2022 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Simmons (13th), Jackson (11th), Jordan, Hill, Caughman, McMahan, Blackwell, Chassaniol, England, Thompson, Kirby, Butler (36th), Butler (38th), Moran, Hopson, Norwood, Polk, Turner-Ford, Hickman, Thomas, Bryan, DeBar, Younger, Fillingane, Williams, Barrett, Branning, Chism, Simmons (12th), Blackmon, Michel, DeLano, Johnson, Sparks, Frazier
A RESOLUTION EXTENDING THE BEST WISHES OF THE MISSISSIPPI SENATE TO FORMER STATE SENATOR NEVIN SLEDGE OF CLEVELAND, MISSISSIPPI, ON THE OCCASION OF HIS 100TH BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION AND COMMENDING HIS RECORD OF PUBLIC SERVICE, MILITARY DUTY AND HARD WORK.
WHEREAS, we join the citizens of the Mississippi Delta in honoring the service of an outstanding public servant on the occasion of his 100th Birthday; and
WHEREAS, according to the latest Census Bureau statistics, there are about 90,000 centenarians in the United States. One centenarian, currently living in Cleveland, Mississippi, is former State Senator P. Nevin Sledge. His long life can certainly be measured by more than just years. His 100 years were filled with public service, duty, hard work and other such worthwhile tangibles and intangibles, that transcend the mere passage of time; and
WHEREAS, born in Alva, Mississippi, Pascal Nevin Sledge was one of seven children. When young Nevin was two, the family moved to Bolivar County and that is where he has remained ever since, outside of his time in military service. Senator Sledge went on to attend Delta State University before leaving in 1942 to join the Marine Corps as a cadet during World War II after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, finishing first in his training class of 319 Naval Aviation cadets, which included future President George H.W. Bush. With his commission and wings, he became a Flight Instructor at Corpus Christi, Texas, where one of his trainees was future film star Tyrone Power. Afterwards, he entered the Pacific Conflict where he served as a Command Pilot in the Marine Air Transport Squadron, eventually earning the rank of Captain and being awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross; and
WHEREAS, often engaged in conflict with the Japanese kamikaze pilots and avoiding numerous near-fatal misses, such as when a guided bomb passed just under his cockpit while stationary on an airfield, leaving Sledge with a massive concussion. His heroic exploits in the Pacific Theater were enough to bring a film crew from the World War II Museum in New Orleans to Cleveland several years ago to record a videotaped interview with Sledge; and
WHEREAS, after the end of World War II, Sledge returned to his bride in Cleveland and began a long and successful career in the automotive business, first as a parts department worker before eventually owning Sledge Chevrolet-Oldsmobile Dealership. During his tenure in the industry, Sledge received recognition through countless accolades and awards: President of the Delta Dealers Association, the Mississippi Dealers Association, the Regional Dealers Council and National Dealers Council, and the 1981 recipient of the coveted "Quality Dealer Award" as recognized by Time magazine; and
WHEREAS, Sledge has also had a successful political career, serving 23 years as a member of Cleveland's Board of Aldermen from 1954 to 1977, eight years as the Vice Mayor of the city and, finally, as a Mississippi State Senator representing Bolivar County and a portion of Coahoma County for three terms before retiring in 1992. He established a reputation as an expert on ad valorem taxes and served as chairman on several committees. Eighty-seven percent of the bills introduced in his last three years as Senator, with Sledge as author, passed. For example, Senator Sledge authored the "Country of Origin Catfish Labeling Law," at a time when catfish farms were very prolific in the Delta; and
WHEREAS, it was also while a State Senator that Sledge met a young politician who impressed him greatly. "In the early 1980s, I got to know a fellow named Bill Clinton," recalls Sledge, "and I really thought he was sharp. He even visited my home here in Cleveland several times while he was Governor of Arkansas"; and
WHEREAS, Sledge retired in 1993, buying a parcel of land in north Cleveland which he called the Apple Farm. He is the father of four children and is "Big Daddy" to nine grandchildren and many great-grandchildren; and
WHEREAS, When asked what his proudest accomplishment has been in life, Sledge said, "I've accomplished most of the things I set out or wanted to do but, as quaint as it may sound, I always wanted to make friends in my life. If you make and keep friends, whether in the military, the Senate or wherever, it pays off in dividends. In my opinion, nothing is better than having good friends"; and
WHEREAS, Sledge was born when Warren G. Harding was President of the United States of America and Lee M. Russell was Governor of the State of Mississippi. Sledge's life has spanned the administration of 18 United States Presidents from Woodrow Wilson to Joe Biden; and 25 Mississippi Governors from Theodore G. Bilbo to Tate Reeves. This family icon has witnessed many historic events during his lifetime, including the Great Depression, World War II, and man's walk on the moon; and
WHEREAS, a long life, lived well, full of heroic deeds and high accomplishments. That is the life of Nevin Sledge and it is one that we all should aspire to, whatever our age. He is truly a great "Son of the Delta" and a great "Son of Mississippi":
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, That we do hereby extend the best wishes of the Mississippi Senate to former State Senator Nevin Sledge of Cleveland, Mississippi, on the occasion of his 100th Birthday Celebration and commend his record of public service, military duty and hard work, and wish him continued success and enjoyment of his retirement in the Mississippi Delta.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this resolution be presented to Senator Nevin Sledge and his family, and be made available to the Capitol Press Corps.