601-576-6849 or email the Mississippi Historical Society.