Thursday, July 1, 2010

Itawamba sends cows to Greece

In 1946, the country of Greece was in the midst of a famine caused by a civil war that followed on the heels of World War II. The Nazi armies of Germany, Italy and Bulgaria occupied Greece during much of the war although there were several resistance groups that fought the occupation. Following the war, these resistance groups morphed into competing factions for control of the country.

Both the Nazi occupation and the subsequent civil war left the country in ruins. There were thousands of deaths of Greek citizens during World War II from the disruption of farming activities and confiscation of food that led to a serious famine occurring in 1941 and 1942. Things didn't get any better after the defeat of the Nazis and their removal from Greece. Food shortages continued to be a problem, and famine conditions remained.

Itawamba County responded to the crisis in Greece by pledging to contribute twelve cows towards Mississippi's boatload of cows to be sent to Greece under Governor Tom Bailey's program to assist with the famine and suffering in that country. In June 1946, a committee was formed in Itawamba County with Sheriff Newman Reece named chairman and Phillip A. Sheffield as secretary-treasurer. Immediately, Rev. L. C. Lawhon announced that he had secured three cows from the donations of "Fulton's public-spirited citizens."

The June 20, 1946 issue of the Itawamba County Times reported that enough money had been raised after only a couple of weeks to send nine cows to Greece. The community of Tremont had rallied together and raised enough for one cow among themselves, and people of other communities were urged to do the same. Other cows came from the Fulton Lions Club (one), Fulton Methodist Church (four), Fulton Civic Club (one). Employees of the Fulton Garment Company raised $43.35 for the effort, and fund-raising activities were continuing, the paper reported.

Rubber tags were being purchased which would be placed on each cow telling who gave the cow and where it came from.

Just imagine, there are probably descendants of those Itawamba County cows still in Greece today!

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