In "Straight Ahead, The Memoirs of a Mississippi Governor," former Mississippi governor Bill Waller chronicles the seeds of change he planted to help grow the state in a new direction.
"He came in at the right time to change Mississippi," says State Senator, Tommy Gollott.
On the coast, he played a key role in fueling change for our economic growth.
"He was the governor to help us get the coliseum and convention center, The South Mississippi Regional Center and many other things in South Mississippi," says Gollott.
Education was another area Waller worked to change. He's credited with helping to improve the junior college and university systems in the state.
"We thought education was important and it is," says Waller.
Waller stepped in as governor during a climate of great social change in the U.S. Some credit him with using his role in an effort to create a more fair and equitable Mississippi.
"People of all races working together is, I think, one of the biggest things. We're not oriented towards whose Asian, Caucasian or Afro-American. We're all one unit working together," says Waller.
Creating a more just society is something Waller says he took on head first when he served as prosecutor in the trial of slain civil rights activist, Medgar Evers. Though unsuccessful, Waller says it still signaled change.
"I think that signaled to the whole state that crime applies to any race... and if you commit a crime you're going to be prosecuted," says Waller.
Honest and Progressive, two ways Waller says he liked to be remembered. If you ask those who came out, these are two words that embody the legacy Waller leaves on the state.
"We will remember him forever. He is a legacy. He really is," says Gollott.