On Saturday, July 9th, the entire State of Mississippi and the City of Mound Bayou celebrated “Katie Hall Day” with an Ecumenical Service held at First Baptist Church in the Delta town located south of Memphis, Tennessee. The Ecumenical Service remembered the life and work of Former United States Representative Katie Hall (D-IN) on the Thirtieth Anniversary of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Holiday Law Observance (1986-2016).
The Keynote Speaker for the Ecumenical Service was Dr. Jacqueline Gibson, Vice President of Student Affairs at Mississippi Valley State University in Itta Bena. Dr. Gibson’s topic for the occasion was “The Relevancy of House of Representatives Bill, H.R. 3706 – the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Holiday Law in 2016, and Beyond”.
Other program participants included Ms. Chrystal Early who performed a highly spiritual rendition of “May The Work I’ve Done Speak For Me”; The Honorable Kelvin Williams, Sr., Bolivar County’s second elected African American Sheriff in Mississippi state history; Mrs. DeVoyce C. Morris, Chairman, Mound Bayou Historic Preservation Commission (Certified Local Government); and Katie Hall Educational Foundation Board Member Deacon-Attorney John Henry Hall, Ed.D., LL.M., who presented Certificates of Commendation to various individuals and organizations on behalf of the Katie Hall Educational Foundation.
In addition to Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant’s Proclamation and Mound Bayou Mayor Darryl R. Johnson, Sr.’s Proclamation, the Honorable Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), United States Representative issued a Proclamation regarding “Katie Hall Day” in celebration of Mrs. Hall’s crowning legislative accomplishment – H.R. 3706, the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Holiday Law and its thirtieth anniversary observance.
Mr. Maurice J. Preston, Sr. and his wife, Mrs. Jean Preston, and their son, Maurice J. Preston, Jr. all of Gary, Indiana traveled to Mound Bayou for “Katie Hall Day.” At 94 years of age, Mr. Maurice J. Preston, Sr. remarked, “I never thought I would witness such a historical family event in the City of Mound Bayou and the State of Mississippi.”