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I hope you enjoy the following information, a large part of which I can take no credit for its compilation. Much of the information contained in the following sections was provided from the pamphlet/brochure Mississippi, which is published by the office of Secretary of State, 401 Mississippi Street, P.O. Box 136 -- Jackson, Mississippi -- 39205. It is distributed by Hon. Eric Clark, Secretary of the State of Mississippi, and it is his office to which I owe recognition and gratitude.

Ron Collins

While you're here, check out Mississippi's Newest Rising Country Star -- BEVERLY ELLIS !!!


POPULATION: The 1990 Census showed the population of Mississippi to be 2,575,478. At present, 47.1 percent of its people live in cities and towns, and 52.9 percent in rural areas of the counties.

GEOGRAPHY: Mississippi covers 47,716 square miles. The state is located in the center of America's Mid-South between 30 and 34 degrees north latitude and 88 and 91 degrees west longitude in the northern hemisphere's temperate zone. It is bounded on the north by Tennessee, the east by Alabama, the west by the Mississippi River and the south by the Gulf of Mexico. Mississippi measures 350 miles north-to-south and 180 miles east-to-west.

CLIMATE: For most of our year, the climate is mild, becoming semi-tropical on the Gulf Coast. The average temperature in January is 48 degrees. Summers are long, making it possible to grow crops from March through October. The average temperature in July is 81 degrees, but more common daytime temperatures range in the 90s. The average rainfall is 52 inches, and fall is the driest season. The Jackson National Weather Service provides up-to-the-minute weather information for the State.

Mississippi is also known for having KUDZU. This vine-like plant was planted in the 1920s -- 1940sby the Civil Conservation Corps (CCC) to help prevent erosion of Mississippi's hill areas. Formore on Kudzu CLICK HERE.


Mississippi scientists, physicians, researchers, engineers and entrepreneurs have recorded a number of remarkable accomplishments and technical disciplines:

In 1963, the University of Mississippi Medical Center accomplished the world's first human lung transplant and, on January 23, 1964, Dr. James D. Hardy performed the world's first heart transplant surgery.

Borden's Condensed Milk was first canned in Liberty, Mississippi.

It is reported that when U.S. president Theodore Roosevelt went on a business trip in Mississippi in 1902 to settle a dispute concerning the Louisiana/Mississippi boundary. During this trip, he was invited to join a bear hunt. The hunting proved unproductive and he was unable to find a bear to kill. His supporters caught a bear cub and tied it to a tree for the president to shoot, but he refused to do it.

This event was documented in the Washington Post on November 16, 1902, illustrated with the now-famous cartoon drawn by Clifford K. Berryman, entitled "Drawing the Line in Mississippi".  The cartoon was an immediate success and provoked a huge public response. Morris Michtom, a Russian emigré was inspired by the events to produce his own toy bear to sell in his store in Brooklyn, New York.

He called it Teddy's Bear (Michtom allegedly wrote Roosevelt to ask if Roosevelt's nickname ("Teddy") could be used for Michtom's line of "Teddy's Bear").  Roosevelt granted permission use the name. The rest is history.

Michtom's entire stock of bears was purchased by U.S. wholesalers, Butler Brothers, who backed Michtom, enabling him to set up what was allegedly the first teddy bear manufacturing company in the United States -- the Ideal Novelty and Toy Co. By 1907 Ideal was making bears on a large scale. CLICK HERE to read about it.

The world's largest shrimp is on display at the Old Spanish Fort Museum in Pascagoula, Mississippi.

The world's largest headboard manufacturing plant is the Masonite Company in Laurel, Mississippi.

The world's largest manufacturer of furniture wood products is in Eupora, Mississippi.

The first bottle of Dr. Tichener's Antiseptic was produced in Liberty, Mississippi.

The world's largest cactus plantation is in Edwards, Mississippi.

The world's first round trip transoceanic flight was performed in1928 by H.T. Merrill, from Iuka. The flight to England was made in a plane loaded with ping pong balls.

Shoes were first sold in boxes in pairs (right foot and left foot) in Vicksburg, at Phil Gilbert's Shoe Parlor on Washington Street in 1884.

The first female rural mail carrier in the U.S. was Mrs. Mamie Thomas, who delivered mail by buggy in 1914 to the area southeast of Vicksburg.

The Federal Building in Jackson, is the first federal building in the U.S. to be named for a Black American. Dr. A.H. McCoy was a prominent dentist and business leader.

Historic Jefferson College, circa 1802, was the first preparatory school established in the Mississippi Territory. Located in Washington, MS, it is also the site where tradition holds that Aaron Burr was arraigned for treason in 1807, beneath what came to be known as the "Burr Oaks."

William Grant Still, of Woodville, composed the Afro-American Symphony, which was the first symphonic work by someone of his race to be performed in the U.S.

Burnita Shelton Mathews, of Hazelhurst, was the first woman federal judge in the U.S., and served in the District of Columbia, Washington.

The first nuclear submarine built in the South was produced in Mississippi.

In 1871, Liberty, MS, became the first town in the U.S. to erect a Confederate monument.

Mississippi was the first state in the nation to have a planned system of junior colleges.

Leontyne Price, of Laurel, was the first Black American to achieve international stardom in the field of opera. Ms. Price was with the New York Metropolitan Opera.

Mississippi is the birthplace of the Order of the Eastern Star.

The rarest of North American cranes lives in Mississippi in the grassy savannas of Jackson County. The Mississippi Sandhill Crane stands about 44 inches tall and has an eight-foot wing span.

The world's oldest Holiday Inn is located in Clarksdale.

General Frank Gregory of Shelby, is one of the principal developers of the helicopter.

Guy Bush of Tupelo, was one of the most valuable players with the Chicago Cubs. He was on the 1929 World Series team and Babe Ruth hit his last home run off a ball pitched by Bush.

S.B. "Sam" Vick of Oakland, played for the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox.  He was the only man ever to pinch hit for the baseball great Babe Ruth.

Blazon-Flexible Flyer, Inc. in West Point, is proclaimed to make the very best snow sled in the U.S., which became an American tradition. It is called, of course, "The Flexible Flyer."

Friendship Cemetery in Columbus, has been called "Where Flowers Healed a Nation." It was April 25, 1866, and the Civil War had been over for a year, when the ladies of Columbus decided to decorate both Confederate and Union soldiers' graves with beautiful bouquets and garlands of flowers. As a direct result of this kind gesture, Americans celebrate what has come to be called MEMORIAL DAY each year, an annual observance of recognition of our war dead.

The largest Bible-binding plant in the nation is the Norris Bookbinding Company in Greenwood.

After the Civil War, famed hat maker John B. Stetson learned and practiced his trade at Dunn's Falls near Meridian.

In 1834, Captain Isaac Ross, whose plantation was in Lorman, freed his slaves and arranged for them to be sent to Africa, where they founded the country of Liberia. Recently, representatives of Liberia visited Lorman and placed a stone at the Captain's grave site in honor of his kindness.

The world's largest cottonwood tree plantation is in Issaquena County, Mississippi.

Mississippi has more churches per capita than any other state.

Mississippi has more tree farms than any other state.

David Harrison of Columbus owns the patent on the "Soft Toilet Seat." Over 1,000,000 are sold every year.

The first football player on a Wheaties box was Walter Payton of Columbia.

Greenwood is the home of "Cotton Row," which is the second largest cotton exchange in the nation and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Emil and Kelly Mitchell, the King and Queen of Gypsies, are buried in Rose Hill Cemetery in Meridian. Since 1915, people from all over the worls have left gifts of fruit and juice at their grave sites.

Inventor James D. Byrd of Clinton holds seven patents and developed the plastic used as a heat shield by NASA.

Every commercial airliner has at least one hydraulic component manufactured by Vickers (now Eaton Corporation) in Jackson.

The oldest game in America is Stickball, played by the Choctaw Indians of Mississippi. Demonstrations can be seen every July at the Choctaw Indian Fair in Philadelphia, MS.

The International Checkers Hall of Fame is in Petal.

Natchez was settled by the French in 1716 and is the oldest permanent settlement on the Mississippi River. Natchez once had 500 millionaires, more than any other city, except New York City. Natchez now has more than 500 buildings that are on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Natchez Trace Parkway, named an "All American Road" by the federal government, extends from Natchez to just south of Nashville, Tennessee. The Trace began as an Indian trail more than 8,000 years ago.

The Vicksburg National Cemetery is the second-largest national cemetery in the country. Arlington National Cemetery is the largest.

D'Lo was featured in Life Magazine for sending proportionally more men to serve in World War II than any other town of its size; 38 percent of the men who lived in D'Lo served. D'Lo got its name (actually a nickname) from railroad workers because it was too "Damned Low."

Mississippi suffered the largest percentage dead of any Confederate State in the Civil War. 78,000 Mississippians entered the Confederate military.By the end of the war, 59,000 of this total were either dead or wounded.

Pine Sol was invented in 1929 by Jackson, Mississippi native Harry A. Cole, Sr.

The world's largest pecan nursery is in Lumberton, Mississippi.

Greenwood, Mississippi, is called the "Cotton Capital of the World."

The first commercial cotton picker in the world, made by International Harvester, was put into operation in 1944, at the Hopson Plantation, near Clarksdale, MS.

Belzoni, Mississippi, is called the "Catfish Capital of the World."

Vardaman, Mississippi, is called the "Sweet Potato Capital of the World."

Greenville, Mississippi, is called the "Towboat Capital of the World."

Root Beer was invented in Biloxi, Mississippi, in 1898 by Edward Adolf Barq, Sr.

The oldest book in America, an ancient Biblical manuscript, is located the University of Mississippi.

Mississippi is 32nd in size among the 50 states and 7thin size among the southern states. Of Mississippi's 82 counties, Yazoo County is thelargest and Alcorn County is the smallest.

The largest cities in Mississippi are Jackson, Biloxi, Meridian, Hattiesburg, Greenville, and Gulfport.

The Mississippi River is the largest in the United States and is the nation's chief waterway. It's nickname is "Old Man River."

The Mississippi Methodist Rehabilitation Center in Jackson houses a state-of-the-art surgical suite matched by only one other such facility in the western hemisphere.

The Space Shuttle's main engines are test-fired at the Stennis Space Center in Hancock County.

At Vicksburg, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Waterways Experiment Station is the world's largest hydraulic research laboratory.

Jackson is headquarters for the former Vickers Aerospace (now Eaton Industries), Marine Defense where components are designed and manufactured for virtually every aircraft flown in theworld.

At Pascagoula, the Ingalls Division of Litton Indistries uses leading-edge construction techniques to build the U.S. Navy's most sophisticated ships.

At the state's eight research centers, programs are under wayin acoustics, polymer science, electricity, microelectronics, hydrodynamics and oceanography.


The Governor's Mansion, located on Capitol Street in downtown Jackson, was completed in 1842. Because of its historical significance and classical architectural design, the building has been designated a National Historic Landmark by the United States Department of the Interior. Restored in 1972, every detail and furnishing authentically represents 19th century Greek Revival architecture.

Mississippi Governor's Mansion

STATE COAT OF ARMS: Mississippi's Coat-of-Arms was adopted in 1894. Inscribed on the scroll is the state motto -- Virtue Et Armis -- "By Valor and Arms."

STATE NICKNAME: Actually, Mississippi has two nicknames; "The Magnolia State" and "The Hospitality State."

GEOGRAPHIC CENTER OF THE STATE: Leake, 9 miles West/Northwest of Carthage

STATE FLAG: Designated by legislative action on Feb. 7, 1894, the State Flag incorporates the national colors-- red, white, and blue -- and 13 five-pointed stars for the original states of the Union. In 2000, the Mississippi Supreme Court ruled that Mississippi actually had NO official flag, since no law or resolution had ever been "Officially" passed.

Mississippi Flag

PLEDGE TO THE FLAG: "I salute the flag of Mississippi and the sovereign state for which it stands with pride in her history and achievements and with confidencein her future under the guidance of Almighty God."

THE GREAT SEAL: The present state seal has been in use since Mississippi became a state in 1817.

Seal of the Great State of Mississippi

Click HERE for a Larger Image

STATE FLOWER AND TREE: In 1935, the Mississippi Director of Forestry began a movement to select a state tree. The school children of Mississippi nominated four trees -- the magnolia, dogwood, pine, and oak. The Magnolia received the largest number of votes and, on April 1, 1938, it was officially designated by the Mississippi Legislature as the State Tree. In November 1900, 23,278 school children of Mississippi had voted to select a State Flower. The Magnoliar  ceived 12,745 votes. Among the remainder of the votes, the cotton blossom received 4,171, and the cape jasmine received 2,484. It wasn't until 1952, though, that the Legislature officially designated the Magnolia as the State Flower.


STATE BIRD: Found in all sections of Mississippi, the cheerful Mockingbird was selected as the official state bird by the Women's Federated Clubs and by the State Legislature in 1944.


STATE SONG: Go Mississippi.

Adopted as the Official State Song of Mississippi in 1962

Words and Music by Houston Davis.


States may sing their songs of praise
With waving flags and "hip hoo rays,"
Let cymbals crash and let bells ring
'Cause here's one song I'm proud to sing.

Go, Mississippi, keep rolling along,
Go, Mississippi, you cannot go wrong,
Go, Mississippi, we're singing your song,

Go, Mississippi, you're on the right track,
Go, Mississippi, and this is a fact,
Go, Mississippi, you'll never look back,

Go, Mississippi, straight down the line,
Go, Mississippi, everything's fine,
Go, Mississippi, it's your state and mine,

Go, Mississippi, continue to roll,
Go, Mississippi, the top is the goal,
Go, Mississippi, you'll have and you'll hold,

Go, Mississippi, get up and go,
Go, Mississippi, let the world know,
That our Mississippi is leading the show,

STATE FISH: Largemouth or black bass.

Largemouth BassBlack Bass

STATE INSECT: Honeybee. (I'll bet you thought it was the LAWYER.)


STATE WATER MAMMAL: Bottlenosed dolphin.

Bottlenosed Dolphin

STATE FOSSIL: Prehistoric whale.

Prehistoric Whale

STATE LAND MAMMALS: Red fox and White-tailed deer.

Red FoxWhite-Tailed Deer



Wood Duck


STATE STONE: Petrified Wood.

Petrified Wood -- Flora Mississippi

STATE BUTTERFLY: Spicebush Swallowtail.

Spicebush Swallowtail Butterfly

STATE DANCE: Square-dancing.

Square-Dancing: Yee Haw !!

Mississippi has 28 state parks, four national parks and six national forests. For information about state parks, call 1-800-GO-PARKS.

Royal Crown Cola

Moon Pie

Goo Goo Cluster

Fruit Stripe Gum -- Wait until the Background Music Stops, then Click Here to See an Old Fruit Stripe Commercial

Frosty Root Beer

Sonny's BBQ

Cracker Barrel Country Restaurants

Nu Grape

Tootsie Roll Candies

Jack's Stage Planks -- Remember when Stage Planks were in a wax paper wrapper?


Mississippi's music and literary traditions have gained the state worldwide fame. Contemporary music is rooted in Mississippi. The blues grew out of the Delta, and other genres of popular music have been strongly influenced by Mississippians -- gospel, country, R&B, rock and jazz.

Rural churches gave young artists like Elvis Presley their first opportunities to sing or perform. Presley, born and reared in Mississippi, is called by some the greatest single influence on popular culture in the twentieth century. Others include: Leontyne Price, James Earl Jones, Eric Roberts, Walter Payton, Gerald("Major Dad") McRaney, Shelby Foote, Tom Lester ("Eb" on "Green Acres"), Stella Stevens, Cynthia Geary, Ray ("My Favorite Martian") Walston, Parker Posey, Brett Favre, Archie Manning, Oprah Winfrey, Conway Twitty, Tammy Wynette, Faith Hill, LeAnn Rimes, Dorothy Moore, B.B. King, Keith Thibodeaux ("Little Ricky on I Love Lucy), Morgan Freeman, Donna Douglas ("Elly Mae Clampett" of the Beverly Hillbillies),Charley Pride, Bo Diddley, John Lee Hooker, Robert Johnson, Elmore James, Mississippi John Hurt, Howlin' Wolf, Jimmy Buffett, Theodore Bilbo (Public Official), Red Barber, Netscape President Jim Barksdale, Jerry Clower, Marty Stuart, Jimmie Rogers, Bobbi Gentry (Ode to Billie Jo), Jeannie C. Riley (Harper Valley P.T.A.), Lance Alworth, Walter Anderson, Glen Ballard, Haley Barbour, Jerry Rice, "Jumpin'" Gene Simmons (Haunted House), Lehman Engel, Nathan Bedford Forrest, Mark Gray, Dr. Arthur C. Guyton, Fred Haise, Lake Speed, John Stennis (41 years, 2 months in the U.S. Senate), Barrett Strong (Money), Jamie Whitten -- Congressman (longest service ever in the House of Representatives), Zig Ziglar, "Fingers" Taylor, Rufus Thomas (Walkin' the Dog),Ike Turner, Wesley Walls, Sela Ward, Jim Weatherly, Murray Kellum, Sonny Boy Williamson II, Johnny Winter, Elizabeth Spencer, Dana Andrews, Moe Bandy, Ralph Boston, Willie Brown, Charley Conerly, James Eastland (U.S. Senator), Mayor Marion Barry, The Blackwood Brothers, Blind Melon, Delaney & Bonnie Bramlett (Bonnie & Delaney),Ace Cannon, The Chambers Brothers, Sam Cooke, Dizzy Dean, Willie Dixon, Tyrone Davis, Paul Davis, Mike Espy, Greg Harkins, Spencer Haywood, Ken Kercheval, Frank "Bruiser" Kinard, L.Q.C. Lamar, Stephen D. Lee, Trent Lott (U.S. Senate Majority Leader), Ethel Wright Mohamed, Paul Overstreet, Marcus Dupree, Steve Forbert, Pete Fountain, Rowdy Gaines, L.C. Greenwood, Ray Guy, Walker Percy, William Alexander Percy, Thomas Hal Phillips, Bob Pittman (Founder of MTV), William Raspberry, Richard Truly (Astronaut), Mickey Gilley, Fannie Lou Hamer, Guy Hovis, Jim Henson, Thelma Houston, Beth Henley, Willie Mitchell, The Mississippi Mass Choir, Mac McAnally, Thalia Mara, O.B. McClinton, Charlie McCoy, Steve ("Air") McNair, James Meredith, Medgar Evers, Charles Evers, Diane Ladd, Denise Lasalle, Jerry Lee Lewis, Fred Knoblock, Albert King, Belle Kearney, Deacon Jones, Charlie Musselwhite, Willie Morris, Muddy Waters, Matt "Guitar" Murphy, Paul Ott, Dunbar Rowland, Jim Buck Ross, Craig Claiborne (Columnist), Barry Hannah (author), Felder Rushing, David Ruffin (of the Temptations), Jimmy Ruffin (brother of David Ruffin), Otis Rush, Sid Salter, Johnny Russell, Jimmy Reed, Mary Wilson (of the Supremes), Al Wilson, Joe Frank Carollo (of Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds), Fred Montalvo (owner of ICEE, the world's largest frozen beverage company), Oliver Pollock (inventor of the $ sign),and Resin Bowie (buried in Port Gibson, inventor of the Bowie Knife, and brother to Jim Bowie), to name a few. For another great site, check out Chip's Celebrity Page of Famous Mississippians

A remarkable number of writers have emerged from Mississippi -- William Faulkner, Eudora Welty, Tennessee Williams, Margaret Walker Alexander, Richard Wright -- and the list is ever growing. Richard Ford is the state's most recent Pulitzer Prize winner, and John Grisham is the state's best-selling author of our time.

Over the past twenty years, Mississippi has also become a hotbed of activity for its newest art form: movie-making. Among the list are "Ode to Billy Joe," "MississippiBurning," "Mississippi Masala," "Biloxi Blues," "A Time To Kill," "The Firm," "The Client," "The Chamber," "Murder in Mississippi," "Ghosts of Mississippi," "The Beast Within," "Intruder in the Dust," "Baby Doll," "Raintree County," "The Horse Soldiers,""Home from the Hill," "This Property is Condemned," "The Reivers," "Tomorrow," "Thieves Like Us," "The Premonition," "Huckleberry Finn," "Pretty Baby," "This is Elvis," "Crossroads,""River Pirates," "Heart of Dixie," "Miss Firecracker," "Wild at Heart," "The Gun in Betty Lou's Handbag," and others.

A frontier past, a strong farming tradition and a diverse ethnic mix form a complex pattern of influences in Mississippi. The breadth and richness of these cultural influences are reflected in our music, literature, art, and food. It has been said that Mississippi sings like no other place on earth. Music that emerged from Mississippi has influenced the culture of both the country and the world. Most agree that Mississippi's musical tradition is the result of our rich cultural mix. Some say the climate is a  catalyst for the imagination and passion of the state's large number of writers.

Roots of Mississippi traditions can be traced through annual events that celebrate various influences on our culture -- events such as the Choctaw Indian Festival, the Blessing of the Fleet, the Neshoba County Fair and the Delta Blues Festival. Later additions to these traditions include the Jubilee Jam, Pepsi Pops, Farish Street Festival, the Canton Flea Market, and the Mississippi State Fair. Recently, Jackson has hosted pre-season NFL games, with more to come.

Pilgrimages to antebellum homes keep history alive by helping to preserve old homes and promote historic preservation. Museums also put our history on display. Exhibits at the State Historical Museum (Old Capitol) show the progression of the state's history while specialized museums are dedicated to Delta Blues, natural science, agriculture and forestry, art, sports, railways and ethnic heritages.

Other places of interest include: the Grand Village of the Natchez Indians; Gulf Island National Seashore; Mississippi Petrified Forest; Elvis Presley's Birthplace; Russell C. Davis Planetarium; Stennis Space Center and Technology Laboratory; Grand Gulf Nuclear Station; Smith Robertson Museum and Cultural Center; Beauvoir, the last home of Jefferson Davis; the Vicksburg National Military Battlefield Park; the Mississippi Department of Archives and History; and Rowan Oak, the home of William Faulkner.

Information about museums, places of interest and events is available by calling the Mississippi Tourism Division at 1-800-WARMEST.

The Natchez Trace Parkway begins in Natchez, stretches diagonally across Mississippi and winds to an end in Nashville, Tennessee. More than 400 miles long and 8,000 years old, the Trace is a route to hundreds of historic sites including the 600 antebellum structures in Natchez, Historic Jefferson College, Emerald Mound, the Vicksburg National Military Park, and the Alcorn State University Historic District. A route of inestimable importance for more than 400 years, the historic highway once linked an untamed wilderness with civilization. Mount Locust Inn, built around 1780, is the only remaining example of a frontier "stand" or inn on the Natchez Trace.

Love of family, church, good food, and sports are Mississippi traditions. Family reunions attract large family networks -- some numbering in the hundreds, and the church is a primary social and cultural institution. Hunting deer and fishing are favorite rural pastimes. Football, baseball and basketball are played and cheered throughout the state. Every fourth year, world-class ballet is the favorite competitive event when Jackson is host to the International Ballet Competition. One person recently gave powerful embodiment to the Mississippi spirit -- Oseola McCarty did so with a gift of$150,000 to the University of Southern Mississippi. Miss McCarty earned her living washing and ironing other people's clothes. Generations unborn will reap the harvest of her love.

The Late Oseola McCarty --  One of Mississippi's Precious Treasures


The world's largest collection of original manuscripts and illustrations of children's literature is at the University of Southern Mississippi.

The 4-H Club, first known as the "Corn Club," started in Holmes County in 1907.

The Mississippi Gulf Coast is the home of the world's longest man-made beach -- 26miles long and approximately 200 feet wide.

World-Famous Oreck Vacuum Cleaners are made on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

General Zachary Taylor owned land at Rodney, Mississippi. It is reported that he was in Rodney when he received news that he had been elected President of the United States.

The first chapter of the PTA was founded in Mississippi in 1909.

Coca-Cola was first put into bottles in Vicksburg in 1894.

National Geographic Magazine is printed at World Color, in Corinth, Mississippi.

Mississippi has had four Miss Americas -- Mary Ann Mobley (1959), Lynda Lee Mead (1960),Cheryl Prewitt (1980), and Susan Dian Akin (1985).

In 1882, the world's first heavyweight championship fight took place at Mississippi City. The term "knockout" was first used in this fight. John L. Sullivan won the fight in eight rounds.

The first state funded college for women in the nation was formed in Columbus, MS, on March 12, 1884.It was established by an act of the Mississippi Legislature and is now known as Mississippi University for Women.

The world's largest collection of blues music is at the University of Mississippi Blues Archives.

Alcorn State University is the nation's oldest historically Black land-grant college.

Mississippi's Petrified Forest near Flora is the only such site in the eastern United States.

The official world's record for keeping a plane aloft is held by Al and Fred Key of Meridian. They refueled in the air and kept their plane aloft for 653 hours and 34minutes (27 days, 5 hours, and 34 minutes) in 1935.

The nation's first levee system was built along the Mississippi side of the Mississippi River in 1860 and stretched for 300 miles.

The nation's first Black newspaper The Atlanta Daily World, was founded by Mississippian W.A. Scott.

The Mississippi Legislature, in 1839, passed one of the first laws in the English-speaking world protecting the property rights of married women. Under the Married Women's Property Act, women were allowed to retain the title to any property they held before marriage.

The City of Jackson/Davis Planetarium was the first organization to make a commercial movie in space.

Mississippi College was the first coeducational college in the nation to grant degrees to women. Established in 1826, it is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state.

America's first artist-potter was George Ohr (1857-1918) of Biloxi.


Mississippi was the first state to ratify the 18th Amendment to the United States Constitution, issuing in the era of Prohibition in 1919-1920. It had also been the first state to prohibit alcoholic beverages on a state level in 1908, and was the last state to end statewide prohibition in 1966, thirty-three years after the national prohibition had ended.

Although Mississippi sometimes has hot summers, Mississippi DOES NOT have the most HOT AIR in the world. That can be found in the United States' Congress in Washington, D.C.

When Aaron Burr fled prosecution from the duel/murder of Alexander Hamilton, he landed at Bruinsburg, Mississippi, on January 10, 1807, where he was promptly arrested by Acting Governor Cowles Mead. Before a trial could be had at Washington, Mississippi, Burr was declared by the grand jury to be guilty of no crime or misdemeanor. Burr was subsequently arrested north of Mobile, Alabama, and was eventually acquitted of treason.

Mobile (now in Alabama) was originally part of Mississippi, as was most of the State of Alabama.

Since becoming a state, Mississippi has had four constitutions: 1817, 1832, 1869, and 1890.

The most decorated man from the Korean/Vietnam War is Lawrence "Rabbit" Kennedy, from Amory, MS.

Casey Jones, the famous railroad engineer, met his demise at Vaughan, Mississippi, while trying to make up for lost time. The Casey Jones Museum is located in Vaughan, in his honor.

For more information on Casey Jones, read The True Story of Casey Jones, and visit Casey Jones' Story. Be sure to read the Casey Jones Accident Report.

Casey Jones

Casey Jones' Engine -- Old 382 -- Casey Jones Article 1 -- Casey Jones Article 2 -- Casey Jones Article 3

Photos from the Casey Jones Museum -- Vaughan, Mississippi

Image 1 -- Image 2 -- Image 3

Image 4 -- Image 5 -- Image 6


Mississippi's first inhabitants were a nameless people who fashioned earthern temples alongside rivers. They were followed by three major Indian groups -- Choctaws, Chickasaws and Natchez -- and many smaller tribes including the Biloxis, Pascagoulas, Tunicas, and Yazoo. The state's recorded past dates to 1540 when DeSoto marched through what is now Mississippi in search for gold. It was 141 years later when the next European, LaSalle, touched Mississippi soil. Since then seven flags have flown over the state -- the flags of Spain, France, England, the United States, the Confederate States, the Republic of West Florida and the Mississippi state flag.

Mississippi and the American Revolution

In 1699, d'Iberville, a Frenchman, founded the first permanent settlement in the lower Mississippi valley at Old Biloxi. In 1716 Bienville, his brother, established Natchez as an outpost of the French coastal colony. Mississippi was ceded to the British by the Treaty of Paris in 1763. The Spanish returned to Mississippi in 1781 and set up their government at Natchez. Mississippi became a territory of the United States in 1798 with Natchez as the capital. After the War of 1812, Mississippi petitioned for statehood. On December 10, 1817, Mississippi became the twentieth state admitted to the Union. Natchez again became the capital, but in 1820 the government moved to Columbia and later to Monticello. In 1821, the Legislature selected LeFleur's Bluff as the state capital and changed its name to Jackson in honor of General Andrew Jackson, who later became president. Unsubstantiated rumors circulated for years claiming that Old Gerrington (Gerenton), a community 8 miles west of Vaiden, missed becoming the state capitol by only one vote. No other town in the world bears the name Vaiden.

After a series of wars and treaties, the Chickasaws, Natchez and smaller tribes scatteredor became extinct; several thousand Choctaws remain near Philadelphia. Early governmentbuildings reflect the hope and pride of citizens of the new state. The Old Capitol was completed in 1841 at a cost of $400,000. The Governor's Mansion,completed in 1842, is the second oldest continuously occupied state executive residence inthe United States.

Mississippi's Governors

The steamboat revolutionized commerce on the Mississippi River. River trade boomed in the 1820s. From 1830 to 1850 Mississippi grew into a wealthy cotton empire bringing newpeople and commerce to the state. Enslaved Black Mississippians provided most of the labor for the growth. By 1860, Mississippi produced almost one-fourth of the nation's entire cotton crop.

On January 6, 1861, Mississippi became the second state to secede from the Union as civil war loomed. In disagreement with this decision, Jones County, Mississippi, attempted to secede from Mississippi. On February 18, 1861, Jefferson Davis, a former U.S. Senator from Warren County, was inaugurated President of the Confederate States of America. Civil war battles were fought in almost every area of Mississippi. The major struggle was the seige of Vicksburg -- the city's strategic location on the Mississippi River made it the primary goal of Federal campaigns in the state. Known as the "Gibraltar of the Confederacy," Vicksburg fell on July 4, 1863, and the Confederacy's fate was sealed. During a post-war period known as Reconstruction, Mississippi was readmitted to the Union in 1870. That same year Hiram Revels, later president of Alcorn State University, was elected by the Mississippi Legislature as the first Black U.S. Senator.

From Reconstruction until the Great Depression, Mississippi had an agricultural economy and segregated society. Although railroads and better roads developed the timber industry, After World War II Mississippi moved toward an industrial economy; economic opportunity was accompanied by demands for civil rights and an integrated society. Today Mississippi participates in the global economy and works for the economic advancement of all its people. Our diverse economy is based on manufacturing, the service sector and agriculture. The State operates eight public universities and a system of 15 community colleges to ensure that all Mississippians have access to the advantages of a college-level education. A town of 8,000 when construction began on the New Capitol (pictured below) in 1901, Jackson's metropolitan population is now 395,000.

Click Here for Information on the Mississippi Capitol

Mississippi is home to 80 telecommunications companies including Skytel, the first company to offer two-way wireless messaging; WorldCom, the nation's fourth-largest long distance common carrier; Natcom, the largest pager refurbisher in the United States; and Trilogy Communications, a worldwide manufacturer of coaxial cable. Home-grown industries thrive throughout the state and are a tribute to the people who built them. Peavey Electronics is one such company. Started in 1965 in Hartley Peavey's garage, the company now exports musical instruments, amplifiers, and equipment to more than 100 countries and is the largest manufacturer of such equipment in the world.

Education is an important issue to Mississippians. From kindergarten to elementary, high school and higher public education, the emphasis is on preparing young Mississippians to go out into the world and succeed. Meeting the educational needs of all Mississippi children is a basic goal of the state.

The landscape plays a central role in our history, shaping our daily existence and our communities. Terrain ranges from alluvial flood plain to undulating prairie to steep, eroded hills, and each region has its recognizable characteristics. Twelve different soil areas are dominant in Mississippi: Northeastern Hills; Pontotoc Ridge; Tombigbee Prairie; Yazoo-Mississippi Delta (If you wonder if the Mississippi Delta is really FLAT, CLICK HERE to see for yourself); Loess Bluffs; Flatwoods; Red Clay Hills; Brown-Loam Area; Jackson Prairie; River Lowlands; Piney Woods; and the Gulf Coastal Terrace.

Water: The Mississippi River borders the state on the west with a daily flow of 300 - 500 billion gallons. There are eight other major rivers in the state plus hundreds of lakes and six large reservoirs. The entire southern section of the state borders on the Gulf of Mexico.

Minerals: Mineral deposits include a wealth of clays, marl, cement rock, sandstone, bentonite, limestone, and fuller's earth. Mississippi ranks 12th nationally in the production of oil and ranks 13th in the production of natural gas. There are more than 550 oil and gas fields with more than 2,050 producing wells.

Forests: Approximately 18,600,000 acres of Mississippi's 47,716 square miles of area are covered with forests -- one of the state's most important sources of income. Pines, oaks and gums predominate. Mississippi is the nation's number one tree-farming state.

Native resources of each region provide a stable base for the state's growing economy, fueling tradition and new operations: agriculture and food processing catfish farming poultry and egg production and processing cattle and hog farming timber production paper milling furniture manufacturing textile production commercial fishing seafood processing oil and natural gas production coal and lignite mining.

Combining its natural and human resources with economic incentives, Mississippi attracts a broad spectrum of business, industrial and technical operations. Today, a large, growing service sector and gaming add strength and diversity to an economy traditionally supported by agriculture and manufacturing.

Mississippi's largest single manufacturing sector is forest products and furniture, encompassing everything from sawmills to multi-purpose paper mills to six of the nation's top ten furniture manufacturers. Timber ranks second only to poultry among the state's agricultural commodies. The values of the state's timber harvest exceeds $1 billion, and the state ranks second nationally in the number of acres deforested each year.

Soybeans now lead cotton in acres, but cotton is still king of crops in terms of dollars, ranking Mississippi fourth after Texas, California, and Georgia in production. Other important farm products are livestock, corn, sorghum grain, wheat, rice, peanuts, hay, fruits and vegetables.

Mississippi is the world's leading producer of POND-RAISED CATFISH and ranks among the top 10 states nationally in production of poultry, rice, pecans, sweet potatoes("sweet taters"), muscadine grapes (scuppernongs) and greenhouse tomatoes.

Mississippi Catfish

Located between Atlanta and Dallas to the east and west and Memphis and New Orleans to the north and south, Mississippi is within a day's drive of 12 major American markets. Ports along the Mississippi River and Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway and deep water ports on the Gulf of Mexico connect the state to markets around the world. The name "Mississippi," comes from the American Indian word "Messippi," meaning "Father of Waters."

Interstates 55 and 20 intersect at the heart of the state. Passenger and freight trains crisscross the state, while commercial, passenger and cargo flights arrive and depart daily from airports large and small.

Because of market accessibility, Mississippi is base for companies working in a variety of fields: automobile parts, aircraft components, marine equipment, musical instruments and amplifiers, transportation and distribution, shipbuilding, chemicals, fertilizers, printing, clothing and heavy machinery.

The "Free State of Jones"

I hope you have enjoyed this information, a large part of which I can take no credit for its compilation. Much of the information contained in the preceding sections was provided from the pamphlet/brochure Mississippi, which is published by the office of Secretary of State -- 401 Mississippi Street -- P.O. Box 136 -- Jackson, Mississippi. It is distributed by Hon. Eric Clark, Secretary of the State of Mississippi, and it is his office to which I owe recognition for the compilation of this material. So come visit, and as the Beverly Hillbillies would say, "sit a spell, take your shoes off, y'all come back now, 'ya hear?"

Come Again !!

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