Recently I have been working on a project that involves Friendship Cemetery here in Columbus.
Two weeks ago I wrote of the poem the Blue and the Gray and Friendship Cemetery on the banks of the Tombigbee River.
In the Columbus area, the "Eight O'May" has long been called "Emancipation Day." It is the day which tradition says the slaves in the Columbus area learned they were free.
By the flow of the inland river,
Whence the fleets of iron have fled,
Where the blades of the grave-grass quiver,
Asleep are the ranks of the dead
A couple of months ago I wrote about Payne Field, a historic World War I air field four miles north of West Point, and the centennial of military aviation in the Golden Triangle.
The site where Columbus now sits has for hundreds of years been a cultural crossroads.
When researching a topic you don't always find what you are looking for, but sometimes you find something even better. Recently I was looking through spring of 1919 issues of Stars and Stripes, the U.S. military newspaper. I was searching for information on the Army Air Service's Victory Loan Flying Circus which was a military aerial acrobatic group traveling the U.S. in the spring of 1919 putting on air shows to promote the sell of U.S. bonds to pay World War I debt.
Last weekend we saw bad weather with the storms of north Mississippi turning into tornadoes in Alabama. Sometimes it seems tornadoes are one of the rites of spring. That led me to review old area newspapers for accounts of the tornadoes of long ago. I found in the late 1830s and early 1840s issues of the Macon Intelligencer several interesting accounts of tornadoes from around the country.
The neighborhood is now commonly called Burns Bottom but in the past has also been known as Factory Hill and Frog Bottom. It is one of the oldest and most historic neighborhoods in Columbus.
With Passover and Easter approaching the classic movie, "The Ten Commandments," is sure to be shown again. Few people, though, know the Aberdeen, Columbus and Holly Springs tie to the movie.
Last week the snowdrops bloomed. It was almost two weeks earlier than they bloomed last year.
As I write this column on the last Saturday in February with a weather watch for severe storms approaching, I cannot help but think of the Tombigbee steamboat the Eliza Battle.
Payne Field, four miles north of West Point near the community of White's Station, is a little-known, but very historic air field that has been called Mississippi's first airport
Fat Tuesday is fast approaching with the end of carnival season and Mardi Gras.
I have a problem with February being Black History Month. The role of blacks in the exploration and settlement of the Tombigbee River Valley is so important and so significant it should be celebrated every month.
On Tuesday afternoon, March 18, 1919, Columbus burned.
Sometimes stories just fall together and need to be written. I recently bought an 1889 Wheeling, West Virginia newspaper with a front-page story about train robbers holding up a Mobile and Ohio Railroad train at Buckatunna.
After having decided to end my column in protest to possible legislation that could kill the Columbus Convention and Visitors Bureau and cripple tourism in Columbus, I have had to reconsider.
Shipwrecks are never a pretty sight.
When working on my weekly Dispatch column, I often rely on period newspapers for primary source information. That creates a real problem for me, as I almost always get sidetracked.
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