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Friday, August 1, 2014

Cures and Cooper

Many of the questions we receive at the Mississippi Library Commission involve local history and happenings. Luckily, we have a Mississippi collection devoted to just this type of thing. When it happens that I have to hit the stacks for a little research, it's always a bit of a thrill. I'm never sure what I'll find! Recently, I had a question about Meridian, and turned to Paths to the Past: An Overview History of Lauderdale County, Mississippi.  It's been a while since we've tickled your superstitious bone (That's a real thing, directly beside the funny bone, right?) and I found a few doozies.

  • "To cure an earache, take a beetle, remove its head, split it in two, squeeze the fluid in the ear and put cotton in the ear to keep the fluid from running out." I have one comment, and one comment only: Beetlejuice.
  • "To prevent a baby's having colic, roll the baby over on the floor several times, then sweep some dust over it." It seems to me that rolling your baby over your dirty floor would startle him so much that he would stop crying, at least for a little while, cured of colic or no.
  • "To prevent headaches, wear a match in your hair." This is something I could get behind. I would think everyone back in the day would've walked around with a match in his or her hair. They're small and inconspicuous and rid you of all headaches.
From folklore to folks, this book skipped directly to famous Mississippians from Lauderdale County. I couldn't resist sharing one last item:
It's writer Wyatt Cooper, his wife Gloria Vanderbilt, and their sons Carter and Anderson Cooper. Yes, THAT Anderson Cooper. Didn't you know he has Mississippi ties?!

Do you have a question about your Mississippi town or county? Give us a call and we'll start digging. I can't wait to see what we'll find next!

Dawson, James T. and Laura Nan Fairley. Paths to the Past: An Overview History of Lauderdale County, Mississippi. Meridian, Mississippi: Lauderdale County Department of Archives and History, 1988. Print.

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