The Mississippi Humanities Council board and staff celebrated the 24th running of the Natchez Literary and Cinema Celebration last week in Natchez, and also the 90th birthday of beloved former Mississippi governor, William F. Winter.

As part of its own 40th anniversary celebration, the Council, which has funded the Natchez Literary and Cinema Celebration since its inception in 1989, hosted a “Mississippi Humanities Council Day” at the conference, with sponsored lectures and an exhibit of programs funded by the Council over the past four decades.

While in Natchez for the conference, the Council also joined Copiah-Lincoln Community College in hosting a birthday celebration for Gov. William Winter, Mississippi’s 57th governor serving from 1980 to 1984. Gov. Winter has been an important supporter of Council programs throughout its history.

Photo captions:

(Top photo) With nine candles lighting his 90th anniversary birthday cake, former Governor William Winter faces an audience of friends, distinguished officials and representatives of the state Department of Archives and History, state Library Commission and Mississippi Humanities Council in Natchez, and talks about the rich history of Mississippi and its giant advances in education and racial reconciliation. Free and open to the public, the celebration took place on the Mississippi River bluff at Briars, the historic Natchez home where Jefferson Davis and Varina Davis were married. The event opened the 24th Natchez Literary and Cinema Celebration that focused on the Civil War’s imprint on Southern culture.

(Middle photo) Among the numerous officials praising former Gov. Williams Winter on his 90th birthday and former First Lady Elise Winter (seated at right) is Bertrum Hayes-Davis, great-great grandson of Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederacy. Hayes-Davis is the director of Beauvoir, the historic Davis home in Biloxi, that has been restored after near demolition during Hurricane Katrina.

(Bottom photo) At the Natchez Convention Center,  U.S. Senator Thad Cochran, R-Mississippi, congratulates Cora Norman of Crossville, Tenn.,  director emeritus of the Mississippi Humanities Council, on winning the Thad Cochran Humanities Achievement Award during MHC’s 40th anniversary year. The presentation took place during the Natchez Literary and Cinema Celebration’s observance of Mississippi Humanities Day.

Posted on February 26 2013