1998 Regular Session

To: Rules

By: Representatives Simmons (100th), Wells-Smith, Horne, Robinson (84th), Miles

House Resolution 25

(As Adopted by House)


WHEREAS, the Mississippi Federation of Women's Clubs was organized on May 25, 1898, at the Attala County Courthouse in Kosciusko by representatives of women's clubs from Vicksburg, Jackson, Okolona, Verona and Sallis, who responded to the invitation of the Kosciusko Twentieth Century Club whose member, Mrs. E.C. Coleman, had conceived the idea of a state federation, and at such meeting Mrs. D.N. Hebron of Vicksburg was elected to head the organization; and

WHEREAS, in 1904, the Mississippi Federation affiliated with the General Federation of Women's Clubs, whose headquarters was located in Washington, D.C.; and

WHEREAS, the General Federation requested soil from Mississippi in the early 1920's to plant a tree in Constitution Square in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and the Mississippi Federation responded with soil from Jefferson College, the first institution of higher learning in Mississippi, and soil from Elizabeth Female Academy, the first state chartered four-year school for women in the South with both schools located in Washington, Mississippi; and

WHEREAS, the Mississippi Federation worked diligently to lobby the Mississippi Legislature in support of forestry, with the result being the creation of the Mississippi Forestry Commission in 1926, and clubwoman Mrs. G.H. Reeves of Jackson being appointed by Governor Whitfield to the first board of the Forestry Commission; and

WHEREAS, due to the federation's strong support for libraries, the State Legislature created a State Library Commission in 1926 with the act stating that the president of the federation or her appointee would always serve as a member of the commission; and

WHEREAS, Nellie Nugent Somerville of Washington County and Ellen Woodward of Winston County, Mississippi Federation members, who both served in the Mississippi House of Representatives in the late 1920's and also worked on behalf of women students by trying to get increased appropriations for MSCW, because the per capita appropriation for girls at MSCW was lower than those at other colleges; and

WHEREAS, in 1926, the federated clubwomen petitioned the State Legislature to include provisions and care for girls who had not been admitted to the Colony for the Feeble Minded that had been established in Ellisville in 1920; and

WHEREAS, under the leadership of the Mississippi Federation of Women's Clubs President Mrs. B.L. Coulter, a headquarters' building was constructed on the corner of North State and Woodrow Wilson Streets in Jackson; and

WHEREAS, on November 3, 1936, this beautiful red brick building was dedicated and since March 17, 1937, has been the official state headquarters for the Mississippi Federation of Women's Clubs; and

WHEREAS, the Mississippi Federation of Women's Clubs cooperated with the other General Federation Clubs in the United States during World War II, and during those war years completed many projects such as the Air Armada Campaign to purchase war bonds to buy bombers with the MFWC sponsoring enough sales for two bombers and the MFWC insignia was emblazoned on one of the bombers; and

WHEREAS, during those war years, MFWC sent 4000 yards of material to clothe Greek war orphans, and some clubs sent wedding dresses for British service women to wear in their weddings, instead of their uniforms because of the scarcity of cloth in Britain; and

WHEREAS, the MFWC has been involved in many projects promoted by the General Federation that have benefitted local communities in Mississippi, particularly the community improvement project, with the Mississippi Federation having 100% of its clubs enrolled many times and the Iuka 20th Century Club received first place in the nation in 1950, which merited them with a $10,000 prize; and

WHEREAS, the New Hebron Woman's Club was a first place national winner in the Outdoor Lighting Contest; and

WHEREAS, in 1968, Mississippi was one of four states without educational television, and although enabling legislation had been passed, no funding was provided; and

WHEREAS, MFWC President Miriam Simmons headed a delegation of clubwomen who visited and urged Governor John Bell Williams to include the funding of ETV in his call for a special session; and

WHEREAS, when the ETV bill was seriously in jeopardy of failing, the clubwomen responded with telegrams, phone calls and personal visits to legislators with the result being that the Legislature appropriated $390,000 for the first station to go on the air at night on a trial basis; and

WHEREAS, in the 1970 legislative session, the MFWC joined in efforts to obtain major state funding for ETV, and what began as a bill to provide $350,000 to keep station WMAA on the air, emerged as a $5.4 million appropriation to finance the construction of seven additional stations and to give statewide coverage and programming for schools; and

WHEREAS, MFWC State President Jean Brett, encouraged international projects with the Mississippi clubs building one school in Honduras through CARE and supplying school equipment and supplies for a school on the island of Bali; and

WHEREAS, MFWC State President Rachel Malone, chose the School for the Deaf as a state project and the clubs built a park and playground there; and

WHEREAS, MFWC State President Mary Arndt directed her emphasis to the State School for the Blind, with the purchase of a computer with a scanner and a large portable TV; and

WHEREAS, State Federation President Gladys Jackson began a project at the State Hospital at Whitfield, which has been continued by other state presidents to build four cabins, a bathhouse, a pavilion and a pier at Shadow Oaks Campground; and

WHEREAS, through Mrs. Jackson's efforts the Friends of Mississippi State Hospital has become a growing organization that works for and in support of the hospital; and

WHEREAS, individual clubwomen such as Nancy Kemp of Jackson, have spearheaded more projects at Whitfield such as the redoing of a nature trail, establishing a bird sanctuary, planting a five-acre field of wildflowers, and encouraging the development of an environmental resource and learning center to provide staff and patients with information on every aspect of nature including gardening, wildlife, fishing and bird-watching clubs; and

WHEREAS, another club member from Aberdeen, Sarah Peugh, helped organize the Juniorette Clubs for high school girls in the state, and has funded a $1,000 scholarship annually to a graduating Juniorette; and

WHEREAS, the House of Representatives finds it most appropriate to pay special tribute to the Mississippi Federation of Women's Clubs for all their many accomplishments and the work they have done for the people of Mississippi over the past 100 years:

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, That we do commend Mississippi Federation of Women's Club President, Sue Thompson, on her choice of the theme "Celebrate Yesterday's Memories - Create Tomorrow's Visions" with the centennial celebration for the Mississippi Federation scheduled for May 23, 24 and 25, 1998, in Jackson, Mississippi.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That copies of this resolution be furnished to the Mississippi Federation of Women's Club President and the Capitol Press Corps.