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Douglas Conner Papers

Identifier: MSS-179

Scope and Contents

Box 1 contains political materials from Conner’s personal campaigns and the state and national Democratic Party, including literature from the Democratic National Convention of 1972, a sample ballot for the 1980 election, maps and other information about Oktibbeha County election districts from 1968-1983, tickets to the 1984 National Convention, a program from the 1992 Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner (autographed inside by keynote speaker Hillary Clinton), and an invitation to the inauguration of Bill Clinton in 1993. The box also contains documents related to the Mississippi chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), including a program book from the 35th annual convention held in Starkville in 1980, as well as materials relating to suits on holding of parades, access to voter registration records and a case concerning the Mississippi Code. There are also a call for a boycott of businesses that refuse to hire African-American employees, and an open letter to the Starkville Board of Aldermen outlining local African-American concerns.

Box 2 contains documentation of the desegregation of Starkville public schools from 1965-1970, including School Board Policies and Administrative Procedures, a pamphlet called “Racial Isolation in the Public Schools,” a list of petitioners to desegregate the schools, and the school desegregation requests of the Oktibbeha County Branch of the NAACP. Other materials include plans for desegregation (such as additional facilities required), renovations to the Henderson Complex and Emerson School, Handbook for Professional Staff Members in Starkville public schools (1970), a form for survey of attitudes, a rubric for teacher evaluation, boycott signs, and legal materials from Conner et al v. Palmer et al. Materials from Conner’s medical career include school diagrams and notes, as well as Conner’s speech before the Mississippi Medical and Surgical Association in 1968 and interview transcripts. In 2011 the Mississippi House of Representatives honored Conner and the proclamation is in Folder 19, Box 2. The box contains other miscellany from Conner’s life and career, including certificates, newspaper clippings, programs, and photocopies of related materials from other collections.

The series Visual Materials includes photographs of Conner as a senior at Eureka High School in Hattiesburg (1939), Conner’s graduating classes at Alcorn (1943) and Howard University School of Medicine (1950), Conner and other servicemen at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D. C. (1945), the Mississippi Medical and Surgical Association (1958), Conner with President Richard Nixon (1970), Conner with President Jimmy Carter (1978; autographed), Jesse Jackson (1984), Conner’s medical offices in Starkville, and other photographs of Conner, his family, and associations. There is a video tape, a DVD of the June 2011 tribute to Conner, and a crayon portrait also.


  • 1937 - 2011
  • Majority of material found within 1965 - 1995


Access Restrictions

Open to all researchers.

Use Restrictions

Any requests for permission to publish, quote, or reproduce materials from this collection must be submitted in writing to the Manuscripts Librarian for Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Mississippi State University as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

Biographical Information

Douglas Lavoisier Conner was born in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, on October 25, 1920, the son of Jerry and Mary Washington Conner. In 1945 he married Ethel ‘Nita’ Macon, and in 1987 he married Rhonda Juanice Gipson. Conner had six children: Sadye Yvonne, Eileen Yvette, Divian Latasha, Dorothy Lasier, and Elnora Constance. He and Ethel also adopted a son, Richard Earl Holmes, in 1956, who was the first African-American student at Mississippi State University, registering in 1965. Conner graduated as salutatorian of Eureka High School in 1939 and earned his undergraduate degree at Alcorn State University in 1943. He served as a surgical technician in the Army in Okinawa, Japan, during World War II, and went on to complete his medical degree at Howard University in Chicago in 1950. After his internship at the Homer Phillips Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri, he set up a general practice in Starkville, Mississippi, in July 1951; the second African-American to do so. Conner was a member of the Mississippi Democratic Party, participating in the integration efforts of 1968 and 1972. He was also involved with the local NAACP and for many years worked as a civil rights leader in the area. He ran for alderman, state senator and state representative. During his life he met Presidents Nixon and Carter, as well as Medgar Evers, Jesse Jackson, and other political leaders. By his marriage to Ethel Macon, Conner was related to local businessman Robert Wier and his wife, Sadye Wier, both of whom were prominent local civil rights leaders and friends. Douglas Conner died on November 13, 1998.


Conner, D. L. & J. Marszalek. A Black Physician’s Story: Bringing Hope in Mississippi. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1985.

Douglas Conner papers.


0.99 Cubic Feet (2 manuscript boxes; 1 SMO folder; 1 OS folder; 3 VMP folders; 1 SMOA folder; AV )

Language of Materials



Series 1. Election materials, 1971, 1975. - Box 1; Small Oversize Manuscripts Box 41

Series 2. Democratic Party materials. - Box 1; Small Oversize Manuscripts Box 41

Series 3. NAACP, 1969-1980. - Box 1

Series 4. Legal suits and boycotts, 1970-1981. -Box 1

Series 5. Oktibbeha County Supervisor Districts, 1968-1983. -Box 1

Series 6. Starkville School Desegregation Material. -Box 2; Oversize Manuscripts Box 13

Series 7. Medical Career. - Box 2

Series 8. Mississippi Medical and Surgical Association. -Box 2

Series 9. Interviews, 1973, 1982-1983. - Box 2

Series 10. Special Events, 1977-1978, 1995, 2011 and undated. -Box 2

Series 11. Awards and Diplomas. -Box 2; Small Oversize Manuscripts Box 41

Series 12. Scrapbook, 1965-1993. -Small Oversize Manuscripts Box 41

Series 13. Newspapers and Clippings. -Box 2; Small Oversize Manuscripts Box 41

Series 14. Miscellany, 1978-1998 and undated. - Box 2

Series 15. Materials concerning presentation of Conner papers, 1993. -Box 2

Series 16. Conner materials from other collections (photocopies), 1970-1982. -Box 2

Series 17. Visual Materials. - Visual Materials: Photographs Box 3; Small Oversize Manuscripts Box 41; Audiovisual Box 5; Small Oversize Art 1

Related Archival Materials

Patricia Derian papers, Special Collections Department, Mississippi State University Libraries.

John Marszalek papers, Special Collections Department, Mississippi State University Libraries.

Craig Piper collection, Special Collections Department, Mississippi State University Libraries.

Billy Simpson Loyalist Democrat collection, Special Collections Department, Mississippi State University Libraries.

Robert and Sadye Wier papers, Special Collections Department, Mississippi State University Libraries.


Douglas Conner Papers
October 2008
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Manuscripts Repository