Sunday, April 3, 2011

Gov. Winter to speak at Lenten Luncheon

    Former Mississippi Gov. William Winter is the scheduled speaker for this Wednesday's Lenten Luncheon to be held at noon the Oxford University Methodist Church. A number of other churches also participate in the Lenten Lunch program.
From Wikipedia:
    William Forrest Winter (born February 21, 1923, in Grenada, Mississippi) is an American politician from Mississippi. He served as the 58th Governor of Mississippi from 1980 to 1984 as a Democrat. He is known for his strong support of public education, racial reconciliation, and historic preservation. Winter is best remembered for the passage of the Mississippi Education Reform Act. The law was the first serious attempt at improving state education in over 20 years and, among other things, established public kindergartens.
    He is a graduate of the University of Mississippi and the Ole Miss law school, where he served as Editor of the Mississippi Law Journal. During his time at Ole Miss, he was an active member of the Phi Delta Theta chapter. During World War II, Winter served in the United States Army infantry in the Philippines.
    Winter first entered politics in 1947. While in law school, Winter was elected to the Mississippi House of Representatives. He was subsequently re-elected in 1951 and 1955. He served as Tax Collector of the State of Mississippi as well as State Treasurer. He ran for the Democratic nomination for governor in 1967as a segregationist although one who wanted to focus on "bread-and-butter issues, not the old emotional ones—not racial issues." He eventually lost the bitterly contested race in the runoff to John Bell Williams. He was then elected to and served as Lieutenant Governor from 1972 to 1976. He again lost the Democratic nomination for governor in 1975 to Cliff Finch. He won the nomination in 1979, serving as governor form 1980 to 1984.
    After finishing his term as governor, he unsuccessfully ran for the United States Senate against Republican incumbent Thad Cochran.
    Founded in 1999, the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation on the Ole Miss campus is named in his honor.

In 2004, NPR conducted an interview with the former governor, which can be heard here.

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