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Ask Rufus: The Victory Flying Circus of 1919

Posted 4/14/2018 in Local Columns

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.


Ask Rufus: A cultural crossroads of architecture

Posted 4/7/2018 in Local Columns

The site where Columbus now sits has for hundreds of years been a cultural crossroads.


Ask Rufus: Choctaw Code Talkers of World War I

Posted 4/2/2018 in Local Columns

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.


Ask Rufus: A tornado's wrath

Posted 3/24/2018 in Local Columns

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.


Ask Rufus: Factory Hill, Frog Bottom or Burns Bottom, it's a historic neighborhood

Posted 3/17/2018 in Local Columns

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.


Ask Rufus: A duel, a preacher and The Ten Commandments

Posted 3/10/2018 in Local Columns

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.


Ask Rufus: The stories flowers tell

Posted 3/3/2018 in Local Columns

Last week the snowdrops bloomed. It was almost two weeks earlier than they bloomed last year.


Ask Rufus: The Tombigbee Disasters of March 1

Posted 2/24/2018 in Local Columns

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.


Ask Rufus: 100 Years of Military Aviation in the Golden Triangle

Posted 2/17/2018 in Local Columns

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


Ask Rufus: Celebrating Mardi Gras

Posted 2/10/2018 in Local Columns

Fat Tuesday is fast approaching with the end of carnival season and Mardi Gras.


Ask Rufus: Not just the heroes of February

Posted 2/3/2018 in Local Columns

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.


Ask Rufus: The city argued while the town burned

Posted 1/27/2018 in Local Columns

On Tuesday afternoon, March 18, 1919, Columbus burned.


Ask Rufus: Rube Burrows, Alabama's 'King of the Outlaws'

Posted 1/20/2018 in Local Columns

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.


Ask Rufus: Some stories need to be told

Posted 1/13/2018 in Local Columns

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.


Ask Rufus: A Shipwreck

Posted 12/23/2017 in Local Columns

Shipwrecks are never a pretty sight.


Ask Rufus: Newspapers, a window on the past

Posted 12/16/2017 in Local Columns

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.


Ask Rufus: The Columbus landscape of 1817

Posted 12/11/2017 in Local Columns

The first Anglo-American settlement in northeast Mississippi occurred at Cotton Gin Port on the Tombigbee (near present day Amory) in 1801. Following that settlement, John Pitchlynn established his residence at Plymouth Bluff, four miles north of present-day downtown Columbus in 1810.


Ask Rufus: How Grant saved Columbus

Posted 12/2/2017 in Local Columns

On Thursday, Mitchell Memorial Library at Mississippi State University celebrated the grand opening of the Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library and Frank and Virginia Williams Collection of Lincolniana.


Ask Rufus: The Vienna and the story its photo tells

Posted 11/25/2017 in Local Columns

The Vienna was a 176 ton, 155-by-26-by-4.5 feet stern-wheeler built in 1898.


Ask Rufus: 200,000 Cousins

Posted 11/18/2017 in Local Columns

With Thanksgiving approaching, preschools and elementary schools always have their Thanksgiving programs.



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