JACKSON WAR MEMORIAL BUILDING
AMERICAN LEGION’S STATE HEADQUARTERS
The War Memorial Building is a fitting monument to the soldiers of Mississippi, who served valiantly in the vanguard of their country’s wars. Designed by E. L. Malvaney in modern style, the memorial is built about an open courtyard containing a handsome symbolic monument erected in tribute to “the ideals and purposes for which gallant Mississippians suffered,” and as an inspiration “to shield forever the fragile quality of liberty.”
A double colonnade of four square columns supports the façade of the building, upon which is inscribed: PEACE SHALL COME TO THOSE WHO STRIVE FOR PEACE. The north side of the building bears the inscription: ON OUR PROUD BANNERS BREAKS THE SUNRISE LIGHT OF HONOR The inner walls of the courtyard bear the following inscription:
HOW SWEET MUST BE THE PEACE THE HEROES FIND,
WHEN CRUSADE ENDED DEATH HAS BORNE THEM
HOME, HOME TO GOD, WHO MADE THEIR SOLDIERS’
HEARTS BEAT WITH SELFLESS ZEAL TO RIGHT
On each side of the steps leading through the colonnade into the courtyard is a sculpture, designed by Albert Ricker, which depicts a soldier in battle, winning peace and finally returning to his home and his work. The six panels above the metal entrance portray scenes from the battle of Ackia, 1736; New Orleans, 1815; Buena Vista, 1847; Vicksburg, 1863; San Juan Hill, 1898; and Belleau wood, 1918. Above the panels are plaques of three gallant Mississippians, Sam Dale, fabulous Indian fighter and general in the War of 1812, Jefferson Davis, who led his regiment to glory at the battle of Buena Vista, and John Anthony Quitman, a hero of the Battle of Chapultepec. On the metal entrance doors are represented implements of war from the Greek shield and swords of 400 B. C. to the American bombers and battleship of 1940.
Interior metal plaques represent the agriculture and industry of Mississippi, and historic shrines, including Beauvoir home of Jefferson Davis, and the old capitol building at Jackson.
The motif of decoration within the building is the magnolia, Mississippi’s state flower, which has been used effectively by the architect. The interior of the building is richly finished in marble.
Housed in the War Memorial Building are the state headquarter of the American Legion and the American Legion Auxiliary, the State Service Commission, Forty and Eight, Selective Service headquarters, and the Department of Archives and History. A semi-circular auditorium on the main floor of the building has a seating capacity of 480.
The Mississippi Hall of Fame, a part of the Department of Archives and History, is located on the second floor of the building and contains more than 100 portraits of distinguished Mississippians. The original Ordinance of Secession of the state of Mississippi, drawn by L. Q. Lamar in 1861, is preserved in the Hall of Frame.
Legionnaires who were members of the Building Commission are: Adrian H. Boyd, Past Department Commander, represented the Legion; J. B. Snider, Lieutenant-Governor; Luther Manship, Past Commander of the Henry H. Graves Post No 1, represented the V.FW.
The office of the department commander of the Mississippi Department of the American Legion is located in the south wing of the building. Pictures of past department commanders hang on the walls. The national colors and the colors of the Mississippi Department of the American Legion are placed on either side of the commander’s desk. A blue broadloom rug on the parquet floor bears the emblem of the American Legion. Draperies of gold brocaded silk hang at the windows. A massive solid walnut conference table is placed at the east end of the office. A handsomely framed copy of the Constitution of the United States of America hangs on the north wall, and a scroll containing the names of all World War veterans who were members of the Mississippi Department of the American Legion before 1939 has been designed and hangs in the office.