Political Hall of Fame set March 12

The Louisiana Political Museum announces the 2017 Louisiana Political Hall of Fame induction on Saturday, March 12. Activities begin with a reception from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at the Museum.at 499 East Main Street in Winnfield. The induction banquet will be held at the Winnfield Civic Center, at 2000 South Jones Street, on the Winn Parish Fair Grounds. Tickets for the induction banquet are available from the Museum at $75 each. By calling 318-628-5928 prior to March 3, 2017. All tickets must be reserved and paid in advance.

Inductees for the 2017 event include James C. "Jim" Beam, Jimmy N. Dimos, Rev. Dr. T.J. Jemison, Maurice L. (Bud) Mapes, and Dave Norris.

Jim Beam was born in Cameron, Louisiana October 7, 1933. A lifelong resident of Lake Charles, he is a 1951 graduate of LaGrange High School. He received his Bachelor of Art degree from McNeese State University in 1955, served in the U.S. Army from 1955-1957, and taught in the Calcasieu Parish School System from 1958-1961. Beam obtained his Master of Arts in American History from Louisiana State University in 1962. He became a reporter for the Lake Charles American Press in 1961, and was promoted to c ity editor in 1965, co-editor in 1982, and became editor in 1992. He began covering the Louisiana Legislature part-time in 1968, and full-time in 1975. Since that time he has written regular political columns which have won awards from the Louisiana Press Association, the Louisiana-Mississippi Associated Press, and the Louisiana Medical Society. His publications include "Positively Beaming," a collection of 110 of Beam's favorite columns, and "A Matter of Trust." In 2000, Jim Beam was selected by the Advertising and Press Club to be the first "Lake Area Legend" and in 2010 was awarded the Hectgor San Miguel Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievement in Journalism. Although officially retired from his position as editor since 1999, Beam continues to cover the Louisiana Legislature and write editorials for The American Press.

Jimmy N. Dimos is a retired District Judge from the 4th Judicial District Court. Prior to his terms on the bench Jim served for 24 years as a State Representative, including a term as Speaker of the House. longtime title insurance agent and veteran real estate attorney, Jim has over 45 years experience practicing law. Dimos is a native of the Republic of Macedonia. He immigrated to the United States in 1951. In 1956 Dimos graduated from Neville High School in Monroe. In 1960 he received his bachelor's degree from the University of Louisiana in Monroe. In 1963 Dimos garnered a degree from Tulane University Law School in New Orleans. The next year he was admitted to the bar and joined the McKeithen, Mouser and Mckinley law firm. Before he entered the Legislature, Dimos was the executive director from 1971 to 1971 of the Miss Louisiana Pageant. Dimos was elected to the District 16 House seat in Ouachita Parish in 1975, the same year that Governor Edwin W. Edwards won the second of his four gubernatoria terms. Dimos became a reformer in the Legislature and was hence tapped by Roemer as Speaker in 1988.

Rev. Dr. T.J. Jemison, Sr. was a longtime Louisiana pastor, pioneering civil rights leader, and founder of one of the nation’s most effective faith-based civil rights organizations. Theodore Judson Jemison was born in 1918 in Selma Alabama, where his father was pastor of the Tabernacle Baptist Church, Aftger attending local segregated schools, Jemison earned a bachelor’s degree from Alabama State University, a historically Black institution, where he pledged Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, the same fraternity Dr. Martin Luther King was a member of. Jemison earned the divinity degree at Virginia Union University to prepare for the ministry and later enrolled in graduate courses at New York University. In 1953, while serving as pastor of Mount Zion First Baptist Church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, a post he held for 54 years, Jemison helped lead the first civil rights boycott of segregated seating on public buses. The organization of free rides, coordinated by churches, was a model later used in 1955-1956 by the Montgomery Bus Boycott in Alabama. Jemison was one of the founders of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957. Although the critical role Rev. Jemison played in laying the foundation for King’s successful boycott are still not widely known or celebrated, in 2003 the city of Baton Rouge commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Baton Rouge bus boycott. When Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Became the first president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, T.J. Jemison ws the organization’s first secretary. Jemison also served as president of the National Baptist Convention USA, Inc,.the largest Black religious organization in the U.S. from 1982 to 1994, and met with seven U.S. presidents during his lifetime. Jemison is credited with overseeing the building of the Baptist World Center in Nashville, Tenn., the headquarters of the National Baptist Convention USA Inc. during his tenure as president.

Maurice L. “Bud” Mapes was a native of Ozark, Missouri, and a longtime resident of Baton Rouge. Bud practiced as a lobbyist with the Louisiana Legislature for 50 years. The son of Reginald Maurice Mapes and Mabel Helen Woody Mapes, he was born in Ozark on July 8, 1930. After attending public schools in Ozark, he attended Drury College and Southwest Missouri State College in Springfield, Mo., University of Missouri in Columbia, Mo., and Michigan State University in East Lansing, Mich. He was a member of Sigma Nu fraternity. During the Korean war, he volunteered for and served in the U.S. Air Force from January 1951 until March 1955. He moved to Baton Rouge in 1960, after traveling to Louisiana from Kansas City for five years. During his years as a lobbyist, he worked with eight Louisiana governors beginning with Earl Long and ending with Kathleen Babineaux Blanco. He never retired. His motto was always, “What is the right thing to do?” which he applied to tireless and effective service to dozens of clients and tens of thousands of Louisiana citizens. Some of his clients included Louisiana Farm Bureau, Southwestern Lumbermen’s Association, Louisiana Finance Association, 3M Company, Cole-National Corp., Louisiana Retailers Association, Louisiana Automobile Dealers Association, and Louisiana Building Material Dealers Association.

Dave N. Norris is the Democratic mayor of his native West Monroe, Louisiana, a position he has held since 1978 with minimal opposition. Norris was unopposed for a tenth and final term as mayor in the election held on April 5, 2014. Norris graduated from West Monroe High School. In 1963 he obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Louisiana at Monroe, then known as Northeast Louisiana State College. In 1965, he procured a Master of Business Administration from Louisiana Tech University in Ruston. He obtained the Doctor of Business Administration from Mississippi State University in Starkville. From 1966 until his election as mayor in 1978 Norris was as associate professor of economics and director of the Small Business Institute at his alma mater, ULM. After becoming mayor, he continued to tech part time at ULM until 1998. Under Norris, the city built the Ike Hamilton Expo Center, an indoor arena off Interstate 20 popularly called The Ike. Also under his term, the city built the West Ouachita Senior Center, and expanded its recreational facilities to include Lazarre Park on the Ouachita River, Kiroli Park, a woodland experience in an urban setting, and Restoration Park, a wetlands park developed from a former gravel pit.

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