The board of the state Department of Archives and History met this month and selected the inductees: Evelyn Gandy, the first woman elected lieutenant governor of the state; Dr. James Hardy, who was a transplant surgeon; former state Rep. Aaron Henry, who was a civil-rights activist; Ida B. Wells, a journalist and women's rights advocate plus one Elvis Presley. "The contributions and accomplishments of these five Mississippians are astonishing, and a true testament to the character of the people of the state," Archives and History Director Katie Blount noted.
With the new inductees, the Hall of Fame now includes 136 artists, activists, political leaders and others. New members are selected once every five years, and each group is limited to five inductees. Those chosen can be either native-born Mississippians or people who moved to the state. Hall of Fame portraits hang in the Senate chamber of the Old Capitol in downtown Jackson.
The Archives and History news release notes about Elvis:
— Presley was born in 1935 in Tupelo, and his parents bought him a guitar for his 11th birthday. He developed a musical style that combined pop, country, gospel and rhythm and blues. Presley released seventeen chart-topping albums during his lifetime, starred in more than 30 movies, won multiple Grammys and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and was inducted into multiple music halls of fame. He died at home in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1977.