270 A BICENTENNIAL HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI Dr. F. Gail Riley became the first physician in Meridian to intravenously administer fluid and electrolytes, and was also the first physician to use blood transfusions and the hemogram as a diagnostic tool. In October 1929, construction began on Riley Hospital, the first specialty hospital dealing with maternity and pediatric cases in Meridian. In 1930, Riley Hospital opened as a ten-bed hospital and clinic for children. The American Board of Pediatrics, formed in 1933, certified Dr. Riley without examination. African Americans opened a clinic at 2506 Fifth Street, which had surgeon-in-chief Dr. DeWitt A. Buckingham, Dr. L. F. Brooks, R. F. Spears, and J. C. Macon. The dental staff consisted of Doctors H.W. Wilson, W. B. Block and A. B. Blackwell. Nurses were Louise Tyler, G. N and Bertha Jack Emerson, R.N. Buckingham’s clinic offered twelve fluoroscope and x-ray rooms, an operating room, and a laboratory. The low spirits of the people in the Depression were lifted briefly by the exploits of a group of aviators in Meridian. The airport in Lauderdale County was dying in the mid-1930s and Al and Fred Key, managers of the airport, brainstormed an idea to bring world-wide publicity to the airport and make aviation history: set the flight endurance record. The problem was they didn’t own a plane. The Key brothers borrowed Bill Ward’s Curtiss Robin high-winged monoplane and named it Ole Miss. PHOTOS BY GREG CAMPBELL