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Oral history.; Mr. Harold Ray Presley was born in Tupelo, Mississippi, on October 5, 1948. In 1968 he was drafted into the Army and served in Vietnam for four years. Mr. Presley married and became the father of two sons and a daughter. Elvis Presley was his second cousin. In 1993 he was elected sheriff of Lee County. During his tenure as sheriff, Mr. Presley received numerous awards and initiated the DARE Program, among other activities, to tackle illegal drug sales and use. Mr. Presley died on July 6, 2001, in a shootout with a kidnapping suspect. Mr. Presley pushed his deputy out of the line of fire, almost certainly saving him from injury or death.

17 November 1999

Oral history.; Mr. Alton G. Bankston was born outside of Laurel, Mississippi on June 5, 1941. Mr. Bankston majored in political science and history at Jones County Junior College and attended the University of Southern Mississippi. In 1963 he moved to the Gulf Coast to pursue a career in teaching. Seven years later, Mr. Bankston opened Bankston's Paint Store in Biloxi. Mr. Bankston has played an active role in his community and is a member of many local groups.

17 November 1999

Oral history.; Mrs. Geraldine (Gerry) Blessey was born in Biloxi, Mississippi, on April 16, 1922. Mrs. Blessey is a member of the Biloxi Council of Garden Clubs, the Biloxi Bay Chamber of Commerce, the Gulf Coast Symphony Guild, and the Maritime and Seafood Industry Museum. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the Ohr-O'Keefe Museum of Art. Mrs. Blessey retired as the Assistant Vice President of Bookkeeping from the Peoples Bank of Biloxi. She is a lifetime member of the Nativity B.V.M. Cathedral of Biloxi.

17 November 1999

Oral history.; Ms. Mary Ellen Leftwich was born on November 10, 1916, in Arkansas. Her mother died when she was a small child, and her father remarried. The family lived in Gunnison, Mississippi, on a farm; the young people in the community played tennis, swam, and learned to dance; they made candy and had watermelon cuttings. In 1935, she graduated from Gunnison High School, and she attended Delta State Teachers College, where she did her practice teaching at Hill Demonstration School. In 1939, she was graduated from Delta State Teachers College with a degree in education. She taught school in Houlka, Mississippi, Drew, Mississippi, Rosedale and Gunnison, Mississippi. She is currently retired.

17 November 1999

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