The state’s name
derives from the Ojibwa
tribe word “messipi”
meaning “great river.”
State of the State | Mississippi
Natchez has more than 500 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places.
Elvis Presley was born in Tupelo, which hosts
the annual Tupelo Elvis Festival (June 5-9, 2019).
Other famous native Mississippians include
Oprah Winfrey, playwright Tennessee Williams,
authors William Faulkner and Eudora Welty,
opera singer Leontyne Price, actor James Earl
Jones, football star Walter Payton, puppeteer
Jim Henson, and musicians Bo Diddley and
B.B. King (among many, many others).
Shoes weren’t always sold in left-right sets until 1884 when
Phil Gilbert’s Shoe Parlor in Vicksburg became the
first store to sell them as pairs in boxes. Perhaps
coincidentally, the nation’s first state college for women
was established that very same year in Columbus, MS.
Mississippi became a state
in 1817. The state capital of Jackson
was named to honor General Andrew
Jackson’s victory at the Battle of New
Orleans in 1815.
Blues music was created by African-American artists in the Mississippi
Delta region that stretches along
the river from Vicksburg to Tunica.
• Water-skiing was invented
on Mississippi’s Lake Pepin
in the 1920s.
• Root beer was
Biloxi in 1898
Adolf Barq, Sr.
• The International Checkers
Hall of Fame is in Petal, MS.
The Choctaw Indian
Fair, held every July
in Philadelphia, MS,
of stickball, arguably
America’s oldest game.
Mississippi has more churches
per capita than any other state.
In 1990, the Mississippi Legislature legalized “dockside” casino gambling, which means that all casinos in the coastal Biloxi-Gulfport and riverside Tunica areas are
act;ally set on massive ;oating ;arges. ;t a;o;t ;;.;
billion per year, the state ranks third in the nation behind
Nevada and New Jersey in casino-industry revenue.
Nearly 2/3 of
On a Mississippi hunting expedition in 1902,
President Theodore Roosevelt refused to
shoot a captured bear, resulting in a political
cartoon that inspired the ;rst “teddy bear.”