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Overview of the Collection


Repository: William D. McCain Library and Archives, The University of Southern Mississippi

Creator: Miss Oseola McCarty, et al

Collection Number: M442

Title: Oseola McCarty Collection

Dates: circa 1920 - 1999

Quantity: circa 24 cubic feet


Abstract: In 1995 Miss Oseola McCarty, an African American laundress, donated the bulk of her life’s savings, $150,000, to The University of Southern Mississippi to provide scholarships for deserving students.  This collection documents her generous act and the multitude of honors and awards presented to her in the ensuing years.


Historical Sketch


Oseola McCarty was born on March 7, 1908, in Wayne County, Mississippi, near the small town of Shubuta.  She was the only child of Lucy McCarty.  She never married, never had children, never learned to drive, only had a sixth grade education, yet she became a national heroine. 

Miss Ola, as she was known to her family and friends, moved to Hattiesburg, Mississippi, in about 1916, where she lived with her mother, her grandmother (Julia Smith McCarty), and her aunt (Evaline McCarty).  Her grandmother died in 1944, her mother in 1964, and her aunt in 1967.  After her aunt’s demise, she lived alone for the remainder of her life, in a small wood frame house on Miller Street. She attended Eureka Elementary school, but dropped out in sixth grade to help care for a sick aunt.  She earned her living by washing and ironing clothes, and since she was alone in the world, she lived frugally and saved money religiously.  By 1995, her savings had grown to approximately $250,000, and she decided to donate a large portion of it ($150,000) to The University of Southern Mississippi to provide scholarships for deserving students.  The first McCarty Scholarship was awarded to Stephanie Bullock in 1995.  By 2005, seventeen bright young students had benefited from the scholarship, and the number continues to grow. When the story of her generosity was released to the press, money began pouring in to the University for the Oseola McCarty Scholarship Fund, and numerous awards were heaped on Miss McCarty, including the Presidential Citizen’s Medal, the nation’s second highest civilian award.  She traveled extensively in the next few years, accepting awards, appearing on television programs, and dropping the ball in Times Square on New Year’s Eve, 1996.  She was awarded an honorary doctorate from Harvard University in 1996, and in 1998 she became the first recipient of an honorary doctorate from The University of Southern Mississippi.

Miss McCarty died on September 26, 1999.  On October 2, her body lay in state in the rotunda of the Aubrey K. Lucas Administration Building at USM, prior to memorial services later that day.  She is interred in Highland Cemetery in Hattiesburg.

Miss Ola’s life was based on simplicity and an abiding faith in God.  In 1996, she published a compilation of philosophical sayings that had guided her life, titled Simple Wisdom for Rich Living.  In an article regarding her scholarship fund, she is quoted as saying, “When I leave this world, I can’t carry nothing away from here.  Whatever I have, it’s going to be left here for somebody.  Some child can get their education, to help them along, because you can’t do nothing now unless you get your education.  I don’t regret one single penny I gave to the college.  The only thing I regret is that I didn’t have that much more to give.”



Contents of the Collection

Oseola McCarty Case File


Scope and Content Note

The Oseola McCarty Collection consists primarily of materials that document response to her donation to The University of Southern Mississippi.  Included are the multitude of honors and awards bestowed on her, photographs, correspondence, newspaper clippings, and memorabilia.  Also included are photographs and documents pertaining to other aspects of her life.

The collection is divided into four series: 

·         Series I:  Subject File

·         Series II:  Photographs

·         Awards

·         Memorabilia


This collection should be of interest to persons researching the history of USM, notable African Americans, or philanthropic giving.


Topics Covered


African Americans

Hattiesburg, Mississippi

Oseola McCarty

Philanthropic Organizations

The University of Southern Mississippi


Administrative Information


Immediate Source of Acquisition:

Materials in this collection were donated to McCain Library and Archives in several increments, beginning in December 1995.  The primary donor was Miss Oseola McCarty.  Other donors were Paul Laughlin, Jewel Tucker, and William E. “Bud” Kirkpatrick.

Restrictions Governing Access:

Open for research, but access to several boxes require permission of the University Archivist.  These boxes are noted in the Container List for the collection.

Restrictions Governing Use:

This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code).

Preferred Citation Method:

Item, Title of Collection, McCain Library and Archives, The University of Southern Mississippi.

Language of Materials:


Processing information:

This collection was processed by Catherine Bowers and Yvonne Arnold.


Related Material:

Record Group 1 Mississippi Oral History Program, Vol. 657.

Record Group 9 USM Public Relations

Record Group 11 USM Foundation 

Diamond, Barbara. Oseola McCarty Woke Up the World.

Coleman, Evelyn. The Riches of Oseola McCarty. 

McCarty, Oseola. Simple Wisdom for Rich Living.


Other Finding Aids:

Container List

Photograph Log.


Container List:




Box 1

            Folder 1           Biographical Materials:  McCarty Family (1916-1992; undated)

            Folder 2           Biographical Materials:  McCarty, Oseola (1968-1997; undated)

            Folder 3           Biographical Materials:  McCarty, Oseola (1999)

            Folder 4           Biographical Materials:  McCarty, Oseola – Song, “The Gift of Oseola McCarty” by Daryl Grant Lindsay and Bob Russo (1995)

            Folder 5           Biographical Materials:  McCarty, Oseola – Video, “The Gift” (circa 1995)

            Folder 6           Biographical Materials:  McCarty, Oseola – Video of Memorial and Funeral Services (1999)

            Folder 7           Book:  The Riches of Oseola McCarty, by Evelyn Coleman (1998)

            Folder 8           Book:  Simple Wisdom for Rich Living, by Oseola McCarty (1996)


Box 2

            Folder 1           Calendars:  “Distinguished Black Women” (1997); and Aetna’s “1998 African American History Calendar”

            Folder 2           Certificates, Proclamations, and Resolutions (1995-1999)

            Folder 3           Correspondence:  Birthday Cards (1999; undated)

            Folder 4           Correspondence, General (July 18 – Aug. 10, 1995)

            Folder 5           Correspondence, General (Aug. 11 – 15, 1995)

            Folder 6           Correspondence, General (Aug. 16 – 25, 1995)

            Folder 7           Correspondence, General (Aug. 26 – 31, 1995) 

            Folder 8           Correspondence, General (Sept. 1995)

            Folder 9           Correspondence, General (Oct. 1995)

            Folder 10         Correspondence, General (Nov. – Dec. 1995)


Box 3

            Folder 1           Correspondence, General (Jan. – May 1996)

            Folder 2           Correspondence, General (June – Oct. 1996)

            Folder 3           Correspondence, General (Nov. – Dec. 1996)

            Folder 4           Correspondence, General (Jan. – Apr. 1997)

            Folder 5           Correspondence, General (May – Dec. 1997)

            Folder 6           Correspondence, General (1998)

            Folder 7           Correspondence, General (undated)

            Folder 8           Correspondence, General (undated)

            Folder 9           Correspondence, General (undated)

            Folder 10         Correspondence:  Letter and Card from President Bill Clinton (1995)

            Folder 11         Cracker Barrel Menu Signed by Staff (undated)

            Folder 12         Honors and Awards:  NAACP  - First Annual Pathway to Excellence Awards Gala (Nov. 28, 1995)


            Folder 13         Honors and Awards:  National Urban League (1995)


Box 4

            Folder 1           Honors and Awards:  UNESCO Avicenna Award (1995)

            Folder 2           Honors and Awards (Feb. – Mar. 1996)

            Folder 3           Honors and Awards (Apr. – May 1996)

            Folder 4           Honors and Awards (Aug. – Dec. 1996)

            Folder 5           Honors and Awards:  Community Church of Morrisania;  Bronx, NY (1996)

            Folder 6           Honors and Awards:  Harvard University (1996)

            Folder 7           Honors and Awards:  Sisterhood Outreach Summit and Showcase (1996)

            Folder 8           Honors and Awards (1997)

            Folder 9           Honors and Awards:  Governor Kirk Fordice (1995-1997)

            Folder 10         Honors and Awards:  Jefferson Award (1997)

            Folder 11         Honors and Awards:  NAACP, Cleveland (Ohio) Branch (1997)

            Folder 12         Honors and Awards (1998-1999)

            Folder 13         Miscellaneous Items (1995-1997; undated)

            Folder 14         Mississippi Nurses Association (1996)

            Folder 15         National Caucus and Center on Black Aged (1995)

            Folder 16         New York Trip (1995)

            Folder 17         Newsletter:  “Case” (Feb. 12, 1997)

            Folder 18         Newsletter:  “Golden Page” (Fall 1996)

            Folder 19         Newsletter:  “Nursing Eagle” (Spring 1997)

            Folder 20         Newsletter:  “Sojourner Foundation News” (Fall 1998)


Box 5

            Folder 1           Newsletter:  “The Gift” (Aug. 1996)

            Folder 2           Newsletter:  “USM Foundation News” (Spring 1996)

            Folder 3           Newsletter:  “USM Week” (1996-1998)

            Folder 4           Newspaper and Magazine Articles (1995)

            Folder 5           Newspaper and Magazine Articles (1996)

            Folder 6           Newspaper and Magazine Articles (1997)

            Folder 7           Newspaper and Magazine Articles (1998-1999)

            Folder 8           Newspaper and Magazine Articles (undated)

            Folder 9           Organizations:  National Society of Fund Raising Executives, Mississippi Chapter (1995)

            Folder 10         Organizations:  National Urban League, Inc. (1995)

            Folder 11         Organizations:  Point of View Productions (1995)

            Folder 12         Oseola McCarty Irrevocable Trust (1995;  1998)

            Folder 13         Pamphlet:  “Oseola McCarty” (circa 1997)

            Folder 14         Programs (1996-1997)

            Folder 15         Publication:  Christian Science Sentinel (May 19, 1997)

            Folder 16         Publication:  Guideposts (Sept. 1996)

            Folder 17         Publication:  Legacy (Aug. 1996)

            Folder 18         Publication:  Mississippi R.N. (Mar./Apr. 1997)

            Folder 19         Publication:  People Weekly (Aug. 28, 1995;  Jan. 13, 1997)

            Folder 20         Publication:  Sharing the Strength – A Pictorial Celebration of Women (1996)

            Folder 21         Publication:  This I Believe (1996)

            Folder 22         Publication:  Unlikely Heroes (1997, photocopy)

            Folder 23         Publication:  Wise Raoul (1990)

            Folder 24         Students’ Essays:  Gulfport, Mississippi (1997)

            Folder 25         Students’ Letters:  Bronx, New York (1995)


Box 6

            Folder 1           Students” Letters:  Mayfield, Kentucky (1995)

            Folder 2           Students’ Letters:  Wayne, Pennsylvania (1995)

            Folder 3           Students’ Letters:  Becker, Mississippi (1996)

            Folder 4           Students’ Letters:  Boynton Beach, Florida (1996)

            Folder 5           Students’ Letters:  Hagerstown, Maryland (1998)

            Folder 6           Students’ Letters:  Greenacres, Florida (undated)

            Folder 7           Students’ Letters:  “Feed My Sheep Ministry” (undated)

            Folder 8           Students’ Letters:  Mrs. Green’s Fourth Grade (undated)

            Folder 9           USM Foundation:  Annual Report (1995-1996)

            Folder 10         USM Foundation:  Endowment Proposal (June 1997)

            Folder 11         USM Public Relations:  Correspondence (Aug. 1995)

            Folder 12         USM Public Relations:  Correspondence (Sept. 1995)

            Folder 13         USM Public Relations:  Correspondence (Oct. – Dec. 1995)

            Folder 14         USM Public Relations:  Miscellaneous Files (1995-1997)

            Folder 15         USM Public Relations:  Press Kit (1995-1997)





            Folder 16         Photographs:  M442-1 through M442-11

            Folder 17         Photographs:  M442-12 through M442-22


Box 7

            Folder 1           Photographs:  M442-22 through M442-30

            Folder 2           Photographs:  M442-31 through M442-

            Folder 3           Photographs:  M442- through M442-

            Folder 4           Photographs:  M442- through M442-

            Folder 5           Photographs:  M442- through M442-

            Folder 6           Photographs:  Unidentified

            Folder 7           Photographs:  Unidentified

            Folder 8           Photographs:  Unidentified


Box 8

            Folder 1           Photographs:  Unidentified

            Folder 2           Photograph Album:  Oseola McCarty and Gov. Kirk Fordice (1997)

            Folder 3           Photograph Album:  Unidentified

            Folder 4           Photograph Album:  Unidentified (circa 1920s – 1930s) 

            Folder 5           Photograph Albums:  Unidentified





             Folder 6          Plaque:  African American Family Preservation Award (Feb. 15, 1996)

             Folder 7          Plaque:  Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity (Dec. 2, 1995)


Box 9

            Folder 1           Plaque:  Ben Rogers/Lamar University/BISD (Mar. 31, 1998)

            Folder 2           Plaque:  CASE District III, Advancement Awards Competition (1997)

            Folder 3           Plaque:  Congressman Gene Taylor (Jan. 18, 1996)

            Folder 4           Plaque:  Candler Black Student Caucus (1997-1998)

            Folder 5           Plaque:  Democratic Party of Mississippi (1996)


Box 10

            Folder 1           Plaque:  Democratic Party of Mississippi, 5th Congressional District (1996)

            Folder 2           Plaque:  Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church (Dec. 13, 1998)

            Folder 3           Plaque:  EURO, Inc. (July 7, 1996)

            Folder 4           Plaque:  “First Lady of Education” (1997)

            Folder 5           Plaque:  Forrest County NAACP (Jan. 14, 1996)


Box 11

            Folder 1           Plaque:  “Friend of Education” (Mar. 1996)

            Folder 2           Plaque:  “Friend of USM” (1995)

            Folder 3           Plaque:  Friendship M. B. Church (undated)

            Folder 4           Plaque:  Grace Love Center (Nov. 9, 1995)

            Folder 5           Plaque:  Grand Marshal, San Bernardino Black History Parade (Feb. 1, 1997)


Box 12

            Folder 1           Plaque:  Grove Street PTO (Dec. 11, 1997)

            Folder 2           Plaque:  “Honorary Nurse” (May 2, 1998)

            Folder 3           Plaque:  Institute of Learning in Retirement (Dec. 6, 1995)

            Folder 4           Plaque:  Juneteenth Banquet (1999)

            Folder 5           Plaque:  Masjid Al’Halim, New Medinah (Mar. 1997)


Box 13

            Folder 1           Plaque:  Mississippi Association of Educators (Mar. 11, 1996)

            Folder 2           Plaque:  “Most Extraordinary Citizen” (Feb. 3, 1997)

            Folder 3           Plaque:  National Night of Honors (Dec. 27, 1996)

            Folder 4           Plaque:  Phi Beta Sigma Sorority, Inc. (Feb. 28, 1996)

            Folder 5           Plaque:  Philanthropic Award (Oct. 1996)


Box 14

            Folder 1           Plaque:  Pine Belt Central Labor Council (Oct. 9, 1997)

            Folder 2           Plaque:  Sojourner Foundation (Mar. 25, 1998)

            Folder 3           Plaque:  United States Naval Home (Feb. 28, 1997)

            Folder 4           Plaque:  WAML Radio (1997)

            Folder 5           Plaque:  “Welcome to Vicksburg” (undated)


Box 15

            Folder 1           Plaque:  “Woman of Achievement Award” (June 14, 1997)

            Folder 2           Plaque:  Workers Helping Youth (Sept. 27, 1997)

            Folder 3           Plaques:  Oversize


*Please consult the University Archivist to view items in Boxes 16 – 28


Box 16

            Item                 Award:  Essence Award (1996)


Box 17

            Item                 Award:  USM Foundation, President’s Circle (undated)


Box 18

            Item                 Award:  Black Women of Courage (Feb. 14, 1996)


Box 19

            Item                 Award:  Living Legacy Award (Dec. 8, 1995)


Box 20

            Item                 Award:  National Association of Black Journalists (Aug. 23, 1996


Box 21

            Item                 Award:  Andrus Award (1996)


Box 22

            Item 1              Award:  Distinguished African American Woman (1997)

            Item 2              Award:  Women of Strength and Courage (Feb. 24, 2000)


Box 23

            Item 1              Award:  San Bernardino Black History Parade, Hands Holding a Black Rose (1997)

            Item 2              Award:  AWRC Lifetime Achievement Award (1998)


Box 24

            Item 1              Award:  AABE Distinguished Service Award (May 13, 1997)

            Item 2              Award:  National Urban League (Nov. 14, 1995)


Box 25

            Item 1              Award:  NSFRE Lifetime Achievement of Philanthropy (1995)

            Item 2              Award:  National Alliance of Black School Educators, Lifetime Achievement Award (1997)

            Item 3              Award:  Aetna Voice of Conscience Award (undated)

            Item 4              Award:  Public Education Network, “Crossing the River Jordan” (Nov. 10, 1996)



Box 26

            Item 1              Award:  Women’s Foundation of Greater Memphis (Nov. 20, 1996)

            Item 2              Award:  Second National Conference on Black Philanthropy (May 18, 1999)

            Item 3              Award:  Southern Living (1998)

            Item 4              Award:  Ms. Woman of the Year (undated)


Box 27

            Item                 Award:  Nation Builders Award (Dec. 5, 1996)


Box 28

            Item                 Award:  Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mississippi Ageless Heroes (1998)





Box 29

            Item 1              Partial King James Bible [through I Chronicles 4] (undated, but quite old)

            Item 2              Hurlbut’s Story of the Bible, by Rev. Jesse Lyman Hurlbut (circa 1904)

            Item 3              King James Bible, Red Letter Edition (undated, but quite old)

            Item 4              King James Bible with Concordance, Presented to Everlean M. McCarty (circa 1960s)

            Item 5              King James Bible, Red Letter Edition, engraved, “Mrs. Lucy Zinerman” (copyright 1948)


Box 30

            Item 1              King James Bible, Red Letter Edition, presented to Miss Oseola McCarty by Sylvia Smith (Dec. 7, 1995)

            Item 2              King James Bible, Red Letter Edition, presented to Miss Oseola McCarty by Cecilia Cunningham (1995) 

            Item 3              King James Bible, Red Letter Edition, engraved “Oseola McCarty” (copyright 1955)

            Item 4              King James Bible, Red letter Edition, engraved  and presented to Miss Oseola McCarty by the Ebonette Club of Clark and Wayne Counties (Apr. 14, 1996)


Box 31

            Item                 Large King James Bible, Red Letter Edition.  Very poor condition, with parts missing (undated)


Box 32

            Item 1              Howard Miller Clock presented by Proctor and Gamble (circa 1997)

            Item 2              Small White Ceramic Lamp presented by Baptist Memorial Hospital School of Nursing (1996)

            Item 3              Wine Glass and Blue Napkin from Congressional Black Caucus, 25th Annual Conference    


Box 33

Item 1              Small, gold, triangular-shaped Bulova clock, presented to Miss McCarty the YWCA (1998)                             

Item 2              Framed quotation from Exodus 23:20, presented to Miss McCarty by Springhill Church (undated)

Item 3              Gold Key to the City, Jackson, Mississippi (undated)

Item 4              Ink Pen and Stand, Annual Trumpet Awards, presented by Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. (undated)

Item 5              Medallion:  Sisterhood Outreach Summit & Showcase Empowerment Award (1996)


Box 34

Item                 Nurse’s Cap similar to one worn by Miss McCarty when she was awarded the honorary nursing degree from Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis (1996)


Box 35

Item                 Nurse’s Cap identical to the one in Box 34 (1996)


Box 36

            Item 1              Nurse’s Cap with RN pin attached

            Item 2              Photograph of Miss McCarty wearing the nurse’s cap

            Item 3              Small Gold Medal with an open hand on the front


Box 37

            Item 1              White Nurse’s Shoes worn by Miss McCarty when she received her honorary nursing degree from Baptist Memorial Hospital (1996)

            Item 2              White Stockings worn by Miss McCarty when receiving honorary nursing degree (1996)


Box 38

            Item                 Black & Decker Steam Iron used by Miss McCarty prior to retiring


Box 39

            Item 1              Key to the City of Memphis, Tennessee (undated, but circa 1996)

            Item 2              Case that formerly contained the UNESCO Medal.  The medal was  reported missing before Miss McCarty donated her collection to USM.

            Item 3              Small Wooden Golden Eagle designating Miss McCarty as an Honorary R.N. (Mar. 21, 1996)

            Item 4              Lapel Pin (6” in diameter) featuring Miss McCarty’s image (undated)

            Item 5              Key to the City of Columbia, Mississippi (undated)

            Item 6              Key to the City of Waynesboro, Mississippi (undated)

            Item 7              Lapel Pin:  Olympic Torchbearer, 1996 Olympic Torch Relay

            Item 8              Necklace with Medallion picturing a Black Hand Clasping a White Hand


Box 40 (Please consult the Archivist to view items in this box)

            Item 1              Ink Pen used by President Bill Clinton when he signed Miss McCarty’s Presidential Citizens Medal Certificate (1995)

            Item 2              Medal:  Presidential Citizens Medal (large and small), plus three small eagle pins (1995)

            Item 3              Key to the City of Cincinnati, Ohio (undated)

            Item 4              Medal:  National Institute of Social Sciences Medal (undated)

            Item 5              Medal:  American Institute for Public Service Jefferson Award


Box 41

            Item                 The Philadelphia Bowl and display stand (undated)


Box 42

            Item 1              Large Glass Bowl presented to Miss McCarty by Dr. James E. Lyons, Sr., President of Jackson State University (Apr. 15, 1997)

            Item 2              Miniature Organdy Nurse’s Cap and Hat Box (undated)


Box 43

            Item                 Round wooden base for an award made from a small antique ironing board and presented to Miss McCarty by Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church, Memphis, Tennessee (June 2, 1996).  The top part of the award is in Oversize Box 58.






Box 44

            Item 1              Uniform worn by Miss McCarty when presented the honorary nursing degree from Baptist Memorial Hospital (1996)

            Item 2              Hood worn by Miss McCarty when she was awarded USM’s first honorary doctorate (1998)


Box 45

            Item 1              Matted and Framed print titled, “Sweet Potato Pie”, by Russell A. Murray, signed by the artist (1996)

            Item 2              Short-sleeved white cotton T-shirt with a black and white photo of Miss McCarty on the front (undated0

            Item 3              American Flag flown over the U.S. Capitol (June 27, 1995)


Box 46

Item                 Photograph Album:   The first half commemorates Miss McCarty’s guest appearance at Lamar University (March 31, 1998).  The second half contains a variety of photos from Miss McCarty’s active life.


Box 47

Item                First Annual Dr. Arthur Jefferson Humanitarian Award:  A Lord King quartz clock mounted in a wood base, presented by the Erma L. Henderson Institute (Mar. 23, 1998)


Box 48

            Item 1              Certificate Awarding the Presidential Citizens Medal to Miss Oseola McCarty (Sept. 23, 1995)

            Item 2              Folder containing oversize certificates (1995)

            Item 3              Folder containing oversize certificates (1996-1997; undated)

            Item 4              Honorary Degree from Harvard University, plus accompanying  documents (June 6, 1996)


Box 49

            Item 1              Lingerie Washboard presented to Miss McCarty by The Fountain of Pembroke Pines, Wayne Lomax, Pastor (Mar. 20, 1998)

            Item 2              Silver Tray proclaiming Miss Oseola McCarty an Honorary Senior Citizen, presented by Conva Rest – Northgate (1996)


Box 50

            Item 1              Folder of Miscellaneous oversize items (1999; undated)

            Item 2              Matted and framed letter to Miss McCarty from President Bill Clinton (August 25, 1995)

            Item 3              Matted and Framed Commendation of Miss McCarty by Governor Kirk Fordice (Jan. 24, 1997)


Box 51

            Item 1              Oversize Plaque:  Humanitarian Award, presented by the Ministry of Human Concerns, Bronx, New York (Oct. 19, 1996)

            Item 2              Oversize Plaque:  Humanitarian Award, presented by Mississippi Head Start Association (May 1, 1997)

            Item 3              Matted and framed letters from President and Mrs. Bill Clinton, with an inset photo of Mr. and Mrs. Clinton. (Mar. 6 & Apr. 22, 1998)


Box 52

            Item 1              Framed key to the City of Beaumont, Texas, presented by Lamar University (Mar. 31, 1998)

            Item 2              Collage of photos and a report by 5th grade student, Brandon Michael Fernandes (Feb. 3, 1997)

            Item 3              Miss McCarty’s Honorary Degree from The University of Southern Mississippi (May 15, 1998)


Box 53

            Item 1              Oversize Plaque:  National Education Association Proclamation (1996)

            Item 2              Oversize Plaque:  Honorary Membership in Hawkins Junior High School Chapter, National Junior Honor Society (Nov. 4, 1997)


Box 54

            Item 1              Plaque:  Omega Psi Phi Citizenship Award (Nov. 19, 1995)

            Item 2              Oversize Plaque:  Harriet Tubman Award (Jan. 12, 1996)


Box 55

            Item 1              Oversize Plaque:  USM Award of Distinction (Mar. 30, 1996)

            Item 2              Oversize Plaque:  Distinguished Humanitarian Award from National Council of Negro Women (Nov. 8, 1997)

            Item 3              Oversize Plaque:  Drum Major for Justice Award from Southern Christian Leadership Conference (Apr. 4, 1996)

            Item 4              Oversize Plaque:  Mississippi Legislative Black Caucus Award (Jan. 25, 1996)


Box 56

            Item 1              Oversize Certificate:  Distinguished Achievement Award from Alcorn State University (May 10, 1997)

            Item 2              16” x 18” representation of the American Flag, painted on plywood and sent to USM on the occasion of Miss McCarty’s death.

The senders requested that it be displayed at her wake, and it was placed on exhibit in the rotunda of the USM Administration   Building during her wake (Sept. 1999)

            Item 3              Matted and framed tribute to Miss McCarty from Tacoma Links (undated)

            Item 4              Matted and framed proclamation from the President of the Borough of Manhattan, city of New York (Oct. 19, 1996)


Box 57

            Item                 Matted and framed photograph of Miss McCarty sitting on her porch. The photo was used for the Aetna 1999 African American History Calendar.


Box 58

            Item 1              White vinyl banner with blue lettering, saying “Welcome Home. Congratulations Dr. McCarty.”  The banner was displayed at Miss McCarty’s home when she returned from receiving her honorary doctorate at Harvard. (1996)

            Item 2              Olympic Torch carried by Miss Oseola McCarty (1996)


Box 59

            Item 1              Small washboard used by Miss McCarty for scrubbing lingerie and other delicate articles of clothing


Box 60

            Item 1              Standard size Maid-Rite washboard used by Miss McCarty

            Item 2              Standard size Silver King washboard used by Miss McCarty


Box 61

Item 1              Denim jacket received when Miss McCarty’s gift was included on a show called “It Ain’t Nothin’ But A She Thing” on MTV.


Box 62

            Items               Two antique irons, adorned with black and gold ribbons, presented to Miss McCarty by Ward 2 (Sept. 10, 1995)




Oversize Folder 1

Item 1              Poster and booklet created by Kimberly Chambers, a twelve-year-old student at Clinton (Mississippi) Junior High School.  The poster and booklet trace the life of Miss Oseola McCarty. (Feb. 2000)

Item 2              Center of Urban Resources, Good Samaritan Award:  A painting by George E. Miller, II, titled “Leave No Child Behind.”  A certificate of authenticity is included. (1997)

Item 3              Framed collage depicting Miss McCarty’s career as a laundress, by Russell A. Murray (1996)

Item 4              Print No. 30 of 100, titled “Our Children = Our Destiny” by Pat Richards [or Richardson?] (1995)

Item 5              Poster:  “Precious Babies” (Maternal Health Program, circa 1990s)

Item 6              Foam Board collage advertising Miss McCarty’s Book, Simple Wisdom for Rich Living (1990s)



Oversize Folder 2

            Item 1              Poster:  “Pacesetters” – features photos of outstanding African Americans, including Miss McCarty (1997)

            Item 2              Cardboard poster memorializing Watt Smith (died Oct. 1, 1895) and Giles McCarty (died Feb. 17, 1895)

            Item 3              Framed Collage reproductions of U.S. postage stamps featuring African Americans.  Miss McCarty’s photo is in the center. (circa 1990s)

            Item 4              Large framed copy of the 23rd Psalm (1997)


Oversize Folder 3

            Item                 Large framed color poster featuring an image of Miss Oseola McCarty and a brief biographical sketch (1996)


Oversize Folder 4

            Item                 Award made from a small antique ironing board and presented to Miss Oseola McCarty by Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church, Memphis, Tennessee. The base for the award is in Box 43. (May 2, 1996)





Item 1                         Cast iron wash pot used by Miss Oseola McCarty

Item 2                         Galvanized wash/rinse tub used by Miss McCarty

Prepared and maintained by
The University of Southern Mississippi Libraries Special Collections
118 College Drive #5148   Hattiesburg, MS 39406-5148