Meridian, Mississippi

Meridian is the seventh largest city in the state of Mississippi, United States. It is the county seat of Lauderdale County and the principal city of the Meridian, Mississippi Micropolitan Statistical Area. Along major highways, the city is 93 mi east of Mississippi. Established in 1860, at the junction of the Mobile and Ohio Railroad and Southern Railway of Mississippi, Meridian built an economy based on the railways and goods transported on them, it became a strategic trading center. During the American Civil War, General William Tecumseh Sherman burned much of the city to the ground in the Battle of Meridian. Rebuilt after the war, the city entered a "Golden Age", it became the largest city in Mississippi between 1890 and 1930, a leading center for manufacturing in the South, with 44 trains arriving and departing daily. Union Station, built in 1906, is now a multi-modal center, with access to Amtrak and Greyhound Buses averaging 242,360 passengers per year. Although the economy slowed with the decline of the railroad industry, the city has diversified, with healthcare and manufacturing employing the most people in 2010.

The population within the city limits, according to 2008 census estimates, is 38,232, but a population of 232,900 in a 45-mile radius and 526,500 in a 65-mile radius, of which 104,600 and 234,200 people are in the labor force, feeds the economy of the city. The area is served by two military facilities, Naval Air Station Meridian and Key Field, which employ over 4,000 people. NAS Meridian is home to the Regional Counter-Drug Training Academy and the first local Department of Homeland Security in the state. Key Field is named after brothers Fred and Al Key, who set a world endurance flight record in 1935; the field is now home to the 186th Air Refueling Wing of the Air National Guard and a support facility for the 185th Aviation Brigade of the Army National Guard. Rush Foundation Hospital is the largest non-military employer in the region. Among the city's many arts organizations and historic buildings are the Riley Center, the Meridian Museum of Art, Meridian Little Theatre, the Meridian Symphony Orchestra.

Meridian was one for whites and one for African Americans. The Carnegie Branch Library, now demolished, was one of a number of Carnegie libraries built for blacks in the Southern United States during the segregation era; the Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Experience is located in downtown Merdian. Jimmie Rodgers, the "Father of Country Music", was born in Meridian. Highland Park houses a museum which displays memorabilia of his life and career, as well as railroad equipment from the steam-engine era; the park is home to the Highland Park Dentzel Carousel, a National Historic Landmark. It is the world's only two-row stationary Dentzel menagerie in existence. Other notable natives include Miss America 1986 Susan Akin; the federal courthouse was the site of the 1966–1967 trial of suspects in the murder of Chaney and two other activists. For the first time, an all-white jury convicted a white official of a civil rights killing. Inhabited by the Choctaw Native Americans, the area now called Meridian was obtained by the United States under the terms of the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek in 1830 during the period of Indian removal.

After the treaty was ratified, European-American settlers began to move into the area. After receiving a federal land grant of about 2,000 acres, Richard McLemore, the first settler of Meridian, began offering free land to newcomers to attract more settlers to the region and develop the area. Most of McLemore's land was bought in 1853 by a lawyer from Alabama. John T. Ball, a merchant from Kemper County, bought the remaining 80 acres. Ragsdale and Ball, now known as the founders of the city, began laying out lots for new development on their respective land sections. There was much competition over the proposed name of the settlement. Ball and the more industrial residents of the city supported the name "Meridian," believing the term to be synonymous with "junction". Ball erected a station house on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad – the sign on which would alternate between "Meridian" and "Sowashee" each day; the continued development of the railroads led to an influx of railroad workers who overruled the others in the city and left "Meridian" on the station permanently.

The town was incorporated as Meridian on February 10, 1860. At the start of the American Civil War in 1861, Meridian was still a small village, but the Confederates made use of its strategic position at the railroad junction and constructed several military installations there to support the war. During the Battle of Meridian in 1864, Union General William Tecumseh Sherman led troops into the city, destroying the railroads in every direction, as well as an arsenal and immense storehouses. Sherman is reported to have said afterwards, "Meridian, with its depots, store-houses, hospitals, offices and cantonments no longer exists." Despite the destruction, workers repaired the railroad lines and they were back in operation 26 working days after the battle. Race relations were tense during the Reco


Jorgucat is a village in Gjirokastër County, southern Albania. At the 2015 local government reform it became part of the municipality of Dropull, it is inhabited by Greeks. According to Ottoman statistics, the village had 449 inhabitants in 1895; the village had 1,015 inhabitants in all ethnically Greeks. The village today has a permanent population of 500 inhabitants, notably due to migration to Greece or other countries. Despite this, the population doubles in Easter and Christmas, as most people return to their village to celebrate or have holidays with their families; the village Jorgucat is one of the main settlements in the southern part of Dropull valley. It's located between the villages of Zervat to Grapsh to the north. Jorgucat is situated at a cross-road which joins Ioannina, Gjirokastër and Sarandë; the village received its name Jorgucat as the result of the conversion of a surname to a toponym. In particurlar the name Georgoutsates applies to the descendants of a certain Georgoutsos.

According to a local tradition Jorgucat was once called Gonates, a village mentioned in the Chronicle of Gjirokastër during the reign of Byzantine Emperor Alexios Komnenos. However, this theory remains disputed. Other accounts claim that the foundation of the settlement dates back to the first years of Ottoman rule; the village under its current name is recorded in an Ottoman document of 1520. That year it consisted of 62 households. Jorgucat suffered dramatic population decline from the 17th to the first half of the 19th century; the Monastery of the Prophet Elias next to the village is situated on a natural elevation in the mountain range of Mali i Gjerë named Hilomodhi, on the Marantoraq peak. According to a local tradition the monastery was founded in the 12th century built by giants. Documentary and architectural evidence, supports that the year of its foundation was 1545; the monastery was enlarged several times between the 17th and 19th centuries. In the 20th century it was closed down by the authorities of the Albanian state.

Kosmas Thesprotos, Greek scholar and theologian. Giakoumis, Konstantinos. "The Monasteries of Jorgucat and Vanishtë in Dropull and of Spelaio in Lunxhëri as Monuments and Institutions During the Ottoman Period in Albania". ResearchGate. University of Birmingham. Retrieved 29 July 2019.* Photo compilation of the village

Nicollet Hotel

The Nicollet Hotel, in downtown Minneapolis, was located on a irregular block bounded by Hennepin Avenue, Washington Avenue, Nicollet Avenue and 3rd Street South adjacent to Gateway Park. The original hotel on the site was built in 1858. Named for Joseph Nicollet, the hotel became a landmark and many of the city's early prominent figures such as John S. Pillsbury and William D. Washburn worked out of it. Over the next half-century it was expanded and remodeled several times, but by the 1920s found itself obsolete. In 1922 city inspectors ordered the installation of a fire sprinkler system which the owners deemed too expensive; the old hotel was demolished in 1923. The new Nicollet Hotel opened in June 1924. Costing $3.5 million, it had a total of 637 rooms spread across 12 stories. The building was designed by the Chicago-based firm of Holabird & Roche in a somewhat plain and unadorned style with four wings of rooms arranged around a central core; the building had space for retail storefronts at street level.

While somewhat unremarkable in appearance, the hotel's sheer size and entertainment venues made it a popular option. A young John F. Kennedy had been there as well as Dwight Eisenhower, Harry Truman, Eleanor Roosevelt, Judy Garland. One of the hotel's lounges, the Minnesota Terrace, hosted musicians such as Glenn Miller, Artie Shaw, Tommy Dorsey, Gene Krupa and Lawrence Welk. In the 1930s the Nicollet was managed by the National Hotel Management Company, with hotel industry pioneer Ralph Hitz as the NHM president. Hitz raised the profile of the Nicollet with his unique marketing style and particular attention to his guests and employees. In the 1950s a Polynesian-themed bar called the Waikiki Room was added. In 1957 the hotel was renamed the Pick-Nicollet Hotel. During the 1960s when much of the Gateway District was demolished as part of an urban renewal project the Nicollet was spared, however the hotel's age and the neighborhood's decline left it unable to compete. In 1973 the hotel was bought by a church.

The church went into bankruptcy in 1984 and the hotel's fixtures and furnishings were sold off shortly thereafter. Various proposals to renovate the building into a new hotel, apartments or office space were made during the 1980s but none of the plans came to fruition; the building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1987 but was demolished in 1991. After the building's demolition the site served as a surface parking lot. In 2014 the city of Minneapolis solicited proposals to redevelop the block and received proposals from four different developers. In February 2015 the city's staff recommended a proposal from United Properties to build a complex on the site including a 36-story residential tower, Hilton hotel, retail/office space and a public plaza