(The following information comes from the Library of Hattiesburg, Petal and Forrest County. For more details, call the library at 601-582-4461.)
20 Star Flag & 1817 Constitution (April 12th & 13th)
On December 10, 1817, Mississippi became the nation's twentieth state. To celebrate the approaching bicentennial, the first US flag to include the new state and Mississippi's first constitution will be on display in the Library meeting room.
The state of Mississippi was founded upon the 1817 constitution. On March 1, 1817, President James Madison signed legislation enabling inhabitants of the western portion of the Mississippi Territory to form a constitution and state government, while the eastern part would become a new territory. Forty-eight convention delegates assembled on July 7, drafting the constitution and, after weeks of deliberation, adopting it on August 15.
The rare 20-star flag is one of only a handful known to exist. It was acquired by MDAH in 2001 after having been discovered in an antique shop in Massachusetts. An extensive conservation was completed earlier this year on the large banner, funded by a grant from the Billups-Garth Foundation in Columbus and private donations. The flag has been mounted inside a frame to protect it and allow it to be displayed upright .
Mississippi Bicentennial Challenge
All through March, the Library is issuing a challenge to celebrate the Mississippi Bicentennial by having a total of 200 books read before the unveiling of the 20 Star Flag & Constitution at 10:00 am of April 12.
Read a book about Mississippi and let us know about it, online or in person. Challenge a friend or co-worker to do the same! Books will be posted both on the Bicentennial celebration list and in the library. Multiple books by single readers are welcome!
Lunch with Books (March 23rd):
Join us for our next Lunch with Books, sponsored by the Friends of the Library, to hear fascinating stories from a former undercover agent. In his book, Confessions of an Undercover Agent: Adventures, Close Calls, and the Toll of a Double Life, Charlie Spiller shares tales of fighting crime, narrow escapes, and adopting multiple identities to get inside drug trafficking groups, auto-theft rings (Dixie Mafia), and police corruption. Mr. Spillers, an ex-Marine residing in Oxford, MS, later became a career federal prosecutor. While with the Department of Justice, he served three tours in Iraq, was an attorney-advisor to the Iraqi High Tribunal that tried Saddam Hussein, and later led a joint project to disrupt al Qaeda terrorist financing.