The Clarion-Ledger

The Clarion-Ledger is an American daily newspaper in Jackson, Mississippi. It is the second oldest company in the state of Mississippi and is one of only a few newspapers in the nation that continues to circulate statewide. (Note: For several years, there has been no circulation to Tunica County, Mississippi.) It is an operating division of Gannett River States Publishing Corporation, owned by Gannett Company.

The Clarion-Ledger
The Clarion-Ledger front page
TypeDaily newspaper
Owner(s)Gannett Company
EditorSam R. Hall
LanguageEnglish (American dialect)
Headquarters201 South Congress Street
Jackson, MS 39201
Circulation134,152 Daily
106,422 Sunday[1]


The paper traces its roots to The Eastern Clarion, founded in Jasper County, Mississippi, in 1837. Later that year, it was sold and moved to Meridian, Mississippi.[2]

After the American Civil War, it was moved to Jackson and merged with The Standard. It soon became known as The Clarion.

Four employees who were displaced by the merger founded their own newspaper, The Jackson Evening Post, in 1882.

In 1888, The Clarion merged with the State Ledger and became known as the Daily Clarion-Ledger.

In 1907, Fred Sullens purchased an interest in the competing The Jackson Evening Post, and shortly after changed the name to the Jackson Daily News. It still remained an evening newspaper.

Thomas and Robert Hederman bought the Daily Clarion-Ledger in 1920 and dropped "Daily" from its masthead.

On August 24, 1937, The Clarion-Ledger and Jackson Daily News incorporated under a charter issued to Mississippi Publishers Corporation for the purpose of selling joint advertising.

On August 7, 1954, the Jackson Daily News sold out to its rival, The Clarion-Ledger, for $2,250,000 despite a then recent court ruling that blocked The Clarion-Ledger owners from controlling both papers. The Hederman family now owned both papers and consolidated the two newspaper plants.[3]

In 1982, the Hedermans sold the Clarion-Ledger and Daily News to Gannett, ending 60 years of family ownership. Gannett merged the two papers into a single morning paper under the Clarion-Ledger masthead, with the Clarion-Ledger incorporating the best features of the Daily News. The purchase of both papers by Gannett essentially created a daily newspaper monopoly in Central Mississippi (Gannett also owns the Hattiesburg American in Hattiesburg, Mississippi), which still exists.

Civil rights

Historically, both newspapers—The Clarion-Ledger and the Jackson Daily News—were openly and unashamedly racist, even by Deep South standards.

In 1890, after Mississippi Democrats adopted a new state constitution to disenfranchise black voters, The Clarion-Ledger applauded the move, stating: "Do not object to negroes voting on account of ignorance, but on account of color. ... If every negro in Mississippi was a class graduate of Harvard, and had been elected class orator ... he would not be as well fitted to exercise the rights of suffrage as the Anglo-Saxon farm laborer."[4]

When 200,000 people marched on Washington in 1963 to urge "jobs and freedom" for black people and Martin Luther King, Jr., gave his famous "I Have A Dream" speech, The Clarion-Ledger made short note of the rally but reported the litter-clearance effort the next day under the headline, "Washington is Clean Again with Negro Trash Removed".[5]

Earlier that year, when the Mississippi State University basketball team was scheduled to play the Loyola University Chicago Ramblers, whose starting lineup featured four African-American players, in the NCAA tournament, the Jackson Daily News prominently featured pictures of the four black players in an effort to scare the Bulldogs from playing the Ramblers. At the time, longstanding state policy forbade state collegiate athletic teams from playing in integrated events. The ploy backfired, as the Bulldogs ignored the threat and defied an order from Governor Ross Barnett to face the eventual national champion Ramblers in an important, but often overlooked, milestone of progress in race relations in sports.

The paper often referred to civil rights activists as "communists" and "chimpanzees." The paper's racism was so virulent that it prompted some in the African-American community to call it "The Klan-Ledger".[6]

When violence, aided by such rabble rousing, took place in Mississippi, the paper sought to put the blame somewhere else. When Byron De La Beckwith was arrested for killing NAACP leader Medgar Evers, the headline read, "Californian Arrested in Evers Murder", overlooking the fact that Beckwith had lived in Mississippi almost his whole life.[6]

In the mid-1970s, Rea S. Hederman, the third generation of his family to run the paper, made a concerted effort to atone for its terrible civil rights record. Hederman expanded the staff and news budget. Editors began to pursue promising young reporters, even from other states. To help rehabilitate the paper's image among blacks, who gradually became a majority of Jackson's population, the paper increased coverage of blacks and increased its black staff.

When Gannett bought the newspaper, the new leadership ramped up efforts to purge the paper's segregationist legacy. Gannett has long been well known for promoting diversity in the newsroom and covering events in communities of racial and ethnic minorities. By 1991, the Clarion-Ledger's number of newsroom black professionals was three times the national average and the paper had one of the few black managing editors in the U.S.[7]

Ronnie Agnew became the Managing Editor in February 2001. In October 2002, he became the paper's first black Executive Editor.

Awards and recognition

In 1983, The Clarion-Ledger won the coveted Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for a package of stories on Mississippi's education system.[5]

See also

  • Erle Johnston


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-03-06. Retrieved 2013-06-30.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ "History". The Clarion-Ledger (Jackson, MS). Retrieved March 25, 2012.
  3. ^ "Jackson News is Sold; Passes to Clarion-Ledger After Long Control Battle". The New York Times. August 7, 1954.
  4. ^ McMillen, Neil R. "The Politics of the Disfranchised". Dark Journey: Black Mississippians in the Age of Jim Crow. pp. 43–44. Retrieved August 1, 2015.
  5. ^ a b "New South at the Clarion-Ledger". Time (New York). May 2, 1983.
  6. ^ a b From The Clarion-Ledger reporter Jerry Mitchell's Zenger Award Acceptance Speech
  7. ^ Dufresne, Marcel (October 1991). "Exposing the Secrets of Mississippi Racism". American Journalism Review. Retrieved March 26, 2012.

External links

1981 Mississippi's 4th congressional district special election

A special election to determine the member of the United States House of Representatives for Mississippi's 4th congressional district was held on June 23, 1981, with a runoff held two weeks later on July 6. Democrat Wayne Dowdy defeated Republican Liles Williams in the runoff by 912 votes. Dowdy replaced Republican U.S. Representative Jon Hinson, who resigned from Congress following his arrest for engaging in sodomy.

Mississippi's state law requires the Governor of Mississippi to call for a special election to be held to fill any vacancies. The election date is held 40 to 60 days after the Governor has officially sent out notice. All candidates run on one ballot, with a runoff election scheduled for the first- and second-place finishers if no candidate received 50% of the vote.

After Hinson's resignation, Republican Liles Williams won a primary nominating convention and faced multiple Democrats in the first round of the campaign. Williams finished in first place but failed to reach the majority vote required to avoid a runoff. He was seen as the favorite to with the election against the Democratic Mayor of McComb, Wayne Dowdy, who reached the runoff election with him. Williams ran his campaign sticking closely to President Ronald Reagan's policies – the 4th district had backed Reagan in the 1980 presidential election. Dowdy opposed the Reagan administration's tax cuts, specifically citing its cuts to Social Security and education. Another key point in the campaign was the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which Dowdy publicly supported renewing.

In an upset, Williams lost to Dowdy in a closely fought runoff election by 912 votes. Dowdy successfully put together a coalition of rural whites and African American voters. His support of the Voting Rights Act successfully mobilized African American voters in the district and was seen as being a key factor in his victory. Dowdy continued to serve in the U.S. Congress until he decided to run for the open U.S. Senate seat in 1988 and lost to Congressman Trent Lott.

2008 United States Senate special election in Mississippi

The 2008 United States Senate special election in Mississippi was held on November 4, 2008. This election was held on the same day of Thad Cochran's re-election bid in the United States Senate election in Mississippi, 2008. The winner of this special election served the rest of the Senate term, which ended in January 2013. Unlike most senate elections, this was a non-partisan election in which the candidate who got a majority of the vote wins, and if the first place candidate did not get 50%, a runoff election with the top two candidates would have been held. In the election, no run off was necessary as Republican nominee and incumbent Republican U.S. Senator Roger Wicker won election to finish the term.

2015 Mississippi elections

A general election was held in the U.S. state of Mississippi on November 3, 2015. All of Mississippi's executive officers were up for election. Primary elections were held on August 4, 2015, with primary runoffs, necessary if no candidate wins a majority of the vote, to be held on August 25, 2015. The filing deadline for primary ballot access was February 27.

2015 Mississippi gubernatorial election

The 2015 Mississippi gubernatorial election took place on November 3, 2015, to elect the Governor of Mississippi. Incumbent Republican Governor Phil Bryant ran for re-election to a second and final term in office. This is the highest percentage that a Republican has ever won in a statewide election in Mississippi.

Primary elections were held on August 4.

2018 United States House of Representatives elections in Mississippi

The 2018 United States House of Representatives elections in Mississippi were held on Tuesday, November 6, 2018, to elect the four U.S. Representatives from the U.S. state of Mississippi; one from each of the state's four congressional districts. Primaries were held on June 5, 2018. The elections and primaries coincided with the elections and primaries of other federal and state offices.

2019 Mississippi gubernatorial election

The 2019 Mississippi gubernatorial election will take place on November 5, 2019 to choose the next governor of Mississippi. Primary elections will occur on August 6, 2019. Incumbent Republican Governor Phil Bryant is ineligible to run for a third term due to term limits.

Brandon Bryant (American football)

Brandon Ladarius Bryant, (born December 21, 1995) is an American football safety for the New York Jets of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Mississippi State.

Bruiser Kinard

Frank Manning "Bruiser" Kinard Sr. (October 23, 1914 – September 7, 1985) was an American football tackle and coach and university athletic administrator. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a charter member in 1951 and into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1971.

A native of Pelahatchie, Mississippi, he played college football for Ole Miss from 1935 to 1937. He was the first player from any Mississippi school to receive first-team All-American honors, receiving those honors in both 1936 and 1937.

Kinard was drafted by the Brooklyn Dodgers in the third round of the 1938 NFL Draft and played seven years in the National Football League (NFL) for the Dodgers/Tigers from 1938 to 1944. He was selected as a first-team All-Pro in six of his seven years in the NFL (1938, 1940, 1941, 1942, 1943, and 1944). After missing the 1945 NFL season due to wartime service in the United States Navy, he played two years in the All-America Football Conference (AAFC) for the New York Yankees from 1946 to 1947 and was selected as a first-team All-AAFC player in 1946.

Kinard also served as an assistant coach for New York Yankees in 1947 and for the Ole Miss football program from 1948 to 1970, as Ole Miss' athletic director from 1971 to 1973, and as its assistant dean of student personnel from 1974 until 1978.

Disney Dining Plan

The Disney Dining Plan is a prepaid meal package that guests staying at Walt Disney World hotels can purchase in order to receive discounts up to 30% on food in the complex. It was first introduced in 2005 and has developed in complexity over time, such that there are now many different forms of the plan. The Disney Dining Plan allows guests to eat at park restaurants without needing to have cash on their persons. The plan does now include alcoholic beverages but not gratuities. More than 100 Walt Disney World restaurants accept the plan. The plan is particularly cost-effective for families who intend to eat many meals at sit-down restaurants or character dining restaurants. However, in order to get the most value (or to even break even) when using the plan, families must be mindful when using their Dining Plan Credits otherwise they may risk actually spending less on their food than they would have if they paid out of pocket.The plan has been criticized for various reasons including that servers are sometimes insufficiently knowledgeable about which food items are considered meals and which are considered snacks. The introduction of the Disney Dining Plan resulted in more parents bringing their children to Walt Disney World's most expensive restaurants, which Kim Wiley and Leigh Jenkins write in their book Walt Disney World with Kids 2013 "is indirectly taking a little of the adult feel and glamour out of these top restaurants." In the book Mousejunkies!, Bill Burke complains that the Disney Dining Plan has restricted the restaurants' menus. Annie Oeth of The Clarion-Ledger argues that the Disney Dining Plan is a poor choice for families with picky eaters.

East Holmes Academy

East Holmes Academy (EHA) was a segregation academy in West, Mississippi. The school was founded in 1965 and closed in 2006. In 1989, EHA received national attention after two incidents involving alleged racial discrimination.

Frank P. Gates

Frank P. Gates (1895 – January 2, 1975) was an American architect. He designed buildings in Mississippi, especially in Clarksdale and Jackson, some of which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. He also designed 18 buildings on the campus of the University of Mississippi.

Lynching of Roosevelt Townes and Robert McDaniels

Roosevelt Townes and Robert McDaniels, two black men, were lynched on April 13, 1937, in Duck Hill, Mississippi, by a white mob. Through circumstantial evidence, they had been labelled as suspects in the murder of a white storekeeper. They were chained to trees, tortured with a blow torch, shot, and set on fire.

Pictures taken, prior to Townes being lit on fire, were the first lynching photographs to be published by the national press: they were reprinted in Time Magazine and Life Magazine, and then in national newspapers.

Mississippi Civil Rights Museum

The Mississippi Civil Rights Museum is a museum in Jackson, Mississippi. Its mission is to document, exhibit the history of, and educate the public about the American Civil Rights Movement in the U.S. state of Mississippi between 1945 and 1970. The museum secured $20 million in funding from the Mississippi Legislature in April 2011 after Governor Haley Barbour testified in favor of its funding. Ground was broken in 2013, and the museum opened on December 9, 2017.

According to Mississippi state senator John Horhn, it is the first state-sponsored civil rights museum in the United States.

Mississippi Miss Basketball

Each year the Mississippi Miss. Basketball award is given to the best high school girls basketball player in the state of Mississippi by The Clarion-Ledger.

Mississippi Mr. Basketball

Each year the Mississippi Mr. Basketball award is given to the best high school boys basketball player in the state of Mississippi by The Clarion-Ledger.

Mississippi Pride

The Mississippi Pride were a professional American football team that played during the 1999 season as part of the Regional Football League. They played their home games at Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium in Jackson, Mississippi.The team was announced as one of the league's charter members on November 12, 1998. For their lone season, former Mississippi State Bulldogs assistant coach Johnny Plummer served as head coach.Although the team was scheduled to play a 12-game regular season, poor attendance and sagging revenues would prove too much for the new league. In the shortened regular season, the Pride had a 4–4 record. In the postseason, the Pride were seeded third in the four-team playoff bracket, and lost to the second seed, the Houston Outlaws. Pride starter Stewart Patridge was named the all-RFL quarterback. After the season, the team and league ceased operation.

Nissan Parkway

Nissan Parkway is a short divided highway in central Mississippi. The road starts at Mississippi Highway 22 (MS 22). It travels east to an interchange with Interstate 55 (I-55) and intersects a road leading to a Nissan assembly plant. The parkway then continues eastward to its eastern terminus at U.S. Route 51 (US 51) and MS 16. Nissan Parkway was constructed in 2002 from MS 22 to I-55, after being proposed in one year before. The road was extended to its current eastern terminus by 2003.


WSFZ (930 AM is a radio station licensed to serve Jackson, Mississippi. The station is owned by New South Radio, Inc. Until June 15, 2016, it aired a sports format.Previous to 1997 the station operated as WSLI, becoming Jackson's second radio station when it went on the air in September 1938. It was owned by the Standard Life Insurance Company and the call letters "WSLI" represented the name of the licensee. It signed on from studios located in the Robert E. Lee Hotel. The transmitter was located on High Street, near the Pearl River. WSLI was affiliated with NBC's Blue Network. L.M. Sepaugh was named the first Manager. WSLI had the distinction of employing Mississippi's first women announcers, Nancy Chambers and Virginia Metz.

The station was originally located at 1450am; then moved to 930am. As some point, the station was sold to Mississippi College. In 1998 Russ Robinson secured a deal to buy the station and moved WSLI off campus. Finding office space in Clinton, Robinson said a large majority of the equipment was obsolete and the station pretty much started from scratch.

The call sign WSLI was also used for a television station which started broadcasting in January 1953 on analog channel 12. WSLI-TV Ch. 12 signed on by Jackson Daily News as a CBS affiliate. WSLI-TV was acquired in 1954 when the Hederman family, owners of The Clarion-Ledger, purchased the Daily News. At the time the Clarion-Ledger owned rival television station WJTV (broadcasting on UHF Channel 25), and the two stations were merged into in 1955. WSLI-TV then went silent and WJTV took over the VHF channel 12 allocation.

Thereafter the callsign WSLI solely identified the radio station until the early 2000s. In this time the studios of the radio station were located next door to WJTV-TV station off Robinson Road in southwest Jackson, The transmitter was relocated to a site north of the Jackson city limits accessible from North State Street (also known as US Hwy 51). The four-tower array and transmitter building remained in that location up until 1995 when the site was developed into a shopping center facing Interstate 55.

For most of its history, WSLI featured the morning show of Farmer Jim Neal and the Feist Dog, which was the top rated radio program in Jackson for over 40 years. Hank Williams performed live on WSLI's Farm Jim Show on 2/21/50. WSLI's Bob Rall was credited for founding one of the first "talk shows" in Jackson. 1953, During a large part of the 1970 and early 1980s WSLI was the home of the duo of Rall and Alan Simmons in the highest-radio program in the afternoons. Simmons' son Scott is now a anchor/reporter for Jackson TV station WAPT.

As WSFZ programs previously broadcast included The Rick and Bubba Show, The Dan Patrick Show, The Young Guns, and programming from NBC Sports Radio. WSFZ also broadcast Jackson Academy athletics.

The station has been assigned these call letters by the Federal Communications Commission since November 26, 2003.On October 10, 2016 WSFZ returned to the air with a simulcast of classic country-formatted WJXN-FM 100.9, branded as "100.9 The Legend".

On July 31, 2017 WSFZ switched its simulcast from WJXN-FM 100.9 Utica to WHJT 93.5 FM Kaearney Park.In late December 2017 WSFZ dropped its simulcast with WHJT and began stunting with Neil Diamond's "Cherry, Cherry" played over and over. In January 2018 the station dropped "Cherry, Cherry" replacing it with an loop of Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines." The station is currently stunting with "Hotel California" by The Eagles.

Will Overstreet

William Sparkman Overstreet (born October 7, 1979) is a former American football linebacker for the Atlanta Falcons in the National Football League. He was drafted by the Falcons in the 3rd round of the 2002 NFL Draft out of the University of Tennessee where he was a captain on the 2001 Tennessee team. He was a member of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. He played high school football at Jackson (Miss.) Prep. Prior to signing with the Vols in February 1998, the Clarion-Ledger newspaper named Overstreet the 1997 Metro-Jackson Area Player of the Year and selected him as a member of their All-State team.

Overstreet retired from the NFL after continued shoulder injuries. He graduated with his M.B.A. in Finance in December 2006. He was the founder and CEO of a software company headquartered in Knoxville, TN, called Voices Heard Media, Inc.

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