Long-time Daily Journal editorial page editor Joe Rutherford will retire on Wednesday after 44 years at the newspaper. Joe is among the few people still at the Daily Journal who worked with George McLean — the paper’s legendary publisher and one of Tupelo’s most prominent civic leaders. He also has come to serve as the Daily Journal’s unofficial historian — a rich source of information about the paper, Tupelo and Northeast Mississippi and how each got to where they are now.
On today’s episode, Derek and Brad have a long conversation with Joe about the Journal, the city and the region. Joe talks about George (10:38) and Anna Keirsey McLean (16:10), school desegregation (3:52), balancing differing opinions on the editorial page (20:36), the extended fight for improving the state’s roads (35:25) and more. He also talks about growing up in Kossuth and Ripley, about his dad (24:01) — long-time coach and principal Odell Rutherford — and about attending Ole Miss shortly after it was integrated (5:13). He shares why McLean’s vision for the Daily Journal meant so much to him and how it motivated him throughout his career (33:48).
Joe shares 44 years of memories, insight and perspective. If you want to better understand the Daily Journal, Tupelo and Northeast Mississippi, you really need to listen to today’s show.