Mississippi Moments Podcast

Mississippi Moments, a weekly radio program airing on Mississippi Public Broadcasting, is a partnership between the University of Southern Mississippi Center for Oral History and Cultural Heritage, the Mississippi Humanities Council, and MPB.

The Podcasts

MSM 490 Julius M. Lopez, Jr. - Loyola Quarterback

Julius Lopez of Biloxi graduated high school in 1926 without any career plans beyond a goal of attending Tulane. In this episode, he explains his decision to attend Loyola University instead.

When legendary coach Clark Shaughnessy came to Loyola in 1927, Julius Lopez was the third string quarterback.  He describes how he went from third to first in just one game and was thereafter “under Shaughnessy’s wing.”

As quarterback for Loyola, Lopez had many fellow Mississippians as teammates. He remembers the spirited games they played against Ole’ Miss in 1927 and ’28 and Loyola’s 1928 season opener against the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame.

Direct download: MSM_490.mp3
Category:Sports History -- posted at: 11:09am CDT

MSM 489 Joseph E. Wroten - The Great Dissenter

Joseph Wroten of Greenville was elected to the Mississippi House of Representatives in 1951. During his three terms in office, his progressive views on issues like civil rights often put him in opposition to the rest of the legislature, so much so that he was dubbed “The Great Dissenter” by the Memphis Commercial Appeal.

In this episode, Wroten reflects on Washington County’s history of Progressivism. He discusses the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission—created by the legislature in 1956 to promote continued racial segregation—and why he first supported and then opposed the agency’s formation.

Wroten details how his liberal views often made him the target of threats and hate speech and how his support for the admission of James Meredith to Ole’ Miss cost him a fourth term in office.

PODCAST EXTRA: As a minister’s son, Wroten grew up Methodist in segregated Mississippi. He remembers how the United Methodist Church sought to lead by example during the Civil Rights Movement.

Direct download: MSM_489.mp3
Category:civil rights -- posted at: 10:36am CDT

MSM 488 General Elmo Bell, Pt. 2 - Operation Husky

In preparation for the Invasion of Sicily, a key first step for the liberation of Europe during WWII, the 82nd Airborne Division traveled by boat to the North African city of Casablanca in the spring of 1943 to prepare and train. In this episode, General Elmo Bell of Wiggins recalls the hot, arid countryside and being greeted by the Red Cross.

On the night of July 9th, 1943, U. S. Army paratroopers parachuted behind enemy lines on the tiny island of Sicily. Separated and alone, Bell recounts the harrowing events that followed as he attempted to find and regroup his scattered unit.  His memories of that night and the following day are graphic and disturbing.

After 15 years under fascist rule, the reactions of the Sicilians to Allied forces were mixed.  Bell describes the generational divide of the local population and the large number of political prisoners they liberated.

Warning: this episode includes graphic descriptions of combat!

photographer: Lt. Longini, U.S. Army Signal Corps - National Archives and Records

Direct download: MSM_488.mp3
Category:Military History -- posted at: 10:53am CDT

MSM 487 Brig. General Elmo Bell –  Airborne Infantry 1942: Jump School

In 1942, Brigadier General Elmo Bell of Wiggins was working as a contractor, building barracks for soldiers at various military bases around the South. At that time, he had a low opinion of the Army and so when he came to Hattiesburg, it was with the intention of joining the Marines.

In this episode, he recalls how an Army recruiter convinced him to become a paratrooper and shares his memories of Paratrooper Jump School.  He discusses how the Airborne Infantry attracted a special breed of soldier and why some of the strongest candidates washed out of the program.

PODCAST EXTRA:  As WWII progressed, the equipment Paratroopers used evolved to meet the challenges they encountered in actual combat.  Bell discusses some of the many hazards they faced.


Direct download: MSM_487.mp3
Category:Military History -- posted at: 9:24am CDT

MSM 486 Coach Eugene Chadwick - From MSU to Delta State

Eugene Chadwick was forever tied to Mississippi sports at the age of two when his father was hired as the Athletic Director for Mississippi A&M (now MSU) in 1909.  In this episode, he remembers the days when the entire Athletic Department consisted of his father and one assistant and there was one small facility for all outdoor sporting events: Hardy Field.

After playing football and baseball for MSU, Chadwick’s first job was coaching Greenwood High School’s football team. He looks back fondly on their undefeated season in 1930 when they were only scored on once the entire year for a season tally of 405 to 6.  He also distinguished himself coaching for Laurel in 1945 and is credited for bringing the Split-T formation to Mississippi.

Chadwick served as the Head Coach and Athletic Director at Delta State from 1947 to 1960. He rebuilt the Athletics Program after WWII and led the football team to its first undefeated season in 1954.

Chadwick was inducted into the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame, as well as, the MSU and Delta State Halls of Fame.


Direct download: MSM_486.mp3
Category:Sports History -- posted at: 9:58am CDT

MSM 485 James Jones - The 761st Tank Battalion

In March of 1942, the first African-American armored combat unit was formed at Camp Claiborne, Louisiana. Viewed by army brass as more of a novelty or public relations tool, the 761st might never have seen combat were it not for General George S. Patton who requested they be placed under his command.  In this episode, James Jones of Laurel discusses the history of the 761st tank battalion. Jones was serving at a replacement depot outside of Paris when he assigned to the 761st as a replacement. He recalls being trained to operate a tank just five miles from the front and how the European populace reacted to seeing black soldiers.

On December 16, 1944, Germany launched a major counteroffensive through the Ardennes Forest in an effort to cut off Allied supply lines. Jones recounts the often overlooked but vital role the 761st played in the Battle of the Bulge.

Direct download: MSM_485.mp3
Category:Military History -- posted at: 10:19am CDT

MSM 484 Guy T. Bush - A.K.A. the Mississippi Mudcat

Born the son of a poor Aberdeen tenant farmer in 1901, Guy Bush had little to look forward to beyond life behind a plow. The one thing he could do really well is pitch baseball. In this episode, he recalls pitching for local teams to earn extra money while a student at the Tupelo Military Institute and how that led to a job pitching for a Greenville minor league club in the old Cotton States League.

Bush was soon traded to the Chicago Cubs for $1,000 and a gallon of corn whiskey in 1923 starting a 17 year career in the majors that introduced the country boy to the big city. Now one of the highest paid players in baseball, he was able to pay back all who helped him along the way and give his family a financial stability they had never known before.

In this extended podcast, the “Mississippi Mudcat” discusses highlights from his time in the majors, like being the last man to pitch to Babe Ruth.

Direct download: MSM_484.mp3
Category:Sports History -- posted at: 9:46am CDT

MSM 483 Doris Barwick - WWII Veterans & PTSD

After the attack on the Naval Base at Pearl Harbor in 1941, America declared war on Japan. In this episode, Laurel native, Doris Barwick recalls how their community responded. Young men, some not even out of high school, volunteered for service by the thousands and soon found themselves on the front lines in Europe and the Pacific.

As a result of intense fighting during WWII and later the Korean Conflict, many of these soldiers suffered from battle fatigue, known today as PTSD, for years afterwards. To treat the lingering effects of PTSD, they often turned to alcohol.

Doris Barwick remembers her husband’s frequent nightmares and describes how he overcame his addiction. After getting sober himself, Jim Barwick became a drug and alcohol counselor and spent his remaining seventeen years helping others.


Image: 2,000 Yard Stare by Thomas Lea, c 1944 Life Magazine

Direct download: MSM_483.mp3
Category:Military History -- posted at: 7:18pm CDT

MSM 482 Ace Cleveland - Southern Miss Sports Hall of Famers

Ace Cleveland served as the sports information director for USM from 1955 to 1986. In this episode, he discusses some of Southern’s most famous sports figures including basketball coach Lee Patrick Floyd, football and baseball legend Bubba Phillips, NFL Hall of Fame punter Ray Guy, and assistant football coach, Clyde “Heifer” Stuart.


Direct download: MSM_482.mp3
Category:Sports History -- posted at: 9:45am CDT

MSM 481 John Childress - The Navy Seals in Vietnam

John Childress joined the Navy Seals in 1968. In this episode, he recalls training teams of mercenaries for raids into North Vietnam. As a result of his efforts, the Viet Cong placed a bounty on Childress. He explains how a bomb left on an ammo pile outside his office nearly got him.

Childress also discusses how the Viet Cong charged Vietnamese businesses protection money during the war and in a podcast extra describes a raid his team conducted on a VC prison camp.

Direct download: MSM_481.mp3
Category:Military History -- posted at: 9:15am CDT