tidbits, fragments, and ephemera 14: the mid-’90s edition

tidbits, fragments, and ephemera is a usually weekly but not always, sometimes substantial but not making any promises glimpse at some information and news related to Generation X in the Deep South.


Top-ranked Tennessee Vols lose to Memphis in a shocker, 1996

It was November. Tennessee was ranked in the top ten, had Peyton Manning as their quarterback, and were eyeing a national championship as the season was winding down. Then they lost to cross-state rival Memphis.

Mississippi ratifies the Thirteen Amendment, 1995

It only took Mississippi 130 years to take action on ratifying the constitutional amendment that abolished slavery in the United States. Of course, the amendment had taken effect in the years after the Civil War when a majority of states agreed about the issue at that time, but perhaps bitter about their defeat, the Magnolia State held out. In an additional aspect to the story, though, the legislature didn’t actually complete the paperwork for the ratification in 1995, but that was not discovered until 2012. Mississippi, thus, officially ratified the amendment, by completing the process, in 2013.

Window tinting in Alabama, 1996

Alabama’s statewide law on car window tinting took effect in August 1996. This may not seem like a big deal, but it was at the time. People – among them, many GenX teenagers and twentysomethings –  who had tinting already had to take their cars to have it checked to see whether they would be in violation, and those whose windows were too dark would have to have the tinting removed or redone, which wasn’t cheap. And there were so many people who needed a redo that auto shops had lines and wait lists.

from The Montgomery Advertiser, July 14, 1996

The Telegraph remembers the Flood of 1994

Macon, Georgia’s Telegraph newspaper compiled a video, which is posted online within this story, showing comparative images of flooded areas in 1994 to then-current shots of the same places in 2019, twenty-five years later. At the time, Hurricane Alberto stalled over Georgia and dumped massive amounts of water onto the state.

“Highway One: Lost Louisiana II” from Louisiana Public Broadcasting, 1994

The video below is a nine-minute section of the longer program. Clicking the link the header will take you to the full 42-minute program.


level:deepsouth is an online anthology about growing up Generation X in the Deep South during the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s. The anthology is open to submissions of creative nonfiction (essays, memoirs, and reviews) and images (photos and flyers), as well as to contributions for the lists.

tidbits, fragments, and ephemera 7

tidbits, fragments, and ephemera is a usually weekly but not always, sometimes substantial but not making any promises glimpse at some information and news related to Generation X in the Deep South.


Does anyone actually like Foreigner?

I’ve never heard anyone say they do, so this is something that I’m genuinely curious about. If I ever ask someone, “Who’s your favorite band?” or “What kind of music do you like?”, no one ever answers, “Foreigner.” Despite their hits in the 1970s and ’80s, and despite their omnipresence on rock radio since then, I have serious doubts that anyone actually likes this band.

the documentary Waking in Mississippi, 1998

from the description: “Waking in Mississippi explores the power of the national media to, surprisingly, mitigate long held animosities resulting from a legacy of slavery and Jim Crow. The irony of Hollywood fabricating a race riot for the sake of A Time to Kill provides a framework for presenting the complexity of race relations in a historically troubled region.”

The Alabama cheerleader Barbie, 1996

If you’re a Bammer with a penchant for collectibles and have $55 laying around, Mattel apparently made Barbies of UA cheerleaders in 1996. However, if you’re into brunettes, not blondes, the price doubles to $100.

“The coldest day ever” in South Carolina, 1985

January 21, 1985 has been declared the Palmetto State’s “coldest day ever.” According to this 2020 news report, 165 people died in the cold, and “nearly every city and town set records for the all-time coldest temperatures ever reported. Locally, the thermometer dropped to 6° in Myrtle Beach and Charleston and 0° in Florence. Many areas across the Carolinas dropped below zero. Locally, the subzero temperatures included -5° in Bennettsville, -4° in Darlington and -1° in Dillon.”

“Voting Rights in Louisiana, 1982 – 2006” in Review of Law and Social Justice, 2008

In 1982, the oldest among Generation X turned 17, almost old enough to vote. In 2006, GenXers were between 41 and 26, well into voting age. This academic study of voting rights in Louisiana, specifically for African-Americans, covers the years when GenXers were gaining the right to cast a ballot. Early in the report, it states, “The experience in Louisiana since 1982 shows that voting discrimination in the state persists, attempts to dilute African-American votes are commonplace and many white officials remain intransigent—refusing to provide basic information required under Section 5 to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).”


level:deepsouth is an online anthology about growing up Generation X in the Deep South during the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s. The anthology is open to submissions of creative nonfiction (essays, memoirs, and reviews) and images (photos and flyers), as well as to contributions for the lists.