MSU-based Ulysses S. Grant Association announces bicentennial commission

The new Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library, housed in Mississippi State’s Mitchell Memorial Library, will officially open with a celebration on Nov. 30. (Photo by Russ Houston)

Contact: James Carskadon

STARKVILLE, Miss.—The Ulysses S. Grant Association is set to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the former president’s birth after officially forming a bicentennial commission to commemorate the occasion.

The commission will organize a series of events and celebrations planned for 2022 to commemorate Grant’s April 27, 1822 birth in Clemont County, Ohio. A bi-partisan U.S. Senate resolution was passed in 2015 placing the Mississippi State University-based Ulysses S. Grant Association in charge of the national bicentennial celebration.

“The Ulysses S. Grant Association is honored that the U.S. Senate chose it as the organization to plan the 2022 celebration of U.S. Grant’s birth in 1822,” USGA Executive Director and MSU Professor of History Emeritus John F. Marszalek said.

Former Rhode Island Supreme Court Chief Justice and USGA President Frank J. Williams will chair the commission. Michael J. Devine, retired director of the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and USGA board member, worked with senators to pass the resolution, which acknowledges Grant’s significance as a two-term president and Civil War general.

“His story is the American story of how you have the right to rise.” Williams said. “We will work hard as a commission to help all Americans recognize the importance of this historical figure.”

The inaugural meeting of the commission concentrated on the organization and establishment of goals, activities and committees. The commission will meet again when the new Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library at MSU’s Mitchell Memorial Library is officially opened with a Nov. 30 celebration.

MSU is one of five universities to house a presidential library. The Grant Library has become an important destination for Civil War and Grant scholars. The authors of many recent and forthcoming works on Grant have visited MSU to conduct their research, Marszalek said.

“There is an enormous renaissance in Grant studies in recent years, and the activities of the Grant Presidential Library at Mississippi State University have played an important role in this flood of publications,” Marszalek said. “Grant’s historical prominence and stature continues to grow, and Mississippi State University can feel proud of its role in making this happen.”

Along with Williams as chair, members of the commission include: Vice Chair Ulysses Grant Dietz, New Jersey museum curator and Grant descendant; William “Brother” Rogers, director of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History’s Programs and Communications Division; Stuart Rockoff, director of the Mississippi Humanities Council; Sarah McCullough, coordinator of cultural affairs, MSU’s Mitchell Memorial Library; Edna Greene Medford, Howard University professor of history; and Stephen Middleton, MSU professor of history. Marszalek will serve as an ex-officio member of the commission.  The recorder is Rebecca Houston, USGA senior library associate.

For more on the Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library and the Ulysses S. Grant Association, visit

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at

Wednesday, September 20, 2017 - 10:10 am