Saturday, August 6, 2011

Tupelo, MS to Columbus, MS - 74 miles

Today is our last day in Mississippi. After a wonderful rest day in Tupelo, I am ready to hit the road and finish this epic journey. Over 3,400 miles are done and there are just about 1,000 left. Although I am having an amazing / great time seeing the country from a different perspective than a car, I am very cognizant that there are only 2 weeks left -- and I am looking forward to putting the suitcase away for a while and sleeping in my own bed.
Today we travel to Columbus, MS.
Columbus, Mississippi
Nickname: Possum Town
Motto: The Friendly City
During the Civil War, Columbus was a hospital town. Columbus also had an arsenal that made gunpowder, handguns and a few cannon. Because of this the Union tried to invade Columbus more than once but was stopped by General Nathan Bedford Forrest. Many of the casualties from the Battle of Shiloh were brought there, and thousands were buried in the town's Friendship Cemetery. One of the hospitals was located at the still-operating Annunciation Catholic Church, built in 1863.

Annunciation Catholic Church

 The decision of a group of ladies to decorate the Union and Confederate graves with flowers together on April 25, 1866, is an early example of what eventually became Memorial Day. A poet, Francis Miles Finch, happened to be in town that day and commemorated the occasion with the poem "The Blue and the Grey".
As a result of General Forrest preventing the Union Army from reaching Columbus, the Antebellum homes of Columbus were spared from being burned or destroyed, making its collection second only to Natchez as the most extensive in Mississippi. 

Tennessee Williams

Columbus is the birthplace of Tennessee Williams. He spent his beginning years in an 1875 Victorian home in Columbus. In1993, that home was moved to Main Street. It has been restored and now serves as a Welcome Center for the City of Columbus.
Thomas Lanier "Tennessee" Williams III (March 26, 1911 – February 25, 1983) was an American writer who worked principally as a playwright. He also wrote short stories, novels, poetry, essays, screenplays and a volume of memoirs. His professional career lasted from the mid 1930s until his death in 1983, and saw the creation of many plays that are regarded as classics of the American stage. Williams adapted much of his best known work for the cinema.
Williams received almost  all of the top theatrical awards for his works of drama, including a Tony Award for best play for The Rose Tattoo (1951) and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for A Streetcar Names Desire (1948) and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1955). In 1980 he was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Jimmy Carter and is today acknowledged as one of the most accomplished playwrights in the history of English speaking theater.
We are staying at the Days Inn.
Tomorrow we are off to Livingston, Alabama.

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