GUIZERIX: Kick off summertime with a dose of Vicksburg history

Published 4:00 am Wednesday, May 31, 2023

At the risk of her reading it one day 20 years from now and vowing to put me in an old folks’ home, I won’t go into the details of the three days spent potty-training my 2-year-old this past weekend.

Instead, I wanted to devote my column to the many educational opportunities around Vicksburg this coming weekend. One of my favorite things to do is play tourist in Vicksburg, whether that’s by driving through my favorite neighborhoods and admiring the old homes or stopping in one of our many fine museums.

Perhaps it’s because my mother is a teacher, or perhaps it’s because so many vacations growing up were centered around historic sites, but to me, there’s nothing better than learning about the past and how it influences the future

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This upcoming weekend, we have several options — many of them free — for family fun and entertainment with an educational twist.

Chief among those opportunities is the free day at the Old Court House Museum, marking the building’s 75th anniversary as a museum. There are more than a few members of the old guard in Vicksburg I wish I could’ve met, and chief among them is Eva W. Davis, the woman who made the museum possible in the first place all those years ago (1948, to be exact).

With more historical documents and artifacts dedicated to this area — and the Siege of Vicksburg in particular — the Old Court House Museum is a must-see for anyone lucky enough to live in Warren County as well as those just passing through. It is an asset to our community and one we should support, for posterity’s sake.

Also taking place this weekend is a Sunday event, “Voices of Courage & Justice: Honoring Medgar and Myrlie Evers” hosted by the city of Vicksburg at the Ardis T. Williams Sr. Auditorium at 10 a.m.

Vicksburg has its own special attachment to Medgar Evers and his widow, the great Merlie Evers-Williams, as Evers-Williams is a Vicksburg native and the couple was married here. But the legacy the Evers have created extends far beyond Mississippi, and far beyond the little home in Jackson where Medgar was assassinated 60 years ago this June.

Thanks to Mayor George Flaggs Jr. and keynote speaker, former Mayor Robert Walker, the assembly and reception is open to the public and will serve as a reminder of the courageous actions and power even in death of Medgar Evers, whose killing was a catalyst for the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

If you still can’t get enough history, head on over to the Vicksburg National Military Park for a special presentation as part of the 160th Anniversary of the Siege of Vicksburg.

Activist and freelance writer Linda Barnickel will present her book, “Milliken’s Bend: A Civil War Battle in History and Memory” at 10 a.m. at VNMP. Milliken’s Bend was a key battle in the Siege of Vicksburg and one in which newly trained African American soldiers helped change the perspective for enlistment in the Union war effort and how the battle has been remembered.

As I always say, if you’re looking for something safe and family friendly to do in Vicksburg, you really don’t have to look far. We hope to see you out and about this weekend.