Mississippi
Overview
Mississippi is a U.S. state
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

 located in the Southern United States
Southern United States
The Southern United States—commonly referred to as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South—constitutes a large distinctive area in the southeastern and south-central United States...

. Jackson
Jackson, Mississippi
Jackson is the capital and the most populous city of the US state of Mississippi. It is one of two county seats of Hinds County ,. The population of the city declined from 184,256 at the 2000 census to 173,514 at the 2010 census...

 is the state capital and largest city. The name of the state derives from the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

, which flows along its western boundary, whose name comes from the Ojibwe word misi-ziibi ("Great River"). The state is heavily forested outside of the Mississippi Delta
Mississippi Delta
The Mississippi Delta is the distinctive northwest section of the U.S. state of Mississippi that lies between the Mississippi and Yazoo Rivers. The region has been called "The Most Southern Place on Earth" because of its unique racial, cultural, and economic history...

 area, which had been cleared for cotton
Cotton
Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective capsule, around the seeds of cotton plants of the genus Gossypium. The fiber is almost pure cellulose. The botanical purpose of cotton fiber is to aid in seed dispersal....

 cultivation in the 19th century. Today its catfish
Catfish
Catfishes are a diverse group of ray-finned fish. Named for their prominent barbels, which resemble a cat's whiskers, catfish range in size and behavior from the heaviest and longest, the Mekong giant catfish from Southeast Asia and the second longest, the wels catfish of Eurasia, to detritivores...

 aquaculture
Aquaculture
Aquaculture, also known as aquafarming, is the farming of aquatic organisms such as fish, crustaceans, molluscs and aquatic plants. Aquaculture involves cultivating freshwater and saltwater populations under controlled conditions, and can be contrasted with commercial fishing, which is the...

 farms produce the majority of farm-raised catfish consumed in the United States.
Discussions
Timeline

1736    Battle of Ackia: British and Chickasaw soldiers repel a French and Choctaw attack on the Chickasaw village of Ackia, near present-day Tupelo, Mississippi. The French, under Louisiana governor Jean Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville, had sought to link Louisiana with Acadia and the other northern colonies of New France.

1817    Mississippi becomes the 20th U.S. state.

1826    Mississippi College is founded in Clinton, becoming the first college in the state of Mississippi.

1831    The Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek, the first removal treaty in accordance with the Indian Removal Act, is proclaimed. The Choctaws in Mississippi cede land east of the river in exchange for payment and land in the West.

1861    Mississippi becomes the second state to secede from the Union before the outbreak of the American Civil War.

1861    American Civil War: Georgia joins South Carolina, Florida, Mississippi, and Alabama in seceding from the United States.

1862    American Civil War: General Ulysses S. Grant issues ''General Order No. 11'', expelling Jews from Tennessee, Mississippi, and Kentucky.

1863    American Civil War: Grierson's Raid begins – troops under Union Army Colonel Benjamin Grierson attack central Mississippi.

1863    American Civil War: Battle of Raymond: two divisions of James B. McPherson's XVII Corps (ACW) turn the left wing of Confederate General John C. Pemberton's defensive line on Fourteen Mile Creek, opening up the interior of Mississippi to the Union Army during the Vicksburg Campaign.

1864    American Civil War: Battle of Brice's Crossroads. Confederate troops under Nathan Bedford Forrest defeat a much larger Union force led by General Samuel D. Sturgis in Mississippi.

Encyclopedia
Mississippi is a U.S. state
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

 located in the Southern United States
Southern United States
The Southern United States—commonly referred to as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South—constitutes a large distinctive area in the southeastern and south-central United States...

. Jackson
Jackson, Mississippi
Jackson is the capital and the most populous city of the US state of Mississippi. It is one of two county seats of Hinds County ,. The population of the city declined from 184,256 at the 2000 census to 173,514 at the 2010 census...

 is the state capital and largest city. The name of the state derives from the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

, which flows along its western boundary, whose name comes from the Ojibwe word misi-ziibi ("Great River"). The state is heavily forested outside of the Mississippi Delta
Mississippi Delta
The Mississippi Delta is the distinctive northwest section of the U.S. state of Mississippi that lies between the Mississippi and Yazoo Rivers. The region has been called "The Most Southern Place on Earth" because of its unique racial, cultural, and economic history...

 area, which had been cleared for cotton
Cotton
Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective capsule, around the seeds of cotton plants of the genus Gossypium. The fiber is almost pure cellulose. The botanical purpose of cotton fiber is to aid in seed dispersal....

 cultivation in the 19th century. Today its catfish
Catfish
Catfishes are a diverse group of ray-finned fish. Named for their prominent barbels, which resemble a cat's whiskers, catfish range in size and behavior from the heaviest and longest, the Mekong giant catfish from Southeast Asia and the second longest, the wels catfish of Eurasia, to detritivores...

 aquaculture
Aquaculture
Aquaculture, also known as aquafarming, is the farming of aquatic organisms such as fish, crustaceans, molluscs and aquatic plants. Aquaculture involves cultivating freshwater and saltwater populations under controlled conditions, and can be contrasted with commercial fishing, which is the...

 farms produce the majority of farm-raised catfish consumed in the United States. The state symbol is the magnolia grandiflora tree.

Geography

Mississippi is bordered on the north by Tennessee
Tennessee
Tennessee is a U.S. state located in the Southeastern United States. It has a population of 6,346,105, making it the nation's 17th-largest state by population, and covers , making it the 36th-largest by total land area...

, on the east by Alabama
Alabama
Alabama is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. It is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and Mississippi to the west. Alabama ranks 30th in total land area and ranks second in the size of its inland...

, on the south by Louisiana
Louisiana
Louisiana is a state located in the southern region of the United States of America. Its capital is Baton Rouge and largest city is New Orleans. Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are local governments equivalent to counties...

 and a narrow coast on the Gulf of Mexico
Gulf of Mexico
The Gulf of Mexico is a partially landlocked ocean basin largely surrounded by the North American continent and the island of Cuba. It is bounded on the northeast, north and northwest by the Gulf Coast of the United States, on the southwest and south by Mexico, and on the southeast by Cuba. In...

 and on the west, across the Mississippi River, by Louisiana and Arkansas
Arkansas
Arkansas is a state located in the southern region of the United States. Its name is an Algonquian name of the Quapaw Indians. Arkansas shares borders with six states , and its eastern border is largely defined by the Mississippi River...

.

In addition to its namesake, major rivers in Mississippi include the Big Black River, the Pearl River
Pearl River (Mississippi-Louisiana)
The Pearl River is a river in the U.S. states of Mississippi and Louisiana. It forms in Neshoba County, Mississippi from the confluence of Nanih Waiya and Tallahaga creeks. It is long. The Yockanookany and Strong rivers are tributaries. Northeast of Jackson, the Ross Barnett Reservoir is formed by...

, the Yazoo River
Yazoo River
The Yazoo River is a river in the U.S. state of Mississippi.The Yazoo River was named by French explorer La Salle in 1682 as "Rivière des Yazous" in reference to the Yazoo tribe living near the river's mouth. The exact meaning of the term is unclear...

, the Pascagoula River
Pascagoula River
The Pascagoula River is a river, about 80 mi long, in southeastern Mississippi in the United States. The river drains an area of about 8,800 sq mi and flows into Mississippi Sound of the Gulf of Mexico....

, and the Tombigbee River
Tombigbee River
The Tombigbee River is a tributary of the Mobile River, approximately 200 mi long, in the U.S. states of Mississippi and Alabama. It is one of two major rivers, along with the Alabama River, that unite to form the short Mobile River before it empties into Mobile Bay on the Gulf of Mexico...

. Major lakes include Ross Barnett Reservoir
Ross Barnett Reservoir
The Ross Barnett Reservoir is an impoundment of the Pearl River between Madison and Rankin Counties in the U.S. state of Mississippi. The lake serves as the state's largest drinking water resource, and is managed by the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District. The lake features of shoreline...

, Arkabutla Lake
Arkabutla Lake
Arkabutla Lake is a reservoir on the Coldwater River in the U.S. state of Mississippi. It is one of four Flood Damage Reduction reservoirs in northern Mississippi. With an annual visitation exceeding 2 million people, Arkabutla Lake accommodates a wide variety of recreational interest throughout...

, Sardis Lake and Grenada Lake
Grenada Lake
Grenada Lake is a reservoir on the Yalobusha River in the U.S. state of Mississippi. It is one of four flood control lakes in North Mississippi constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Grenada Lake was constructed to help control flooding along the Yazoo River Basin...

. The largest lake in Mississippi is Grenada Lake
Grenada Lake
Grenada Lake is a reservoir on the Yalobusha River in the U.S. state of Mississippi. It is one of four flood control lakes in North Mississippi constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Grenada Lake was constructed to help control flooding along the Yazoo River Basin...

.
The state of Mississippi is entirely composed of lowlands, the highest point being Woodall Mountain
Woodall Mountain
Woodall Mountain is the highest natural point in the state of Mississippi at 807 feet . It is located just off Mississippi Highway 25, south of Iuka. The summit is marked with a National Geodetic Survey triangulation station disk and three radio towers...

, in the foothills of the Cumberland Mountains
Cumberland Mountains
The Cumberland Mountains are a mountain range in the southeastern section of the Appalachian Mountains. They are located in southern West Virginia, western Virginia, eastern edges of Kentucky, and eastern middle Tennessee, including the Crab Orchard Mountains...

, 806 feet (246 m) above sea level. The lowest point is sea level at the Gulf
Gulf of Mexico
The Gulf of Mexico is a partially landlocked ocean basin largely surrounded by the North American continent and the island of Cuba. It is bounded on the northeast, north and northwest by the Gulf Coast of the United States, on the southwest and south by Mexico, and on the southeast by Cuba. In...

 coast. The mean elevation in the state is 300 feet (91 m) above sea level.

Most of Mississippi is part of the East Gulf Coastal Plain. The Coastal Plain is generally composed of low hills, such as the Pine Hills in the south and the North Central Hills. The Pontotoc Ridge and the Fall Line Hills in the northeast have somewhat higher elevations. Yellow-brown loess
Loess
Loess is an aeolian sediment formed by the accumulation of wind-blown silt, typically in the 20–50 micrometre size range, twenty percent or less clay and the balance equal parts sand and silt that are loosely cemented by calcium carbonate...

 soil is found in the western parts of the state. The northeast is a region of fertile black earth that extends into the Alabama Black Belt
Black Belt (region of Alabama)
The Black Belt is a region of the U.S. state of Alabama, and part of the larger Black Belt Region of the Southern United States, which stretches from Texas to Maryland. The term originally referred to the region underlain by a thin layer of rich, black topsoil developed atop the chalk of the Selma...

.

The coastline includes large bays at Bay St. Louis
Bay St. Louis, Mississippi
Bay Saint Louis is a city located in Hancock County, Mississippi. It is part of the Gulfport–Biloxi, Mississippi Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 8,209. It is the county seat of Hancock County...

, Biloxi
Biloxi, Mississippi
Biloxi is a city in Harrison County, Mississippi, in the United States. The 2010 census recorded the population as 44,054. Along with Gulfport, Biloxi is a county seat of Harrison County....

 and Pascagoula
Pascagoula, Mississippi
Pascagoula is a city in Jackson County, Mississippi, United States. It is the principal city of the Pascagoula, Mississippi Metropolitan Statistical Area, as a part of the Gulfport–Biloxi–Pascagoula, Mississippi Combined Statistical Area. The population was 26,200 at the 2000 census...

. It is separated from the Gulf of Mexico proper by the shallow Mississippi Sound
Mississippi Sound
The Mississippi Sound is a sound along the Gulf Coast of the United States. It runs east-west along the southern coasts of Mississippi and Alabama, from Waveland, Mississippi, to the Dauphin Island Bridge, a distance of about 145 kilometers...

, which is partially sheltered by Petit Bois Island
Petit Bois Island (Mississippi)
Petit Bois Island is an island off the coast of the U.S. state of Mississippi, south of Pascagoula. It is part of Jackson County, Mississippi. Since 1971 it has been a part of Gulf Islands National Seashore, administered by the U.S. National Park Service....

, Horn Island
Horn Island (Mississippi)
Horn Island is a long, thin barrier island off the Gulf Coast of Mississippi, south of Ocean Springs. It is part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore. Horn Island is several miles long, but less than a mile wide at its widest point...

, East and West Ship Islands
Ship Island (Mississippi)
Ship Island is the collective name for two barrier islands off the Gulf Coast of Mississippi, part of Gulf Islands National Seashore: East Ship Island and West Ship Island. Hurricane Camille split the once single island into 2 separate islands in 1969...

, Deer Island, Round Island
Round Island (Mississippi)
Round Island is a small, uninhabited island in the Mississippi Sound, 6.5 kilometers south of Pascagoula, Mississippi, U.S.A. The 0.26-km² island is a coastal preserve, situated in Jackson County and managed by the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources...

 and Cat Island
Cat Island (Mississippi)
Cat Island is a barrier island off the Gulf Coast of the United States. The island is named for raccoons which Spanish explorers mistook for cats. It is unknown who discovered Cat Island. It was called Isle-aux-Chats and Isola de Gati in French and Italian, respectively. It is within the...

.

The northwest remainder of the state consists of the Mississippi Delta
Mississippi Delta
The Mississippi Delta is the distinctive northwest section of the U.S. state of Mississippi that lies between the Mississippi and Yazoo Rivers. The region has been called "The Most Southern Place on Earth" because of its unique racial, cultural, and economic history...

, a section of the Mississippi Alluvial Plain
Mississippi Alluvial Plain
The Mississippi River Alluvial Plain is an alluvial plain created by the Mississippi River on which lies parts of seven states, from southern Louisiana to southern Illinois....

. The plain is narrow in the south and widens north of Vicksburg
Vicksburg, Mississippi
Vicksburg is a city in Warren County, Mississippi, United States. It is the only city in Warren County. It is located northwest of New Orleans on the Mississippi and Yazoo rivers, and due west of Jackson, the state capital. In 1900, 14,834 people lived in Vicksburg; in 1910, 20,814; in 1920,...

. The region has rich soil, partly made up of silt which had been regularly deposited by the floodwaters of the Mississippi River.

Areas under the management of the National Park Service
National Park Service
The National Park Service is the U.S. federal agency that manages all national parks, many national monuments, and other conservation and historical properties with various title designations...

 include:
  • Brices Cross Roads National Battlefield Site
    Brices Cross Roads National Battlefield Site
    Brices Cross Roads National Battlefield Site commemorates the Battle of Brice's Crossroads, in which the Confederate army, under Major General Nathan Bedford Forrest, defeated a much larger Union force on June 10, 1864, to ultimately secure supply lines between Nashville and Chattanooga,...

     near Baldwyn
    Baldwyn, Mississippi
    Baldwyn is a city in Lee and Prentiss Counties, Mississippi, United States. Baldwyn is located on Highway 370, due north of Tupelo, Mississippi. It was incorporated by Act of the Legislature in Tishomingo and Itawamba Counties on April 1, 1861...

  • Gulf Islands National Seashore
    Gulf Islands National Seashore
    Gulf Islands National Seashore offers recreation opportunities and preserves natural and historic resources along the Gulf of Mexico barrier islands of Florida and Mississippi. The protected regions include mainland areas and parts of 7 islands...

  • Natchez National Historical Park
    Natchez National Historical Park
    Natchez National Historical Park commemorates the history of Natchez, Mississippi, and is managed by the National Park Service.The park consists of three distinct parts. Fort Rosalie is the site of a fortification from the 18th century, built by the French, and later controlled by the United...

     in Natchez
    Natchez, Mississippi
    Natchez is the county seat of Adams County, Mississippi, United States. With a total population of 18,464 , it is the largest community and the only incorporated municipality within Adams County...

  • Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail in Tupelo
    Tupelo, Mississippi
    Tupelo is the largest city in and the county seat of Lee County, Mississippi, United States. It is the seventh largest city in the state of Mississippi, smaller than Meridian, and larger than Greenville. As of the 2000 United States Census, the city's population was 34,211...

  • Natchez Trace Parkway
    Natchez Trace Parkway
    The Natchez Trace Parkway is a National Park Service unit in the southeastern United States that commemorates the historic Old Natchez Trace and preserves sections of the original trail....

  • Tupelo National Battlefield
    Tupelo National Battlefield
    Tupelo National Battlefield, in Tupelo, Mississippi, commemorates the July 14–15, 1864, Battle of Tupelo in which Lieutenant General Nathan Bedford Forrest tried to cut the railroad supplying the Union's march on Atlanta.-Administrative history:...

     in Tupelo
  • Vicksburg National Military Park and Cemetery
    Vicksburg National Military Park
    Vicksburg National Military Park preserves the site of the American Civil War Battle of Vicksburg, waged from May 18 to July 4, 1863. The park, in Vicksburg, Mississippi, and Delta, Louisiana, also commemorates the greater Vicksburg Campaign, which preceded the battle. Reconstructed forts and...

     in Vicksburg
    Vicksburg, Mississippi
    Vicksburg is a city in Warren County, Mississippi, United States. It is the only city in Warren County. It is located northwest of New Orleans on the Mississippi and Yazoo rivers, and due west of Jackson, the state capital. In 1900, 14,834 people lived in Vicksburg; in 1910, 20,814; in 1920,...


Major cities and towns

Mississippi City Population Rankings of at least 50,000 (United States Census Bureau
United States Census Bureau
The United States Census Bureau is the government agency that is responsible for the United States Census. It also gathers other national demographic and economic data...

 as of 2010):
  1. Jackson
    Jackson, Mississippi
    Jackson is the capital and the most populous city of the US state of Mississippi. It is one of two county seats of Hinds County ,. The population of the city declined from 184,256 at the 2000 census to 173,514 at the 2010 census...

     (173,514)
  2. Gulfport
    Gulfport, Mississippi
    Gulfport is the second largest city in Mississippi after the state capital Jackson. It is the larger of the two principal cities of the Gulfport-Biloxi, Mississippi Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is included in the Gulfport-Biloxi-Pascagoula, Mississippi Combined Statistical Area. As of the...

     (67,793)
  3. Hattiesburg
    Hattiesburg, Mississippi
    Hattiesburg is a city in Forrest County, Mississippi, United States. The population was 44,779 at the 2000 census . It is the county seat of Forrest County...

     (51,993)

Mississippi City Population Rankings of at least 20,000 but fewer than 50,000 (United States Census Bureau
United States Census Bureau
The United States Census Bureau is the government agency that is responsible for the United States Census. It also gathers other national demographic and economic data...

 as of 2010):



  1. Southaven
    Southaven, Mississippi
    -Households And Families:As of the census of 2000, there were 28,977 people, 11,007 households, and 8,134 families residing in the city. The population density was 857.9 people per square mile...

     (48,982)
  2. Biloxi
    Biloxi, Mississippi
    Biloxi is a city in Harrison County, Mississippi, in the United States. The 2010 census recorded the population as 44,054. Along with Gulfport, Biloxi is a county seat of Harrison County....

     (44,054)
  3. Meridian
    Meridian, Mississippi
    Meridian is the county seat of Lauderdale County, Mississippi. It is the sixth largest city in the state and the principal city of the Meridian, Mississippi Micropolitan Statistical Area...

     (41,198)
  4. Tupelo
    Tupelo, Mississippi
    Tupelo is the largest city in and the county seat of Lee County, Mississippi, United States. It is the seventh largest city in the state of Mississippi, smaller than Meridian, and larger than Greenville. As of the 2000 United States Census, the city's population was 34,211...

     (34,546)




    1. Greenville
      Greenville, Mississippi
      Greenville is a city in Washington County, Mississippi, United States. The population was 48,633 at the 2000 census, but according to the 2009 census bureau estimates, it has since declined to 42,764, making it the eighth-largest city in the state. It is the county seat of Washington...

       (34,400)
    2. Olive Branch
      Olive Branch, Mississippi
      Olive Branch is a city in DeSoto County, Mississippi, United States. The population was 21,054 at the 2000 census. A July 1, 2008 United States Census Bureau estimate placed the population at 31,830, making it the ninth-largest city in the state of Mississippi...

       (33,484)
    3. Horn Lake
      Horn Lake, Mississippi
      Horn Lake is a city in DeSoto County, Mississippi, United States. Horn Lake is a suburb of Memphis, Tennessee, which is located just a few miles to the north. As of the 2000 U.S...

       (26,066)
    4. Clinton
      Clinton, Mississippi
      Clinton is a city in Hinds County, Mississippi, United States. Situated in the Jackson metropolitan area, it is the tenth largest city in Mississippi. The population was 23,347 at the 2000 United States Census.-History:...

       (25,216)
    5. Pearl
      Pearl, Mississippi
      Pearl is a city in Rankin County, Mississippi, United States. The population was 21,961 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Jackson Metropolitan Statistical Area....

       (25,092)




    1. Madison
      Madison, Mississippi
      Madison is a city in Madison County, Mississippi, USA. The population was 14,691 at the 2000 census. The population is currently 16,930. It is part of the Jackson Metropolitan Statistical Area. It is currently the highest income city in the state...

       (24,149)
    2. Ridgeland
      Ridgeland, Mississippi
      Ridgeland is a city in Madison County, Mississippi, United States. The population was 20,173 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Jackson Metropolitan Statistical Area.-Geography:...

       (24,047)
    3. Starkville
      Starkville, Mississippi
      -Demographics:As of the census of 2000, there were 21,869 people, 9,462 households, and 4,721 families residing in the city. The population density was 851.4 people per square mile . There were 10,191 housing units at an average density of 396.7 per square mile...

       (23,888)
    4. Vicksburg
      Vicksburg, Mississippi
      Vicksburg is a city in Warren County, Mississippi, United States. It is the only city in Warren County. It is located northwest of New Orleans on the Mississippi and Yazoo rivers, and due west of Jackson, the state capital. In 1900, 14,834 people lived in Vicksburg; in 1910, 20,814; in 1920,...

       (23,856)
    5. Columbus
      Columbus, Mississippi
      Columbus is a city in Lowndes County, Mississippi, United States that lies above the Tombigbee River. It is approximately northeast of Jackson, north of Meridian, south of Tupelo, northwest of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and west of Birmingham, Alabama. The population was 25,944 at the 2000 census...

       (23,604)




    1. Pascagoula
      Pascagoula, Mississippi
      Pascagoula is a city in Jackson County, Mississippi, United States. It is the principal city of the Pascagoula, Mississippi Metropolitan Statistical Area, as a part of the Gulfport–Biloxi–Pascagoula, Mississippi Combined Statistical Area. The population was 26,200 at the 2000 census...

       (22,392)
    2. Brandon
      Brandon, Mississippi
      Brandon is a city in Rankin County, Mississippi, United States. The population was 16,436 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Rankin CountyBrandon is part of the Jackson Metropolitan Statistical Area.- History :...

       (21,705)




Mississippi City Population Rankings of at least 10,000 but fewer than 20,000 (United States Census Bureau
United States Census Bureau
The United States Census Bureau is the government agency that is responsible for the United States Census. It also gathers other national demographic and economic data...

 as of 2010):


  1. Oxford
    Oxford, Mississippi
    Oxford is a city in, and the county seat of, Lafayette County, Mississippi, United States. Founded in 1835, it was named after the British university city of Oxford in hopes of having the state university located there, which it did successfully attract....

     (18,916)
  2. Gautier
    Gautier, Mississippi
    Gautier is a city in Jackson County, Mississippi, United States, along the Gulf of Mexico west of Pascagoula. It is part of the Pascagoula, Mississippi Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 11,681 at the 2000 census. In 2002, Gautier annexed land nearly doubling its population to...

     (18,572)
  3. Laurel
    Laurel, Mississippi
    Laurel is a city located in Jones County in Mississippi, a state of the United States of America. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 18,393 although a significant population increase has been reported following Hurricane Katrina. Located in southeast Mississippi, southeast of...

     (18,540)
  4. Clarksdale
    Clarksdale, Mississippi
    Clarksdale is a city in Coahoma County, Mississippi, United States. The population was 20,645 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Coahoma County....

     (17,962)
  5. Ocean Springs
    Ocean Springs, Mississippi
    Ocean Springs is a city in Jackson County, Mississippi, United States, about east of Biloxi. It is part of the Pascagoula, Mississippi Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 17,225 at the 2000 census...

     (17,442)
  6. Natchez
    Natchez, Mississippi
    Natchez is the county seat of Adams County, Mississippi, United States. With a total population of 18,464 , it is the largest community and the only incorporated municipality within Adams County...

     (15,792)
  7. Greenwood
    Greenwood, Mississippi
    Greenwood is a city in and the county seat of Leflore County, Mississippi, United States, located at the eastern edge of the Mississippi Delta approximately 96 miles north of Jackson, Mississippi, and 130 miles south of Memphis, Tennessee. The population was 15,205 at the 2010 census. It is the...

     (15,205)
  8. Long Beach
    Long Beach, Mississippi
    Long Beach is a city located in Harrison County, Mississippi, USA. It is part of the Gulfport–Biloxi, Mississippi Metropolitan Statistical Area...

     (14,792)




  1. Corinth
    Corinth, Mississippi
    Corinth is a city in Alcorn County, Mississippi, United States. The population was 14,054 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Alcorn County. Its ZIP codes are 38834 and 38835.- History :...

     (14,573)
  2. Hernando
    Hernando, Mississippi
    Hernando is a city in central DeSoto County, Mississippi. The population was 6,812 at the 2000 census. The 2006 census estimate reflects a population of 10,580. Hernando is the county seat of DeSoto County, the second-most-populous county in the Memphis metropolitan area. US Hwy 51 and the I-55...

     (14,090)
  3. Moss Point
    Moss Point, Mississippi
    Moss Point is a city, north of Pascagoula, in Jackson County, Mississippi, United States. The population was 17,653 at the 2000 census.On August 29, 2005, Moss Point was hit by the strong east side of Hurricane Katrina, and much of Moss Point was flooded or destroyed .-Geography:Moss Point is...

     (13,704)
  4. Canton
    Canton, Mississippi
    Canton is a city in Madison County, Mississippi. The population was 12,911 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Madison County, and situated in the northern part of the metropolitan area surrounding the state capital, Jackson....

     (13,189)
  5. Grenada
    Grenada, Mississippi
    Grenada is a city in Grenada County, Mississippi, United States. The population was 14,879 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Grenada County.-History:...

     (13,092)
  6. McComb
    McComb, Mississippi
    McComb is a city in Pike County, Mississippi, United States, about south of Jackson. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 13,644. It is the principal city of the McComb, Mississippi, Micropolitan Statistical Area...

     (12,790)
  7. Brookhaven
    Brookhaven, Mississippi
    Brookhaven is a small city in Lincoln County, Mississippi, United States. The population was 9,861 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Lincoln County...

     (12,513)
  8. Cleveland
    Cleveland, Mississippi
    Cleveland is a city in Bolivar County, Mississippi, United States. The population was 12,334 as of the 2010 census.Cleveland has a fairly large commercial economy, with numerous restaurants, stores, and services along U.S. Highway 61...

     (12,334)




  1. Byram
    Byram, Mississippi
    Byram is a city in Hinds County, Mississippi, United States. The population was 7,386 at the 2000 census, at which time it was a census-designated place . It is part of the Jackson Metropolitan Statistical Area. It was incorporated for a second time in its history on June 16, 2009.-History:Byram...

     (11,489)
  2. Yazoo City
    Yazoo City, Mississippi
    Yazoo City is a city in Yazoo County, Mississippi, United States. It was named after the Yazoo River, which, in turn was named by the French explorer Robert La Salle. It is the county seat of Yazoo County and the principal city of the Yazoo City Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is part of the...

     (11,403)
  3. West Point
    West Point, Mississippi
    West Point is a city in Clay County, Mississippi, United States. The population was 12,145 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Clay County and the principal city of the West Point Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is part of the larger Columbus-West Point Combined Statistical...

     (11,307)
  4. Picayune
    Picayune, Mississippi
    Picayune is the largest city in Pearl River County, Mississippi, United States. The population was 10,878 at the 2010 census. Located approximately from New Orleans, Hattiesburg, and Gulfport/Biloxi...

     (10,878)
  5. Indianola
    Indianola, Mississippi
    Indianola is a city in Sunflower County, Mississippi, United States. The population was 12,066 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Sunflower County.-History:...

     (10,683)
  6. Petal
    Petal, Mississippi
    Petal is a city in Forrest County, Mississippi, United States, along the Leaf River. It is part of the Hattiesburg, Mississippi Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population is 10,617 per the US Census estimates performed in July 2007....

     (10,454)



(See: Lists of cities, towns and villages, census-designated places, metropolitan areas, micropolitan areas, and counties in Mississippi)

Climate

Mississippi has a humid subtropical climate
Humid subtropical climate
A humid subtropical climate is a climate zone characterized by hot, humid summers and mild to cool winters...

 with long summers and short, mild winters. Temperatures average about 95°F
Fahrenheit
Fahrenheit is the temperature scale proposed in 1724 by, and named after, the German physicist Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit . Within this scale, the freezing of water into ice is defined at 32 degrees, while the boiling point of water is defined to be 212 degrees...

 (about 35°C
Celsius
Celsius is a scale and unit of measurement for temperature. It is named after the Swedish astronomer Anders Celsius , who developed a similar temperature scale two years before his death...

) in July and about 48 °F (about 9 °C) in January. The temperature varies little statewide in the summer; however, in winter, the region near Mississippi Sound is significantly warmer than the inland portion of the state. The recorded temperature in Mississippi has ranged from −19 °F (−28.3 °C), in 1966, at Corinth
Corinth, Mississippi
Corinth is a city in Alcorn County, Mississippi, United States. The population was 14,054 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Alcorn County. Its ZIP codes are 38834 and 38835.- History :...

 in the northeast, to 115 °F (46.1 °C), in 1930, at Holly Springs
Holly Springs, Mississippi
Holly Springs is a city in Marshall County, Mississippi, United States. The population was 7,957 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Marshall County. A short drive from Memphis, Tennessee, Holly Springs is the site of a number of well-preserved antebellum homes and other structures and...

 in the north. Heavy snowfall is possible across the state, such as during the New Year's Eve 1963 snowstorm
New Year's Eve 1963 snowstorm
The New Year's Eve 1963 snowstorm was a significant winter storm occurring from December 31, 1963 to January 1, 1964 over most of the Southern United States. The storm began when a surface low-pressure system moved northward through the eastern Gulf of Mexico and up the fall line east of the...

. Yearly precipitation
Precipitation (meteorology)
In meteorology, precipitation In meteorology, precipitation In meteorology, precipitation (also known as one of the classes of hydrometeors, which are atmospheric water phenomena is any product of the condensation of atmospheric water vapor that falls under gravity. The main forms of precipitation...

 generally increases from north to south, with the regions closer to the Gulf
Gulf of Mexico
The Gulf of Mexico is a partially landlocked ocean basin largely surrounded by the North American continent and the island of Cuba. It is bounded on the northeast, north and northwest by the Gulf Coast of the United States, on the southwest and south by Mexico, and on the southeast by Cuba. In...

 being the most humid. Thus, Clarksdale
Clarksdale, Mississippi
Clarksdale is a city in Coahoma County, Mississippi, United States. The population was 20,645 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Coahoma County....

, in the northwest, gets about 50 inches (about 1,270 mm) of precipitation annually and Biloxi
Biloxi, Mississippi
Biloxi is a city in Harrison County, Mississippi, in the United States. The 2010 census recorded the population as 44,054. Along with Gulfport, Biloxi is a county seat of Harrison County....

, in the south, about 61 inches (about 1,550 mm). Small amounts of snow fall in northern and central Mississippi, although snow is occasional in the southern part of the state.

The late summer and fall is the seasonal period of risk for hurricanes
Tropical cyclone
A tropical cyclone is a storm system characterized by a large low-pressure center and numerous thunderstorms that produce strong winds and heavy rain. Tropical cyclones strengthen when water evaporated from the ocean is released as the saturated air rises, resulting in condensation of water vapor...

 moving inland from the Gulf of Mexico, especially in the southern part of the state. Hurricane Camille
Hurricane Camille
Hurricane Camille was the third and strongest tropical cyclone and second hurricane during the 1969 Atlantic hurricane season. The second of three catastrophic Category 5 hurricanes to make landfall in the United States during the 20th century , which it did near the mouth of the Mississippi River...

 in 1969 and Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season was a powerful Atlantic hurricane. It is the costliest natural disaster, as well as one of the five deadliest hurricanes, in the history of the United States. Among recorded Atlantic hurricanes, it was the sixth strongest overall...

 in 2005, which killed 238 people in the state, are the most devastating hurricanes to hit the state, both causing nearly total storm surge damage around Gulfport
Gulfport, Mississippi
Gulfport is the second largest city in Mississippi after the state capital Jackson. It is the larger of the two principal cities of the Gulfport-Biloxi, Mississippi Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is included in the Gulfport-Biloxi-Pascagoula, Mississippi Combined Statistical Area. As of the...

, Biloxi
Biloxi, Mississippi
Biloxi is a city in Harrison County, Mississippi, in the United States. The 2010 census recorded the population as 44,054. Along with Gulfport, Biloxi is a county seat of Harrison County....

 and Pascagoula
Pascagoula, Mississippi
Pascagoula is a city in Jackson County, Mississippi, United States. It is the principal city of the Pascagoula, Mississippi Metropolitan Statistical Area, as a part of the Gulfport–Biloxi–Pascagoula, Mississippi Combined Statistical Area. The population was 26,200 at the 2000 census...

. As in the rest of the Deep South, thunderstorm
Thunderstorm
A thunderstorm, also known as an electrical storm, a lightning storm, thundershower or simply a storm is a form of weather characterized by the presence of lightning and its acoustic effect on the Earth's atmosphere known as thunder. The meteorologically assigned cloud type associated with the...

s are common in Mississippi, especially in the southern part of the state. On average, Mississippi has around 27 tornado
Tornado
A tornado is a violent, dangerous, rotating column of air that is in contact with both the surface of the earth and a cumulonimbus cloud or, in rare cases, the base of a cumulus cloud. They are often referred to as a twister or a cyclone, although the word cyclone is used in meteorology in a wider...

es annually; the northern part of the state has more tornadoes earlier in the year and the southern part a higher frequency later in the year. Two of the five deadliest tornadoes in US history have occurred in the state. These storms struck Natchez
Natchez, Mississippi
Natchez is the county seat of Adams County, Mississippi, United States. With a total population of 18,464 , it is the largest community and the only incorporated municipality within Adams County...

, in southwest Mississippi (see The Great Natchez Tornado) and Tupelo
Tupelo
The tupelo , black gum, or pepperidge tree, genus Nyssa , is a small genus of about 9 to 11 species of trees with alternate, simple leaves...

, in the northeast corner of the state. About seven F5 tornadoes have been recorded in the state.
Monthly Normal High and Low Temperatures (°F) For Various Mississippi Cities
City Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Gulfport 61/43 64/46 70/52 77/59 84/66 89/72 91/74 91/74 87/70 79/60 70/51 63/45
Jackson 55/35 60/38 68/45 75/52 82/61 89/68 91/71 91/70 86/65 77/52 66/43 58/37
Meridian 58/35 63/38 70/44 77/50 84/60 90/67 93/70 93/70 88/64 78/51 68/43 60/37
Tupelo 50/30 56/34 65/41 74/48 81/58 88/66 91/70 91/68 85/62 75/49 63/40 54/33
http://www.ustravelweather.com/mississippi/

Ecology

Mississippi is heavily forested, with over half of the state's area covered by wild trees, including mostly pine
Pine
Pines are trees in the genus Pinus ,in the family Pinaceae. They make up the monotypic subfamily Pinoideae. There are about 115 species of pine, although different authorities accept between 105 and 125 species.-Etymology:...

, as well as cottonwood, elm
Elm
Elms are deciduous and semi-deciduous trees comprising the genus Ulmus in the plant family Ulmaceae. The dozens of species are found in temperate and tropical-montane regions of North America and Eurasia, ranging southward into Indonesia. Elms are components of many kinds of natural forests...

, hickory
Hickory
Trees in the genus Carya are commonly known as hickory, derived from the Powhatan language of Virginia. The genus includes 17–19 species of deciduous trees with pinnately compound leaves and big nuts...

, oak
Oak
An oak is a tree or shrub in the genus Quercus , of which about 600 species exist. "Oak" may also appear in the names of species in related genera, notably Lithocarpus...

, pecan
Pecan
The pecan , Carya illinoinensis, is a species of hickory, native to south-central North America, in Mexico from Coahuila south to Jalisco and Veracruz, in the United States from southern Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, and Indiana east to western Kentucky, southwestern Ohio, North Carolina, South...

, sweetgum and tupelo
Tupelo
The tupelo , black gum, or pepperidge tree, genus Nyssa , is a small genus of about 9 to 11 species of trees with alternate, simple leaves...

.

Flooding

Due to seasonal flooding possible from December to June, the Mississippi River created a fertile floodplain in the Mississippi Delta, including tributaries. Early planters used slaves to build levees along the Mississippi River to control flooding. They built on top of the natural levees that formed from dirt deposited after the river flooded. As cultivation of cotton increased in the Delta, planters hired Irish
Irish people
The Irish people are an ethnic group who originate in Ireland, an island in northwestern Europe. Ireland has been populated for around 9,000 years , with the Irish people's earliest ancestors recorded having legends of being descended from groups such as the Nemedians, Fomorians, Fir Bolg, Tuatha...

 laborers, who immigrated in high numbers in the 1840s, to ditch and drain their land.

The state took over levee building from 1858 to 1861, accomplishing it through contractors and hired labor. In those years, planters considered their slaves too valuable to hire out for such dangerous work. Contractors hired gangs of Irish immigrant laborers to build levees and sometimes clear land. Many of the Irish were relatively recent immigrants from the famine
Famine
A famine is a widespread scarcity of food, caused by several factors including crop failure, overpopulation, or government policies. This phenomenon is usually accompanied or followed by regional malnutrition, starvation, epidemic, and increased mortality. Every continent in the world has...

 years, and struggling to get established. Before the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

, the earthwork levees averaged six feet in height, although in some areas they reached twenty feet.

Flooding has been an integral part of Mississippi history, but clearing of the land for cultivation and to supply fuel for steamboats took away the absorption of trees and undergrowth. After the Civil War, major floods swept down the valley in 1865, 1867, 1874 and 1882. Such floods regularly overwhelmed levees damaged by Confederate and Union fighting during the war, as well as those constructed after the war. In 1877, the Mississippi Levee District was created for southern counties. In 1879, the United States Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

 created the Mississippi River Commission, whose responsibilities included aiding state levee boards in the construction of levees. Both white and black transient workers built the levees in the late 19th century. By 1882, levees averaged seven feet in height, but many in the southern Delta were severely tested by the flood that year. After the 1882 flood, the levee system was expanded. In 1884, the Yazoo-Mississippi Delta Levee District was established to oversee levee construction and maintenance in the northern Delta counties; also included were some counties in Arkansas
Arkansas
Arkansas is a state located in the southern region of the United States. Its name is an Algonquian name of the Quapaw Indians. Arkansas shares borders with six states , and its eastern border is largely defined by the Mississippi River...

.

Flooding overwhelmed northwestern Mississippi in 1912–1913, causing heavy damage to the levee districts. Regional losses and the Mississippi River Levee Association's lobbying for a flood control bill helped gain passage of national bills in 1917 and 1923 to provide federal matching funds for local levee districts, on a scale of 2:1. Although US participation in World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 interrupted funding of levees, the second round of funding helped raise the average height of levees in the Mississippi-Yazoo Delta to 22 feet (6.7 m) in the 1920s. Scientists now understand the levees have increased flooding, and the region was severely damaged due to the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927
Great Mississippi Flood of 1927
The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 was the most destructive river flood in the history of the United States.-Events:The flood began when heavy rains pounded the central basin of the Mississippi in the summer of 1926. By September, the Mississippi's tributaries in Kansas and Iowa were swollen to...

. There were losses of millions of dollars in property, stock and crops. The most damage occurred in the lower Delta, including Washington
Washington County, Mississippi
-National protected areas:*Holt Collier National Wildlife Refuge*Theodore Roosevelt National Wildlife Refuge *Yazoo National Wildlife Refuge-Demographics:...

 and Bolivar
Bolivar County, Mississippi
-Demographics:As of the census of 2000, there were 40,633 people, 13,776 households, and 9,725 families residing in the county. The population density was 46 people per square mile . There were 14,939 housing units at an average density of 17 per square mile...

 counties.

Even as scientific knowledge about the Mississippi River has grown, upstream development and the consequences of the levees have caused more severe flooding in some years. Scientists now understand that the widespread clearing of land and building of the levees have changed the nature of the river, by removing the natural protection of wetlands and forest cover, and strengthening the current. The state and federal governments have been struggling for the best approaches to restore some natural habitats in order to best interact with the original riverine ecology.

History

Nearly 10,000 B.C. Native American
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

s or Paleo-Indians arrived in what today is referred to as the South
Southern United States
The Southern United States—commonly referred to as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South—constitutes a large distinctive area in the southeastern and south-central United States...

. Paleoindians in the South were hunter-gatherer
Hunter-gatherer
A hunter-gatherer or forage society is one in which most or all food is obtained from wild plants and animals, in contrast to agricultural societies which rely mainly on domesticated species. Hunting and gathering was the ancestral subsistence mode of Homo, and all modern humans were...

s who pursued the megafauna
Megafauna
In terrestrial zoology, megafauna are "giant", "very large" or "large" animals. The most common thresholds used are or...

 that became extinct following the end of the Pleistocene
Pleistocene
The Pleistocene is the epoch from 2,588,000 to 11,700 years BP that spans the world's recent period of repeated glaciations. The name pleistocene is derived from the Greek and ....

 age. After thousands of years, the Paleoindians developed a rich and complex agricultural society. Archaeologists called these people the Mississippians of the Mississippian culture
Mississippian culture
The Mississippian culture was a mound-building Native American culture that flourished in what is now the Midwestern, Eastern, and Southeastern United States from approximately 800 CE to 1500 CE, varying regionally....

; they were Mound Builders, whose large earthworks related to political and religious rituals still stand throughout the Mississippi and Ohio
Ohio River
The Ohio River is the largest tributary, by volume, of the Mississippi River. At the confluence, the Ohio is even bigger than the Mississippi and, thus, is hydrologically the main stream of the whole river system, including the Allegheny River further upstream...

 valleys. Descendant Native American
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

 tribes include the Chickasaw
Chickasaw
The Chickasaw are Native American people originally from the region that would become the Southeastern United States...

 and Choctaw
Choctaw
The Choctaw are a Native American people originally from the Southeastern United States...

. Other tribes who inhabited the territory of Mississippi (and whose names were honored in local towns) include the Natchez
Natchez people
The Natchez are a Native American people who originally lived in the Natchez Bluffs area, near the present-day city of Natchez, Mississippi. They spoke a language isolate that has no known close relatives, although it may be very distantly related to the Muskogean languages of the Creek...

, the Yazoo
Yazoo tribe
The Yazoo were a tribe of the Native American Tunica people historically located on the lower course of Yazoo River, Mississippi. It was closely connected to other Tunica peoples, especially the Tunica, Koroa, and possibly the Tioux....

 and the Biloxi
Tunica-Biloxi
The modern Tunica-Biloxi tribe live in Mississippi and east central Louisiana. The modern tribe is composed of descendants of Tunica, Biloxi , Ofo , Avoyel , and Muskogean Choctaw. They speak mostly English and French...

.

The first major European expedition into the territory that became Mississippi was that of Hernando de Soto
Hernando de Soto (explorer)
Hernando de Soto was a Spanish explorer and conquistador who, while leading the first European expedition deep into the territory of the modern-day United States, was the first European documented to have crossed the Mississippi River....

, who passed through in 1540. The French, in April 1699, established the first European settlement at Fort Maurepas
Fort Maurepas
Not to be confused with the Fort Maurepas built in 1699 by Bienville and Iberville in present-day Ocean Springs, Mississippi.Fort Maurepas was one of the first forts built by Pierre Gaultier de Varennes, sieur de La Vérendrye and his men. In 1733, they traveled from Fort St. Charles, which was...

(also known as Old Biloxi), built at Ocean Springs
Ocean Springs, Mississippi
Ocean Springs is a city in Jackson County, Mississippi, United States, about east of Biloxi. It is part of the Pascagoula, Mississippi Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 17,225 at the 2000 census...

 and settled by Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville
Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville
Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville pronounced as described in note] Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville pronounced as described in note] Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville pronounced as described in note] (16 July 1661 – 9 July 1702 (probable)was a soldier, ship captain, explorer, colonial administrator, knight of...

. In 1716, the French founded Natchez
Natchez, Mississippi
Natchez is the county seat of Adams County, Mississippi, United States. With a total population of 18,464 , it is the largest community and the only incorporated municipality within Adams County...

 on the Mississippi River (as Fort Rosalie
Fort Rosalie
Fort Rosalie was a French fort built in 1716 in the territory of the Natchez Native Americans. The present-day city of Natchez, Mississippi developed at this site. As part of the peace terms that ended the Natchez War of 1716, Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville required the Natchez to...

); it became the dominant town and trading post of the area. The French called the greater territory "New Louisiana"; the Spanish continued to claim the Gulf coast.

Through the next decades, the area was ruled by Spanish
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

, British
Great Britain
Great Britain or Britain is an island situated to the northwest of Continental Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world, and the largest European island, as well as the largest of the British Isles...

 and French
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 colonial governments. Under French and Spanish rule, there developed a class of free people of color (gens de couleur libres), mostly descendants of European men and enslaved women, and their multiracial children. In the early days the French and Spanish colonists were chiefly men. Even as more European women joined the settlements, there continued to be interracial unions. Often the European men would help their children get educated, and sometimes settled property on them, as well as freeing slave children and their mothers. The free people of color became educated and formed a third class between the Europeans and enslaved Africans in the French and Spanish settlements, although not so large a community as in New Orleans. After Great Britain
Great Britain
Great Britain or Britain is an island situated to the northwest of Continental Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world, and the largest European island, as well as the largest of the British Isles...

's victory in the French and Indian War
French and Indian War
The French and Indian War is the common American name for the war between Great Britain and France in North America from 1754 to 1763. In 1756, the war erupted into the world-wide conflict known as the Seven Years' War and thus came to be regarded as the North American theater of that war...

 (Seven Years' War
Seven Years' War
The Seven Years' War was a global military war between 1756 and 1763, involving most of the great powers of the time and affecting Europe, North America, Central America, the West African coast, India, and the Philippines...

), the French surrendered the Mississippi area to them under the terms of the Treaty of Paris (1763)
Treaty of Paris (1763)
The Treaty of Paris, often called the Peace of Paris, or the Treaty of 1763, was signed on 10 February 1763, by the kingdoms of Great Britain, France and Spain, with Portugal in agreement. It ended the French and Indian War/Seven Years' War...

.

After the American Revolution
American Revolution
The American Revolution was the political upheaval during the last half of the 18th century in which thirteen colonies in North America joined together to break free from the British Empire, combining to become the United States of America...

, this area became part of the new United States of America. The Mississippi Territory was organized on April 7, 1798, from territory ceded by Georgia
Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

 and South Carolina
South Carolina
South Carolina is a state in the Deep South of the United States that borders Georgia to the south, North Carolina to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Originally part of the Province of Carolina, the Province of South Carolina was one of the 13 colonies that declared independence...

. It was later twice expanded to include disputed territory claimed by both the United States and Spain. From 1800 to about 1830, the United States purchased some lands (Treaty of Doak's Stand
Treaty of Doak's Stand
The Treaty of Doak's Stand was signed on October 18, 1820 between the United States and the Choctaw Indian tribe. Based on the terms of the accord, the Choctaw agreed to give up approximately one-half of their remaining Choctaw homeland...

) from Native American tribes for new settlements of European Americans, mostly from other Southern states. Many slaveholders brought slaves with them or purchased them through the internal slave market, especially New Orleans. They transported hundreds of thousands of slaves to the Deep South
Deep South
The Deep South is a descriptive category of the cultural and geographic subregions in the American South. Historically, it is differentiated from the "Upper South" as being the states which were most dependent on plantation type agriculture during the pre-Civil War period...

, including Mississippi. This was a forced internal migration that broke up many slave families of the Upper South, where planters were selling excess slaves.

On December 10, 1817, Mississippi was the 20th state admitted to the Union. David Holmes became the first governor of the state. Plantations were along the rivers, where waterfront gave them access to the major transportation routes. This is also where early towns developed, linked by the steamboats that carried commercial products and crops to markets.

When cotton was king
King Cotton
King Cotton was a slogan used by southerners to support secession from the United States by arguing cotton exports would make an independent Confederacy economically prosperous, and—more important—would force Great Britain and France to support the Confederacy because their industrial economy...

 during the 1850s, Mississippi plantation owners—especially those of the Delta and Black Belt
Black Belt (region of Alabama)
The Black Belt is a region of the U.S. state of Alabama, and part of the larger Black Belt Region of the Southern United States, which stretches from Texas to Maryland. The term originally referred to the region underlain by a thin layer of rich, black topsoil developed atop the chalk of the Selma...

 regions—became wealthy due to the high fertility of the soil, the high price of cotton on the international market, and their assets in slaves. They used the profits to buy more cotton land and more slaves. The planters' dependence on hundreds of thousands of slaves for labor and the severe wealth imbalances among whites, played strong roles both in state politics and in planters' support for secession. By 1860, the enslaved population numbered 436,631 or 55% of the state's total of 791,305. There were fewer than 1000 free people of color
Free people of color
A free person of color in the context of the history of slavery in the Americas, is a person of full or partial African descent who was not enslaved...

. The relatively low population of the state before the Civil War reflected the fact that land and villages were developed only along the riverfronts, which formed the main transportation corridors. Ninety percent of the Delta bottomlands were frontier and undeveloped. The state needed many more settlers for development.

On January 9, 1861, Mississippi became the second state to declare its secession from the Union, and it was one of the founding members of the Confederate States of America
Confederate States of America
The Confederate States of America was a government set up from 1861 to 1865 by 11 Southern slave states of the United States of America that had declared their secession from the U.S...

.

During Reconstruction, the first constitutional convention in 1868 framed a constitution whose major elements would last for 22 years. The convention was the first political organization to include freedmen representatives, 17 among the 100 members. Although 32 counties had black majorities, they elected whites as well as blacks to represent them. The convention adopted universal suffrage; did away with property qualifications for suffrage
Suffrage
Suffrage, political franchise, or simply the franchise, distinct from mere voting rights, is the civil right to vote gained through the democratic process...

 or for office, which also benefited poor whites; provided for the state's first public school system; forbade race distinctions in the possession and inheritance of property; and prohibited limiting civil rights in travel. Under the terms of Reconstruction, Mississippi was restored to the Union on February 23, 1870.

While Mississippi typified the Deep South in passing Jim Crow laws
Jim Crow laws
The Jim Crow laws were state and local laws in the United States enacted between 1876 and 1965. They mandated de jure racial segregation in all public facilities, with a supposedly "separate but equal" status for black Americans...

 in the early 20th century, its history was more complex. Because the Mississippi Delta contained so much fertile bottomland which had not been developed before the Civil War, 90 percent of the land was still frontier. After the Civil War, tens of thousands of migrants were attracted to the area. They could earn money by clearing the land and selling timber, and eventually advance to ownership. The new farmers included freedmen
Freedman
A freedman is a former slave who has been released from slavery, usually by legal means. Historically, slaves became freedmen either by manumission or emancipation ....

, who achieved unusually high rates of land ownership in the Mississippi bottomlands. In the 1870s and 1880s, many black farmers succeeded in gaining land ownership.

By the turn of the century, two-thirds of the farmers in Mississippi who owned land in the Delta were African-American. Many were able to keep going through difficult years of falling cotton prices only by extending their debts. Cotton prices fell throughout the decades following the Civil War. As another agricultural depression lowered cotton prices into the 1890s, however, numerous African-American farmers finally had to sell their land to pay off debts, thus losing the land into which they had developed.

White legislators created a new constitution in 1890, with electoral and voter registration provisions that effectively disfranchised most blacks and many poor whites. Estimates are that 100,000 black and 50,000 white men were removed from voter registration rolls over the next few years. The loss of political influence contributed to the difficulties of African Americans in their attempts to obtain extended credit in the late nineteenth century. Together with Jim Crow laws, increased frequency of lynchings beginning in the 1890s, failure of the cotton crops due to boll weevil
Boll weevil
The boll weevil is a beetle measuring an average length of six millimeters, which feeds on cotton buds and flowers. Thought to be native to Central America, it migrated into the United States from Mexico in the late 19th century and had infested all U.S. cotton-growing areas by the 1920s,...

 infestation, successive severe flooding in 1912 and 1913 created crisis conditions for many African Americans. With control of the ballot box and more access to credit, white planters expanded their ownership of Delta bottomlands and could take advantage of new railroads.

By 1910, a majority of black farmers in the Delta had lost their land and were sharecroppers. By 1920, the third generation after freedom, most African Americans in Mississippi were landless laborers again facing poverty. Starting about 1913, tens of thousands of black Americans left Mississippi for the North
Northern United States
Northern United States, also sometimes the North, may refer to:* A particular grouping of states or regions of the United States of America. The United States Census Bureau divides some of the northernmost United States into the Midwest Region and the Northeast Region...

 in the Great Migration
Great Migration (African American)
The Great Migration was the movement of 6 million blacks out of the Southern United States to the Northeast, Midwest, and West from 1910 to 1970. Some historians differentiate between a Great Migration , numbering about 1.6 million migrants, and a Second Great Migration , in which 5 million or more...

 to industrial cities such as St. Louis, Chicago
Chicago
Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

, Detroit, Philadelphia and New York
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

. They sought jobs, better education for their children, the right to vote, relative freedom from discrimination, and better living. In the migration of 1910–1940, they left a society that had been steadily closing off opportunity. Most migrants from Mississippi took trains directly north to Chicago and often settled near former neighbors.

The Second Great Migration
Second Great Migration (African American)
The Second Great Migration was the migration of more than 5 million African Americans from the South to the North, Midwest and West. It took place from 1941, through World War II, and lasted until 1970. It was much larger and of a different character than the first Great Migration...

 from the South started in the 1940s, lasting until 1970. Almost half a million people left Mississippi in the second migration, three-quarters of them black. Nationwide during the first half of the 20th century, African Americans became rapidly urbanized and many worked in industrial jobs. The Second Great Migration included destinations in the West
Western United States
.The Western United States, commonly referred to as the American West or simply "the West," traditionally refers to the region comprising the westernmost states of the United States. Because the U.S. expanded westward after its founding, the meaning of the West has evolved over time...

, especially California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

, where the buildup of the defense industry offered higher paying jobs to African Americans.

Mississippi generated rich, quintessentially American music traditions: gospel music
Gospel music
Gospel music is music that is written to express either personal, spiritual or a communal belief regarding Christian life, as well as to give a Christian alternative to mainstream secular music....

, country music
Country music
Country music is a popular American musical style that began in the rural Southern United States in the 1920s. It takes its roots from Western cowboy and folk music...

, jazz
Jazz
Jazz is a musical style that originated at the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States. It was born out of a mix of African and European music traditions. From its early development until the present, jazz has incorporated music from 19th and 20th...

, blues
Blues
Blues is the name given to both a musical form and a music genre that originated in African-American communities of primarily the "Deep South" of the United States at the end of the 19th century from spirituals, work songs, field hollers, shouts and chants, and rhymed simple narrative ballads...

 and rock and roll
Rock and roll
Rock and roll is a genre of popular music that originated and evolved in the United States during the late 1940s and early 1950s, primarily from a combination of African American blues, country, jazz, and gospel music...

. All were invented, promulgated or heavily developed by Mississippi musicians, many of them African American, and most came from the Mississippi Delta. Many musicians carried their music north to Chicago, where they made it the heart of that city's jazz and blues.

Mississippi was a center of activity to educate and register black voters during the Civil Rights Movement
African-American Civil Rights Movement (1955-1968)
The African-American Civil Rights Movement refers to the movements in the United States aimed at outlawing racial discrimination against African Americans and restoring voting rights to them. This article covers the phase of the movement between 1955 and 1968, particularly in the South...

. Although 42% of the state's population was African American in 1960, discriminatory voter registration processes still prevented most of them from voting, consequent to provisions of the state constitution, which had been in place since 1890. Students and community organizers from across the country came to help register voters and establish Freedom Schools. Resistance and harsh attitudes of most white politicians (including the creation of the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission
Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission
The Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission was a state agency directed by the governor of Mississippi that existed from 1956 to 1977, also known as the Sov-Com...

), the participation of many Mississippians in the White Citizens' Council
White Citizens' Council
The White Citizens' Council was an American white supremacist organization formed on July 11, 1954. After 1956, it was known as the Citizens' Councils of America...

s, and the violent tactics of the Ku Klux Klan
Ku Klux Klan
Ku Klux Klan, often abbreviated KKK and informally known as the Klan, is the name of three distinct past and present far-right organizations in the United States, which have advocated extremist reactionary currents such as white supremacy, white nationalism, and anti-immigration, historically...

 and its sympathizers, gained Mississippi a reputation in the 1960s as a reactionary state.

In 1966, the state was the last to officially repeal statewide prohibition of alcohol
Prohibition in the United States
Prohibition in the United States was a national ban on the sale, manufacture, and transportation of alcohol, in place from 1920 to 1933. The ban was mandated by the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution, and the Volstead Act set down the rules for enforcing the ban, as well as defining which...

. Prior to that, Mississippi had taxed the illegal alcohol brought in by bootlegger
Rum-running
Rum-running, also known as bootlegging, is the illegal business of transporting alcoholic beverages where such transportation is forbidden by law...

s. Governor Paul Johnson
Paul B. Johnson, Jr.
Paul Burney Johnson, Jr. was a United States Democratic Mississippi politician and son of former Mississippi Governor Paul B. Johnson, Sr.....

 urged repeal and the sheriff "raided the annual Junior League
Junior League
The Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc. is a non-profit organization of 292 Junior Leagues in Canada, Mexico, United Kingdom and the United States. Junior Leagues are educational and charitable women's organizations aimed at improving their communities through volunteerism and...

 Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras
The terms "Mardi Gras" , "Mardi Gras season", and "Carnival season", in English, refer to events of the Carnival celebrations, beginning on or after Epiphany and culminating on the day before Ash Wednesday...

 ball at the Jackson Country Club, breaking open the liquor cabinet and carting off the Champagne before a startled crowd of nobility
Nobility
Nobility is a social class which possesses more acknowledged privileges or eminence than members of most other classes in a society, membership therein typically being hereditary. The privileges associated with nobility may constitute substantial advantages over or relative to non-nobles, or may be...

 and high-ranking state officials."

The state repealed its ban on interracial marriage (miscegenation
Miscegenation
Miscegenation is the mixing of different racial groups through marriage, cohabitation, sexual relations, and procreation....

) in 1987 (which the United States Supreme Court had ruled unconstitutional in 1967), and repealed the segregationist
Racial segregation in the United States
Racial segregation in the United States, as a general term, included the racial segregation or hypersegregation of facilities, services, and opportunities such as housing, medical care, education, employment, and transportation along racial lines...

-era poll tax
Poll tax
A poll tax is a tax of a portioned, fixed amount per individual in accordance with the census . When a corvée is commuted for cash payment, in effect it becomes a poll tax...

 in 1989. In 1995, it symbolically ratified the Thirteenth Amendment
Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution officially abolished and continues to prohibit slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime. It was passed by the Senate on April 8, 1864, passed by the House on January 31, 1865, and adopted on December 6, 1865. On...

, which had abolished slavery in 1865. In 2009, the legislature passed a bill to repeal other discriminatory civil rights laws which had been enacted in 1964 but ruled unconstitutional in 1967 by federal courts. Republican Governor Haley Barbour
Haley Barbour
Haley Reeves Barbour is an American Republican politician currently serving as the 63rd Governor of Mississippi. He gained a national spotlight in August 2005 after Mississippi was hit by Hurricane Katrina. Barbour won re-election as Governor in 2007...

 signed the bill into law.

On August 17, 1969, Category 5
Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale
The Saffir–Simpson Hurricane Scale , or the Saffir–Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale , classifies hurricanes — Western Hemisphere tropical cyclones that exceed the intensities of tropical depressions and tropical storms — into five categories distinguished by the intensities of their sustained winds...

 Hurricane Camille
Hurricane Camille
Hurricane Camille was the third and strongest tropical cyclone and second hurricane during the 1969 Atlantic hurricane season. The second of three catastrophic Category 5 hurricanes to make landfall in the United States during the 20th century , which it did near the mouth of the Mississippi River...

 hit the Mississippi coast, killing 248 people and causing US$1.5 billion in damage (1969 dollars). On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season was a powerful Atlantic hurricane. It is the costliest natural disaster, as well as one of the five deadliest hurricanes, in the history of the United States. Among recorded Atlantic hurricanes, it was the sixth strongest overall...

, though a Category 3
Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale
The Saffir–Simpson Hurricane Scale , or the Saffir–Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale , classifies hurricanes — Western Hemisphere tropical cyclones that exceed the intensities of tropical depressions and tropical storms — into five categories distinguished by the intensities of their sustained winds...

 storm upon final landfall, caused even greater destruction across the entire 90 miles (145 km) of Mississippi Gulf Coast
Mississippi Gulf Coast
The Mississippi Gulf Coast refers to the three Mississippi counties which lie on the Gulf of Mexico: Hancock, Harrison and Jackson counties.The region was severely damaged by Hurricane Camille in 1969 and again by Hurricane Katrina in 2005....

 from Louisiana to Alabama.

Demographics

According to the 2010 US Census, Mississippi has a population of 2,967,297. Mississippi's population has a sizable proportion of African American
African American
African Americans are citizens or residents of the United States who have at least partial ancestry from any of the native populations of Sub-Saharan Africa and are the direct descendants of enslaved Africans within the boundaries of the present United States...

s, approximately 37 percent.

The 2000 Census reported Mississippi's population as 2,844,658. The center of population
Center of population
In demographics, the center of population of a region is a geographical point that describes a centerpoint of the region's population...

 of Mississippi is located in Leake County
Leake County, Mississippi
-Demographics:As of the census of 2000, there were 20,940 people, 7,611 households, and 5,563 families residing in the county. The population density was 36 people per square mile . There were 8,585 housing units at an average density of 15 per square mile...

, in the town of Lena
Lena, Mississippi
Lena is a town in Leake County, Mississippi, United States. The population was 167 at the 2000 census. The center of population of Mississippi is located in Lena .-Geography:Lena is located at ....

.

Ethnic makeup and ancestry

The Census Bureau considers race and Hispanic ethnicity to be two separate categories. These data, however, are only for non-Hispanic members of each group: non-Hispanic Whites, non-Hispanic Blacks, etc. Americans of Scots-Irish
Scots-Irish American
Scotch-Irish Americans are an estimated 250,000 Presbyterian and other Protestant dissenters from the Irish province of Ulster who immigrated to North America primarily during the colonial era and their descendants. Some scholars also include the 150,000 Ulster Protestants who immigrated to...

, English
English American
English Americans are citizens or residents of the United States whose ancestry originates wholly or partly in England....

 and Scottish
Scottish American
Scottish Americans or Scots Americans are citizens of the United States whose ancestry originates wholly or partly in Scotland. Scottish Americans are closely related to Scots-Irish Americans, descendants of Ulster Scots, and communities emphasize and celebrate a common heritage...

 ancestry are present throughout the state, and are thought to be much larger groups than are reported. English
English American
English Americans are citizens or residents of the United States whose ancestry originates wholly or partly in England....

, Scottish
Scottish American
Scottish Americans or Scots Americans are citizens of the United States whose ancestry originates wholly or partly in Scotland. Scottish Americans are closely related to Scots-Irish Americans, descendants of Ulster Scots, and communities emphasize and celebrate a common heritage...

 and Scots-Irish
Scots-Irish American
Scotch-Irish Americans are an estimated 250,000 Presbyterian and other Protestant dissenters from the Irish province of Ulster who immigrated to North America primarily during the colonial era and their descendants. Some scholars also include the 150,000 Ulster Protestants who immigrated to...

 are generally the most under-reported ancestry groups in both the South Atlantic States
South Atlantic States
The South Atlantic United States form one of the nine Census Bureau Divisions within the United States that are recognized by the United States Census Bureau....

 and the East South Central States
East South Central States
The East South Central States constitute one of the nine Census Bureau Divisions of the United States.Four states make up the division: Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Tennessee...

. The historian David Hackett Fischer estimated that a minimum 20% of Mississippi's population is of English
English American
English Americans are citizens or residents of the United States whose ancestry originates wholly or partly in England....

 ancestry though the figure is probably much higher, and another large percentage is of Scottish ancestry, but many Mississippians of English and Scottish stock self-identify simply as American because their families have been in North America for so long, in many cases since the early 18th century. In the 1980 census 656,371 Mississippians out of a total of 1,946,775 claimed to be of English
English American
English Americans are citizens or residents of the United States whose ancestry originates wholly or partly in England....

 ancestry, making them 38% of the state at the time. For more information on race and the Census, see here.

On September 27, 1830, the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek
Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek
The Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek was a treaty signed on September 27, 1830 between the Choctaw and the United States Government. This was the first removal treaty carried into effect under the Indian Removal Act...

 was signed between the U.S. Government and the Choctaw
Choctaw
The Choctaw are a Native American people originally from the Southeastern United States...

. The Choctaw agreed to sell their traditional homelands in Mississippi and Alabama, for compensation and removal to reservations in Indian Territory (now Oklahoma). This opened up land for sale to European-American immigrant settlement. Article 14 in the treaty allowed those Choctaw who chose to remain in the state to become U.S. citizens, the first major non-European ethnic group to do so. Today approximately 9,500 Choctaw live in Neshoba, Newton, Leake, and Jones counties. Federally recognized tribes include the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians
Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians
The Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians is one of three federally recognized tribes of Choctaw Indians. On April 20, 1945, the tribe organized under the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934. Also in 1945 the Choctaw Indian Reservation was created in Neshoba and surrounding counties...

.

From before the Civil War until the 1930s, African American
African American
African Americans are citizens or residents of the United States who have at least partial ancestry from any of the native populations of Sub-Saharan Africa and are the direct descendants of enslaved Africans within the boundaries of the present United States...

s made up a majority of Mississippians. Due to the Great Migration
Great Migration (African American)
The Great Migration was the movement of 6 million blacks out of the Southern United States to the Northeast, Midwest, and West from 1910 to 1970. Some historians differentiate between a Great Migration , numbering about 1.6 million migrants, and a Second Great Migration , in which 5 million or more...

, when more than 360,000 African Americans left the state during the 1940s and after, the African-American population declined.

The state in 2010 had the highest proportion of African Americans in the nation. Recently, the African-American percentage of population has begun to increase due mainly to a higher birth rate
Birth rate
Crude birth rate is the nativity or childbirths per 1,000 people per year . Another word used interchangeably with "birth rate" is "natality". When the crude birth rate is subtracted from the crude death rate, it reveals the rate of natural increase...

 than the state average. Due to patterns of settlement, in almost all of Mississippi's public school districts, a majority of students are of African descent. African Americans are the majority ethnic group in the northwestern Yazoo Delta, and the southwestern and the central parts of the state, chiefly areas where the group owned land as farmers or worked on cotton plantations and farms.

According to the 2000 census, the largest identified ancestries in the state are: American (14.2%) Irish
Irish American
Irish Americans are citizens of the United States who can trace their ancestry to Ireland. A total of 36,278,332 Americans—estimated at 11.9% of the total population—reported Irish ancestry in the 2008 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau...

 (6.9%) English
English American
English Americans are citizens or residents of the United States whose ancestry originates wholly or partly in England....

 (6.1%) German
German American
German Americans are citizens of the United States of German ancestry and comprise about 51 million people, or 17% of the U.S. population, the country's largest self-reported ancestral group...

 (4.5%) French
French American
French Americans or Franco-Americans are Americans of French or French Canadian descent. About 11.8 million U.S. residents are of this descent, and about 1.6 million speak French at home.An additional 450,000 U.S...

 (2.3%) Scots-Irish
Scots-Irish American
Scotch-Irish Americans are an estimated 250,000 Presbyterian and other Protestant dissenters from the Irish province of Ulster who immigrated to North America primarily during the colonial era and their descendants. Some scholars also include the 150,000 Ulster Protestants who immigrated to...

 (1.9%) Italian
Italian American
An Italian American , is an American of Italian ancestry. The designation may also refer to someone possessing Italian and American dual citizenship...

 (1.4%) Scottish
Scottish American
Scottish Americans or Scots Americans are citizens of the United States whose ancestry originates wholly or partly in Scotland. Scottish Americans are closely related to Scots-Irish Americans, descendants of Ulster Scots, and communities emphasize and celebrate a common heritage...

 (1.2%)

People of French Creole
French American
French Americans or Franco-Americans are Americans of French or French Canadian descent. About 11.8 million U.S. residents are of this descent, and about 1.6 million speak French at home.An additional 450,000 U.S...

 ancestry form the largest demographic group in Hancock County
Hancock County, Mississippi
-Demographics:As of the census of 2000, there were 42,967 people, 16,897 households, and 11,827 families residing in the county. The population density was 90 people per square mile . There were 21,072 housing units at an average density of 44 per square mile...

 on the Gulf Coast. The African-American; Choctaw
Choctaw
The Choctaw are a Native American people originally from the Southeastern United States...

, mostly in Neshoba County; and Chinese-American
Chinese American
Chinese Americans represent Americans of Chinese descent. Chinese Americans constitute one group of overseas Chinese and also a subgroup of East Asian Americans, which is further a subgroup of Asian Americans...

 segments of the population are almost entirely native born.

Although some ethnic Chinese were recruited as indentured laborers from Cuba during the 1870s and later 19th c., the majority immigrated directly from China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 to Mississippi between 1910–1930. They were recruited as laborers. While planters first made arrangements with the Chinese for sharecropping, most Chinese soon left that work. Many became small merchants and especially grocers in towns throughout the Delta. As the small towns declined, many ethnic Chinese moved to cities or left the state.

Religion

Under French and Spanish rule beginning in the 17th century, the few Europeans in what is now Mississippi were Roman Catholics. The growth of the cotton culture after 1815 brought in tens of thousands of European-American settlers each year, most of whom were Protestants from Southeastern states. Due to such migration, there was rapid growth in Protestant churches, especially Methodist, Presbyterian and Baptist
Baptist
Baptists comprise a group of Christian denominations and churches that subscribe to a doctrine that baptism should be performed only for professing believers , and that it must be done by immersion...

.

The revivals of the Great Awakening
Great Awakening
The term Great Awakening is used to refer to a period of religious revival in American religious history. Historians and theologians identify three or four waves of increased religious enthusiasm occurring between the early 18th century and the late 19th century...

 in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries initially attracted the "plain folk"
Plain Folk of the Old South
The Plain Folk of the Old South refers to the middling class of white farmers in the Southern United States before the Civil War, located between the rich planters and the poor whites. At the time they were often called "yeomen". They owned land and had no slaves or only a few. Most of them were...

 by reaching out to all members of society, including women and blacks. Both slaves and free blacks were welcomed into Methodist and Baptist churches. Independent black Baptist churches were established before 1800 in Virginia, Kentucky, South Carolina and Georgia, and later developed in Mississippi as well.

In the post-Civil War years, religion became even more influential as the South became known as the "Bible Belt
Bible Belt
Bible Belt is an informal term for a region in the southeastern and south-central United States in which socially conservative evangelical Protestantism is a significant part of the culture and Christian church attendance across the denominations is generally higher than the nation's average.The...

". Freedmen withdrew from white-run churches in favor of setting up their own. Many left the Southern Baptist Church, and by 1895 had established numerous black Baptist state associations and the National Baptist Convention of black churches. They wanted to be independent of white supervision. In addition, independent black denominations, such as the African Methodist Episcopal Church
African Methodist Episcopal Church
The African Methodist Episcopal Church, usually called the A.M.E. Church, is a predominantly African American Methodist denomination based in the United States. It was founded by the Rev. Richard Allen in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1816 from several black Methodist congregations in the...

 (established in Philadelphia) and the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church
African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church
The African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, or AME Zion Church, is a historically African-American Christian denomination. It was officially formed in 1821, but operated for a number of years before then....

 (established in New York), sent missionaries to the South in the postwar years. They quickly attracted hundreds of thousands of converts and founded new churches across the South. Southern congregations brought their own influences to those denominations as well.

By 1900 many ministers, especially in the towns, subscribed to the Social Gospel
Social Gospel
The Social Gospel movement is a Protestant Christian intellectual movement that was most prominent in the early 20th century United States and Canada...

 movement, which attempted to apply Christian ethics to social and economic needs of the day. Many strongly supported Prohibition
Prohibition
Prohibition of alcohol, often referred to simply as prohibition, is the practice of prohibiting the manufacture, transportation, import, export, sale, and consumption of alcohol and alcoholic beverages. The term can also apply to the periods in the histories of the countries during which the...

, believing it would help alleviate many sins.

African-American Baptist churches grew to include more than twice the number of members as their white Baptist counterparts. The African-American call for social equality resonated throughout the Great Depression
Great Depression
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression in the decade preceding World War II. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, but in most countries it started in about 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s or early 1940s...

 in the 1930s and World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 in the 1940s. The American Civil Rights Movement had many roots in religion, and the strong community of churches helped supply volunteers and moral purpose for their activism. The end of legal segregation and Jim Crow led to the reintegration of some churches, but most today remain all black or all white. Since the 1970s, fundamentalist conservative churches have grown rapidly, fueling Mississippi's conservative political trends.

In 2000 the Southern Baptist Convention
Southern Baptist Convention
The Southern Baptist Convention is a United States-based Christian denomination. It is the world's largest Baptist denomination and the largest Protestant body in the United States, with over 16 million members...

 had 916,440 adherents and was the largest religious denomination in the state, followed by the United Methodist Church
United Methodist Church
The United Methodist Church is a Methodist Christian denomination which is both mainline Protestant and evangelical. Founded in 1968 by the union of The Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church, the UMC traces its roots back to the revival movement of John and Charles Wesley...

 with 240,576; and the Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

 with 115,760. Other religions have a small presence in Mississippi, as by 2000, there were 3900 Muslims
Islam in the United States
From the 1880s to 1914, several thousand Muslims immigrated to the United States from the Ottoman Empire, and from parts of South Asia; they did not form distinctive settlements, and probably most assimilated into the wider society....

, 1400 Jews
American Jews
American Jews, also known as Jewish Americans, are American citizens of the Jewish faith or Jewish ethnicity. The Jewish community in the United States is composed predominantly of Ashkenazi Jews who emigrated from Central and Eastern Europe, and their U.S.-born descendants...

 and 811 Bahá'í.

Health and public safety

The state is ranked 50th or last place among all the states for health care, according to the Commonwealth Fund
Commonwealth Fund
The Commonwealth Fund is a private U.S. foundation whose stated purpose is to promote a high-performing health care system that achieves better access, improved quality, and greater efficiency, especially for society's most vulnerable.-History:...

, a nonprofit foundation working to advance performance of the health care system. For three years in a row, more than 30 percent of Mississippi's residents have been classified as obese. In a 2006 study, 22.8 percent of the state's children were classified as obese. Mississippi had the highest rate of obesity of any U.S. state
Obesity in the United States
Obesity in the United States has been increasingly cited as a major health issue in recent decades. While many industrialized countries have experienced similar increases, obesity rates in the United States are among the highest in the world with 74.6% of Americans being overweight or obese...

 from 2005–2008 and also ranks first in the nation for high blood pressure, diabetes, and adult inactivity
Sedentary lifestyle
Sedentary lifestyle is a medical term used to denote a type of lifestyle with no or irregular physical activity. A person who lives a sedentary lifestyle may colloquially be known as a couch potato. It is commonly found in both the developed and developing world...

. In a 2008 study of African American women, contributing risk factors were shown to be: lack of knowledge about body mass index
Body mass index
The body mass index , or Quetelet index, is a heuristic proxy for human body fat based on an individual's weight and height. BMI does not actually measure the percentage of body fat. It was invented between 1830 and 1850 by the Belgian polymath Adolphe Quetelet during the course of developing...

 (BMI), dietary behavior, physical activity and lack of social support, defined as motivation and encouragement by friends. A 2002 report on African American adolescents noted a 1999 survey which suggests that a third of children were obese, with higher ratios for those in the Delta.

The study stressed that "obesity starts in early childhood extending into the adolescent years and then possibly into adulthood". It noted impediments to needed behavioral modification included the Delta likely being "the most underserved region in the state" with African Americans the major ethnic group; lack of accessibility and availability of medical care; and an estimated 60% of residents living below the poverty level. Additional risk factors were that most schools had no physical education curriculum and nutrition education is not emphasized. Previous intervention strategies may have been largely ineffective due to not being culturally sensitive or practical. A 2006 survey found nearly 95 percent of Mississippi adults considered childhood obesity to be a serious problem.

Economy

The Bureau of Economic Analysis
Bureau of Economic Analysis
The Bureau of Economic Analysis is an agency in the United States Department of Commerce that provides important economic statistics including the gross domestic product of the United States. Its stated mission is to "promote a better understanding of the U.S...

 estimates that Mississippi's total state product in 2010 was $98 billion. Per capita personal income in 2006 was $26,908, the lowest per capita personal income of any state, but the state also has the nation's lowest living costs. Although the state has one of the lowest per capita income rates in the United States, Mississippians consistently rank as one of the highest per capita in charitable contributions. A 2009 report by the American Legislative Exchange Council ranked Mississippi as having the 19th best economic outlook of all U.S. states.

Before the Civil War, Mississippi was the fifth-wealthiest state in the nation, its wealth generated by cotton plantations along the rivers.
Slaves were then counted as property and the rise in the cotton markets since the 1840s had increased their value. A majority – 55 percent – of the population of Mississippi was enslaved in 1860. Ninety percent of the Delta bottomlands were undeveloped and the state had low population overall.

Largely due to the domination of the plantation
Plantation
A plantation is a long artificially established forest, farm or estate, where crops are grown for sale, often in distant markets rather than for local on-site consumption...

 economy, focused on the production of agricultural
Agriculture
Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the...

 cotton
Cotton
Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective capsule, around the seeds of cotton plants of the genus Gossypium. The fiber is almost pure cellulose. The botanical purpose of cotton fiber is to aid in seed dispersal....

, the state was slow to use its wealth to invest in infrastructure such as public schools, roads and railroads. Industrialization did not come in many areas until the late 20th century. The planter aristocracy
Aristocracy
Aristocracy , is a form of government in which a few elite citizens rule. The term derives from the Greek aristokratia, meaning "rule of the best". In origin in Ancient Greece, it was conceived of as rule by the best qualified citizens, and contrasted with monarchy...

, the elite of antebellum Mississippi, kept the tax structure low for themselves and made private improvements. Before the war the most successful planters, such as Confederate
Confederate States of America
The Confederate States of America was a government set up from 1861 to 1865 by 11 Southern slave states of the United States of America that had declared their secession from the U.S...

 President Jefferson Davis
Jefferson Davis
Jefferson Finis Davis , also known as Jeff Davis, was an American statesman and leader of the Confederacy during the American Civil War, serving as President for its entire history. He was born in Kentucky to Samuel and Jane Davis...

, owned riverside properties along the Mississippi River. Most of the state was undeveloped frontier away from the riverfronts.

During the Civil War, 30,000 mostly white Mississippi men died from wounds and disease, and many more were left crippled and wounded. Changes to the labor structure and an agricultural depression throughout the South caused severe losses in wealth. In 1860 assessed valuation of property in Mississippi had been more than $500 million, of which $218 million (43 percent) was estimated as the value of slaves. By 1870, total assets had decreased in value to roughly $177 million.

Poor whites and landless former slaves suffered the most from the postwar economic depression. The constitutional convention of early 1868 appointed a committee to recommend what was needed for relief of the state and its citizens. The committee found severe destitution among the laboring classes. It took years for the state to rebuild levees damaged in battles. The upset of the commodity system impoverished the state after the war. By 1868 an increased cotton crop began to show possibilities for free labor in the state, but the crop of 565,000 bales produced in 1870 was still less than half of prewar figures.

Blacks sold timber and developed bottomland to achieve ownership. In 1900, two-thirds of farm owners in Mississippi were blacks, a major achievement for them and their families. Due to the poor economy, low cotton prices and difficulty of getting credit, many of these farmers could not make it through the extended financial difficulties. Two decades later, the majority of African Americans were sharecroppers. The low prices of cotton into the 1890s meant that more than a generation of African Americans lost the result of their labor when they had to sell their farms to pay off accumulated debts.

Mississippi's rank as one of the poorest states is related to its dependence on cotton agriculture before and after the Civil War, late development of its frontier bottomlands in the Mississippi Delta, repeated natural disasters of flooding in the late 19th and early 20th century requiring massive capital investment in levees, heavy capital investment to ditch and drain the bottomlands, and slow development of railroads to link bottomland towns and river cities. In addition, when conservative white Democrats regained control, they passed the 1890 constitution that discouraged industry, a legacy that would slow the state's progress for years.

Democratic Party
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

 paramilitary militias and groups such as the Red Shirts and the Knights of the White Camelia
Knights of the White Camelia
The Knights of the White Camelia was a secret group of the American South from 1867 through about 1870, similar to and associated with the Ku Klux Klan, supporting white supremacy and opposed to Republican government....

 terrorized African American Republicans and suppressed voting. The Democrats regained political control of the state in 1877. The legislature passed statutes to establish segregation and a new constitution that effectively disfranchised most blacks, Native Americans and many poor whites by changes to electoral and voter registration rules. The state refused for years to build human capital by fully educating all its citizens. In addition, the reliance on agriculture grew increasingly costly as the state suffered loss of crops due to the devastation of the boll weevil in the early 20th century, devastating floods in 1912–1913 and 1927, collapse of cotton prices after 1920, and drought in 1930.

It was not until 1884, after the flood of 1882, that the state created the Mississippi-Yazoo Delta District Levee Board and started successfully achieving longer term plans for levees in the upper Delta. Despite the state's building and reinforcing levees for years, the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927
Great Mississippi Flood of 1927
The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 was the most destructive river flood in the history of the United States.-Events:The flood began when heavy rains pounded the central basin of the Mississippi in the summer of 1926. By September, the Mississippi's tributaries in Kansas and Iowa were swollen to...

 broke through and caused massive flooding of 27000 square miles (69,929.7 km²) throughout the Delta, homelessness for hundreds of thousands, and millions of dollars in property damages. With the Depression coming so soon after the flood, the state suffered badly during those years. In the Great Migration
Great Migration (African American)
The Great Migration was the movement of 6 million blacks out of the Southern United States to the Northeast, Midwest, and West from 1910 to 1970. Some historians differentiate between a Great Migration , numbering about 1.6 million migrants, and a Second Great Migration , in which 5 million or more...

, tens of thousands of African Americans migrated North and West for jobs and chances to live as full citizens.

The legislature's 1990 decision to legalize casino gambling along the Mississippi River and the Gulf Coast has led to economic gains for the state. Gambling towns in Mississippi include the Gulf Coast resort towns of Bay St. Louis
Bay St. Louis, Mississippi
Bay Saint Louis is a city located in Hancock County, Mississippi. It is part of the Gulfport–Biloxi, Mississippi Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 8,209. It is the county seat of Hancock County...

, Gulfport
Gulfport, Mississippi
Gulfport is the second largest city in Mississippi after the state capital Jackson. It is the larger of the two principal cities of the Gulfport-Biloxi, Mississippi Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is included in the Gulfport-Biloxi-Pascagoula, Mississippi Combined Statistical Area. As of the...

 and Biloxi
Biloxi, Mississippi
Biloxi is a city in Harrison County, Mississippi, in the United States. The 2010 census recorded the population as 44,054. Along with Gulfport, Biloxi is a county seat of Harrison County....

, and the Mississippi River towns of Tunica
Tunica Resorts, Mississippi
Tunica Resorts is an unincorporated community located in northern Tunica County, Mississippi, United States, north of the county seat of Tunica. The community was originally named Robinsonville, but the name was changed in 2003. Locals still refer to the town by this name. The community is situated...

 (the third largest gaming area in the United States), Greenville
Greenville, Mississippi
Greenville is a city in Washington County, Mississippi, United States. The population was 48,633 at the 2000 census, but according to the 2009 census bureau estimates, it has since declined to 42,764, making it the eighth-largest city in the state. It is the county seat of Washington...

, Vicksburg
Vicksburg, Mississippi
Vicksburg is a city in Warren County, Mississippi, United States. It is the only city in Warren County. It is located northwest of New Orleans on the Mississippi and Yazoo rivers, and due west of Jackson, the state capital. In 1900, 14,834 people lived in Vicksburg; in 1910, 20,814; in 1920,...

 and Natchez
Natchez, Mississippi
Natchez is the county seat of Adams County, Mississippi, United States. With a total population of 18,464 , it is the largest community and the only incorporated municipality within Adams County...

. Before Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast, Mississippi was the second largest gambling state in the Union, after Nevada
Nevada
Nevada is a state in the western, mountain west, and southwestern regions of the United States. With an area of and a population of about 2.7 million, it is the 7th-largest and 35th-most populous state. Over two-thirds of Nevada's people live in the Las Vegas metropolitan area, which contains its...

 and ahead of New Jersey
New Jersey
New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...

. An estimated $500,000 per day in tax revenue was lost following Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season was a powerful Atlantic hurricane. It is the costliest natural disaster, as well as one of the five deadliest hurricanes, in the history of the United States. Among recorded Atlantic hurricanes, it was the sixth strongest overall...

's severe damage to several coastal casinos in August 2005. In 2007, Mississippi had the third largest gambling revenue of any state, behind New Jersey and Nevada. Federally recognized Native American tribes have established gaming casinos on their reservations, which are yielding revenue to support education and economic development.

On October 17, 2005, Governor Haley Barbour
Haley Barbour
Haley Reeves Barbour is an American Republican politician currently serving as the 63rd Governor of Mississippi. He gained a national spotlight in August 2005 after Mississippi was hit by Hurricane Katrina. Barbour won re-election as Governor in 2007...

 signed a bill into law that allows casinos in Hancock and Harrison counties to rebuild on land (but within 800 feet (243.8 m) of the water). The only exception is in Harrison County
Harrison County, Mississippi
-National protected areas:* De Soto National Forest * Gulf Islands National Seashore - Demographics :As of the census of 2000, there were 189,601 people, 71,538 households, and 48,574 families residing in the county. The population density was 326 people per square mile . There were 79,636 housing...

, where the new law states that casinos can be built to the southern boundary of U.S. Route 90
U.S. Route 90
U.S. Route 90 is an east–west United States highway. Despite the "0" in its route number, U.S. 90 never was a full coast-to-coast route; it has always ended at Van Horn, Texas. A short-lived northward extension to U.S...

.

Mississippi collects personal income tax
Income tax
An income tax is a tax levied on the income of individuals or businesses . Various income tax systems exist, with varying degrees of tax incidence. Income taxation can be progressive, proportional, or regressive. When the tax is levied on the income of companies, it is often called a corporate...

 in three tax brackets, ranging from 3% to 5%. The retail sales tax
Sales tax
A sales tax is a tax, usually paid by the consumer at the point of purchase, itemized separately from the base price, for certain goods and services. The tax amount is usually calculated by applying a percentage rate to the taxable price of a sale....

 rate in Mississippi is 7%. Additional local sales taxes also are collected. For purposes of assessment for ad valorem tax
Ad valorem tax
An ad valorem tax is a tax based on the value of real estate or personal property. It is more common than a specific duty, a tax based on the quantity of an item, such as cents per kilogram, regardless of price....

es, taxable property
Property tax
A property tax is an ad valorem levy on the value of property that the owner is required to pay. The tax is levied by the governing authority of the jurisdiction in which the property is located; it may be paid to a national government, a federated state or a municipality...

 is divided into five classes.

On August 30, 2007, a report by the United States Census Bureau
United States Census Bureau
The United States Census Bureau is the government agency that is responsible for the United States Census. It also gathers other national demographic and economic data...

 indicated that Mississippi was the poorest state in the country. Many cotton farmers in the Delta have large, mechanized plantations, some of which receive extensive federal subsidies, yet many other residents still live as poor, rural, landless laborers. Of $1.2 billion from 2002–2005 in federal subsidies to farmers in the Bolivar County area of the Delta, 5% went to small farmers. There has been little money apportioned for rural development. Small towns are struggling. More than 100,000 people have left the region in search of work elsewhere. The state had a median household income of $34,473.

As of January 2010, the state's unemployment rate was 10.9%.

Federal subsidies and spending

Despite Mississippi's fiscal conservatism, in which Medicaid
Medicaid
Medicaid is the United States health program for certain people and families with low incomes and resources. It is a means-tested program that is jointly funded by the state and federal governments, and is managed by the states. People served by Medicaid are U.S. citizens or legal permanent...

, welfare
American welfare state
Social programs in the United States are those institutions, supported or managed by the U.S. government, that aim to ensure economic security, universal access to the resources for self-development and the reduction of social suffering, such as poverty and illness. The main guiding philosophy for...

, food stamps
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
The United States Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program , historically and commonly known as the Food Stamp Program, is a federal-assistance program that provides assistance to low- and no-income people and families living in the U.S. Though the program is administered by the U.S. Department of...

, and other social programs are often cut, eligibility requirements are tightened, and stricter employment criteria are imposed, Mississippi still ranks as having the 2nd highest ratio of spending to tax receipts of any state. In 2005, Mississippi citizens received approximately $2.02 per dollar of taxes in the way of federal spending. This ranks the state 2nd highest nationally, and represents an increase from 1995, when Mississippi received $1.54 per dollar of taxes in federal spending and was 3rd highest nationally.

A proportion of federal spending in Mississippi is directed toward large federal installations such as Camp Shelby
Camp Shelby
Camp Shelby is a military post whose North Gate begins at the southern boundary of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, on United States Highway 49. It is the largest state owned training site in the nation. During wartime, the camp's mission is to serve as a major, independent mobilization station of the...

, John C. Stennis Space Center
John C. Stennis Space Center
The John C. Stennis Space Center , located in Hancock County, Mississippi, at the Mississippi-Louisiana border, is NASA's largest rocket engine test facility.- History :...

, and Keesler Air Force Base
Keesler Air Force Base
Keesler Air Force Base is a United States Air Force base located in Biloxi, a city in Harrison County, Mississippi, United States. The base is named in honor of aviator 2d Lt Samuel Reeves Keesler, Jr., a Mississippi native killed in France in First World War.-Units:The base is home of...

, in a state with a relatively low population density and one of the lowest proportions of urban dwellers.

Law and government

As with all other U.S. states and the federal government, Mississippi's government is based on the separation of legislative, executive and judicial power. Executive authority in the state rests with the Governor, currently Haley Barbour
Haley Barbour
Haley Reeves Barbour is an American Republican politician currently serving as the 63rd Governor of Mississippi. He gained a national spotlight in August 2005 after Mississippi was hit by Hurricane Katrina. Barbour won re-election as Governor in 2007...

 (R). The Lieutenant Governor, currently Phil Bryant (R), is elected on a separate ballot. Both the governor and lieutenant governor are elected to four-year terms of office. Unlike the federal government, but like many other U.S. States, most of the heads of major executive departments are elected by the citizens of Mississippi rather than appointed by the governor.

Mississippi is one of five states that elects its state officials in odd-numbered years (the others are Kentucky
Kentucky
The Commonwealth of Kentucky is a state located in the East Central United States of America. As classified by the United States Census Bureau, Kentucky is a Southern state, more specifically in the East South Central region. Kentucky is one of four U.S. states constituted as a commonwealth...

, Louisiana
Louisiana
Louisiana is a state located in the southern region of the United States of America. Its capital is Baton Rouge and largest city is New Orleans. Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are local governments equivalent to counties...

, New Jersey
New Jersey
New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...

 and Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

). Mississippi holds elections for these offices every four years, always in the year preceding Presidential elections. Thus, the last year when Mississippi elected a Governor was 2007, and the next gubernatorial election will occur in 2011.

Laws

In 2004, Mississippi voters approved a state constitutional amendment
Constitutional amendment
A constitutional amendment is a formal change to the text of the written constitution of a nation or state.Most constitutions require that amendments cannot be enacted unless they have passed a special procedure that is more stringent than that required of ordinary legislation...

 banning same-sex marriage
Same-sex marriage
Same-sex marriage is marriage between two persons of the same biological sex or social gender. Supporters of legal recognition for same-sex marriage typically refer to such recognition as marriage equality....

 and prohibiting Mississippi from recognizing same-sex marriages performed elsewhere. The amendment passed 86% to 14%, the largest margin in any state. The ban could potentially be upset by the federal court case Perry v. Schwarzenegger
Perry v. Schwarzenegger
Perry v. Schwarzenegger is a federal lawsuit filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California challenging the federal constitutionality of Proposition 8, a 2008 ballot initiative that amended the California Constitution to restrict marriage to opposite-sex couples,...

, which questions the validity of bans on gay marriage under the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was adopted on July 9, 1868, as one of the Reconstruction Amendments.Its Citizenship Clause provides a broad definition of citizenship that overruled the Dred Scott v...

.

Section 265 of the Constitution of the State of Mississippi declares that "No person who denies the existence of a Supreme Being shall hold any office in this state." This provision is unenforceable due to the separation of church and state established by the United States Constitution
United States Constitution
The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America. It is the framework for the organization of the United States government and for the relationship of the federal government with the states, citizens, and all people within the United States.The first three...

, which overrides any contrary law in the US, including parts of a state constitution.

Transportation

Road

In March 2011, Mississippi ranked as the third bottom "Worst" state (next to Louisiana
Louisiana
Louisiana is a state located in the southern region of the United States of America. Its capital is Baton Rouge and largest city is New Orleans. Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are local governments equivalent to counties...

 and Kentucky
Kentucky
The Commonwealth of Kentucky is a state located in the East Central United States of America. As classified by the United States Census Bureau, Kentucky is a Southern state, more specifically in the East South Central region. Kentucky is one of four U.S. states constituted as a commonwealth...

) in the American State Litter Scorecard. The Hospitality State suffers from an overall poor effectiveness and quality of its statewide public space cleanliness (primarily from roadway and adjacent litter/debris)--in state and related eradication standards.

Mississippi is served by nine interstate highways
Interstate Highway System
The Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways, , is a network of limited-access roads including freeways, highways, and expressways forming part of the National Highway System of the United States of America...

:
  • Interstate 10
    Interstate 10
    Interstate 10 is the fourth-longest Interstate Highway in the United States, after I-90, I-80, and I-40. It is the southernmost east–west, coast-to-coast Interstate Highway, although I-4 and I-8 are further south. It stretches from the Pacific Ocean at State Route 1 in Santa Monica,...

  • Interstate 20
    Interstate 20
    Interstate 20 is a major east–west Interstate Highway in the Southern United States. I‑20 runs 1,535 miles from near Kent, Texas, at Interstate 10 to Florence, South Carolina, at Interstate 95...

  • Interstate 22
    Interstate 22
    Interstate 22 , when it is completed, will follow the U.S. Highway 78 corridor along a 213-mile-long route from Memphis, Tennessee, to Birmingham, Alabama, as an Interstate Highway. Interstate 22 will connect Interstate 240 and Interstate 40 in the northwest with Interstate 65 and Interstate...

  • Interstate 55
    Interstate 55
    Interstate 55 is an Interstate Highway in the central United States. Its odd number indicates that it is a north–south Interstate Highway. I-55 goes from LaPlace, Louisiana at Interstate 10 to Chicago at U.S. Route 41 , at McCormick Place. A common nickname for the highway is "double...

  • Interstate 59
    Interstate 59
    Interstate 59 is an Interstate Highway in the southern United States. Its southern terminus is near Slidell, Louisiana, a suburb of New Orleans, at an intersection with Interstate 10 and Interstate 12, its northern terminus is at Wildwood, Georgia, at an intersection with Interstate 24.The road's...

  • Interstate 69
    Interstate 69 in Mississippi
    The proposed Interstate 69 extension from Indianapolis southwest to Texas presently has a short piece completed in the U.S. state of Mississippi, south of Memphis, Tennessee. The south end is an at-grade intersection with the former route of MS 304 near Tunica Resorts, where Mississippi Highway 713...

  • Interstate 110
    Interstate 110 (Mississippi)
    Interstate 110 is a freeway spur route in Biloxi, running south from Interstate 10 to U.S. Route 90. It is one of very few places on the Interstate Highway System utilizing a drawbridge. The southbound control city is Biloxi, with a series of bridges out over the Gulf of Mexico at the southern...

  • Interstate 220
    Interstate 220 (Mississippi)
    Interstate 220 in Mississippi is a loop around Jackson that provides an interstate connection for Interstate 55 and Interstate 20. The northern terminus for the route is in the northern suburb of Ridgeland, at Interstate 55 exit 104...

  • Interstate 269
    Interstate 269
    Interstate 269 is a partially built outer beltline around the city of Memphis, Tennessee, and its adjacent suburban areas in northern Mississippi. The sections of the route which are currently open are designated as State Route 385 and Mississippi Highway 304...



  • and fourteen main U.S. Routes
    United States Numbered Highways
    The system of United States Numbered Highways is an integrated system of roads and highways in the United States numbered within a nationwide grid...

    :
    • U.S. Route 11
      U.S. Route 11
      U.S. Route 11 is a north–south United States highway extending 1,645 miles across the eastern United States. The southern terminus of the route is at U.S. Route 90 in the Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge in eastern New Orleans, Louisiana. The northern terminus is at the United...

    • U.S. Route 45
      U.S. Route 45
      U.S. Route 45 is a north–south United States highway. US 45 is a border-to-border route, from Lake Superior to the Gulf of Mexico. A sign at the highway's northern terminus notes the total distance as ....

    • U.S. Route 49
      U.S. Route 49
      U.S. Route 49 is a north–south United States highway. The highway's northern terminus is in Piggott, Arkansas, at an intersection with U.S. Route 62. Its southern terminus is in Gulfport, Mississippi, at an intersection with U.S. Route 90. US 49 is approximately 516 miles in length.It...

    • U.S. Route 51
      U.S. Route 51
      U.S. Route 51 is a north–south United States highway that runs for 1,286 miles from the western suburbs of New Orleans, Louisiana to within of the Wisconsin-Michigan border. Much of the highway in Illinois and southern Wisconsin runs parallel to or overlaps Interstate 39...

    • U.S. Route 61
      U.S. Route 61
      U.S. Route 61 is the official designation for a United States highway that runs from New Orleans, Louisiana, to the city of Wyoming, Minnesota. The highway generally follows the course of the Mississippi River, and is designated the Great River Road for much of its route. As of 2004, the highway's...

    • U.S. Route 72
      U.S. Route 72
      U.S. Route 72 is an east–west United States highway that runs for 337 miles from southeast Tennessee through northern Alabama and northern Mississippi to southwest Tennessee. The highway's eastern terminus is Chattanooga, Tennessee. Its western terminus is Memphis, Tennessee...

    • U.S. Route 78
      U.S. Route 78
      U.S. Highway 78 is an east–west United States highway that runs for 715 miles from Memphis, Tennessee, to Charleston, South Carolina. Between Memphis and Birmingham, Alabama, it is being upgraded to become Interstate 22....

  • U.S. Route 80
    U.S. Route 80
    U.S. Route 80 is an east–west United States highway, much of which was once part of the early auto trail known as the Dixie Overland Highway. As the "0" in the route number indicates, it was originally a cross-country route, from the Atlantic to the Pacific...

  • U.S. Route 82
    U.S. Route 82
    U.S. Route 82 is an east–west United States highway in the southern United States. What started as a 1932 addition to the system across central Mississippi and southern Arkansas eventually became a 1,609 mile route extending from the White Sands of New Mexico to Georgia's Atlantic coast.The...

  • U.S. Route 84
    U.S. Route 84
    U.S. Route 84 is an east–west United States highway. It started as a short Georgia-Alabama route in the original 1926 scheme, but now extends all the way to Colorado. The highway's eastern terminus is a short distance east of Midway, Georgia, at an intersection with I-95. The road continues...

  • U.S. Route 90
    U.S. Route 90
    U.S. Route 90 is an east–west United States highway. Despite the "0" in its route number, U.S. 90 never was a full coast-to-coast route; it has always ended at Van Horn, Texas. A short-lived northward extension to U.S...

  • U.S. Route 98
    U.S. Route 98
    U.S. Route 98 is an east–west United States highway that runs from western Mississippi to southern Florida. It was established in 1933 as a route between Pensacola, Florida and Apalachicola, Florida, and has since been extended westward into Mississippi and eastward across the Florida...

  • U.S. Route 278
    U.S. Route 278
    U.S. Route 278 is a parallel route of U.S. Route 78. It currently runs for 1,074 miles from Hilton Head Island, South Carolina to Wickes, Arkansas at U.S. Highway 71/U.S. Highway 59. It might be notable that it is longer than its parent highway, US Hwy-78. US Hwy-278 passes through the states of...

  • U.S. Route 425
    U.S. Route 425
    U.S. Route 425 is a north–south United States highway, first commissioned in 1989. Its route number is a "violation" of the usual AASHTO numbering scheme, as it comes nowhere near its implied "parent", U.S. Route 25....



  • as well as a system of State Highways.

    For more information, visit the Mississippi Department of Transportation website.

    Passenger

    Amtrak
    Amtrak
    The National Railroad Passenger Corporation, doing business as Amtrak , is a government-owned corporation that was organized on May 1, 1971, to provide intercity passenger train service in the United States. "Amtrak" is a portmanteau of the words "America" and "track". It is headquartered at Union...

     provides scheduled passenger service along two routes, the Crescent
    Crescent (Amtrak)
    The Crescent is a passenger train operated by Amtrak in the eastern part of the United States. It runs daily from Pennsylvania Station in New York City to New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal in New Orleans, Louisiana as train 19 and returns, on the same route, as train 20. Most of the route of...

    and City of New Orleans
    City of New Orleans
    The City of New Orleans is a nightly passenger train operated by Amtrak which travels between Chicago, Illinois and New Orleans, Louisiana. Before Amtrak's formation in 1971, the train was operated by the Illinois Central Railroad along the same route . The train currently operates on a 19½ hour...

    .

    Freight

    All but two of the United States Class I railroad
    Class I railroad
    A Class I railroad in the United States and Mexico, or a Class I rail carrier in Canada, is a large freight railroad company, as classified based on operating revenue.Smaller railroads are classified as Class II and Class III...

    s serve Mississippi (the exceptions are the Union Pacific and Canadian Pacific):
    • Canadian National Railway
      Canadian National Railway
      The Canadian National Railway Company is a Canadian Class I railway headquartered in Montreal, Quebec. CN's slogan is "North America's Railroad"....

      's Illinois Central Railroad
      Illinois Central Railroad
      The Illinois Central Railroad , sometimes called the Main Line of Mid-America, is a railroad in the central United States, with its primary routes connecting Chicago, Illinois with New Orleans, Louisiana and Birmingham, Alabama. A line also connected Chicago with Sioux City, Iowa...

       subsidiary provides north-south service.
    • BNSF Railway
      BNSF Railway
      The BNSF Railway is a wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., and is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas. It is one of seven North American Class I railroads and the second largest freight railroad network in North America, second only to the Union Pacific Railroad, its primary...

       has an east-west line across northern Mississippi.
    • Kansas City Southern Railway
      Kansas City Southern Railway
      The Kansas City Southern Railway , owned by Kansas City Southern Industries, is the smallest and second-oldest Class I railroad company still in operation. KCS was founded in 1887 and is currently operating in a region consisting of ten central U.S. states...

       provides east-west service in the middle of the state and north-south service along the Alabama
      Alabama
      Alabama is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. It is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and Mississippi to the west. Alabama ranks 30th in total land area and ranks second in the size of its inland...

       state line.
    • Norfolk Southern Railway
      Norfolk Southern Railway
      The Norfolk Southern Railway is a Class I railroad in the United States, owned by the Norfolk Southern Corporation. With headquarters in Norfolk, Virginia, the company operates 21,500 route miles in 22 eastern states, the District of Columbia and the province of Ontario, Canada...

       provides service in the extreme north and southeast.
    • CSX
      CSX Transportation
      CSX Transportation operates a Class I railroad in the United States known as the CSX Railroad. It is the main subsidiary of the CSX Corporation. The company is headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida, and owns approximately 21,000 route miles...

       has a line along the Gulf Coast.

    Major rivers

    • Mississippi River
      Mississippi River
      The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

    • Big Black River
    • Pascagoula River
      Pascagoula River
      The Pascagoula River is a river, about 80 mi long, in southeastern Mississippi in the United States. The river drains an area of about 8,800 sq mi and flows into Mississippi Sound of the Gulf of Mexico....

    • Pearl River
      Pearl River (Mississippi-Louisiana)
      The Pearl River is a river in the U.S. states of Mississippi and Louisiana. It forms in Neshoba County, Mississippi from the confluence of Nanih Waiya and Tallahaga creeks. It is long. The Yockanookany and Strong rivers are tributaries. Northeast of Jackson, the Ross Barnett Reservoir is formed by...

    • Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway
      Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway
      The Tennessee–Tombigbee Waterway is a 234-mile man-made, artificial waterway that extends from the Tennessee River to the junction of the Black Warrior-Tombigbee River system near Demopolis, Alabama, United States. The Tenneessee-Tombigbee Waterway links commercial navigation from the nation’s...

    • Yazoo River
      Yazoo River
      The Yazoo River is a river in the U.S. state of Mississippi.The Yazoo River was named by French explorer La Salle in 1682 as "Rivière des Yazous" in reference to the Yazoo tribe living near the river's mouth. The exact meaning of the term is unclear...


    Major bodies of water

    • Arkabutla Lake
      Arkabutla Lake
      Arkabutla Lake is a reservoir on the Coldwater River in the U.S. state of Mississippi. It is one of four Flood Damage Reduction reservoirs in northern Mississippi. With an annual visitation exceeding 2 million people, Arkabutla Lake accommodates a wide variety of recreational interest throughout...

       – 19550 acres (79.1 km²) of water; constructed and managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Vicksburg District
    • Bay Springs Lake
      Bay Springs Lake
      Bay Springs Lake is a reservoir on the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterwayin the U.S. state of Mississippi. It is impounded by the Jamie Whitten Lock and Dam. The lake is approximately nine miles long, between waterway mile markers 412 at the dam, and 421 near the entrance to the divide cut....

       – 6700 acres (27.1 km²) of water and 133 miles of shoreline; constructed and managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
    • Grenada Lake
      Grenada Lake
      Grenada Lake is a reservoir on the Yalobusha River in the U.S. state of Mississippi. It is one of four flood control lakes in North Mississippi constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Grenada Lake was constructed to help control flooding along the Yazoo River Basin...

       – 35000 acres (141.6 km²) of water; became operational in 1954; constructed and managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Vicksburg District
    • Ross Barnett Reservoir
      Ross Barnett Reservoir
      The Ross Barnett Reservoir is an impoundment of the Pearl River between Madison and Rankin Counties in the U.S. state of Mississippi. The lake serves as the state's largest drinking water resource, and is managed by the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District. The lake features of shoreline...

       – Named for Ross Barnett
      Ross Barnett
      Ross Robert Barnett was the governor of Mississippi from 1960 to 1964. He was a States' Rights Democrat.- Early life :...

      , the 52nd Governor of Mississippi; 33000 acres (133.5 km²) of water; became operational in 1966; constructed and managed by The Pearl River Valley Water Supply District, a state agency; Provides water supply for the City of Jackson.
    • Sardis Lake – 98520 acres (398.7 km²) of water; became operational in October 1940; constructed and managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Vicksburg District

    Education

    Until the Civil War
    American Civil War
    The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

     era, Mississippi had a small number of schools and no educational institutions for African Americans. The first school for black people was established in 1862.

    During Reconstruction in 1871, black and white Republicans were the first to establish a system of public education
    Public education
    State schools, also known in the United States and Canada as public schools,In much of the Commonwealth, including Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and the United Kingdom, the terms 'public education', 'public school' and 'independent school' are used for private schools, that is, schools...

     in the state. The state's dependence on agriculture and resistance to taxation limited the funds it had available to spend on any schools. As late as the early 20th century, there were few schools in rural
    Rural
    Rural areas or the country or countryside are areas that are not urbanized, though when large areas are described, country towns and smaller cities will be included. They have a low population density, and typically much of the land is devoted to agriculture...

     areas. With seed money from the Julius Rosenwald
    Julius Rosenwald
    Julius Rosenwald was a U.S. clothier, manufacturer, business executive, and philanthropist. He is best known as a part-owner and leader of Sears, Roebuck and Company, and for the Rosenwald Fund which donated millions to support the education of African American children in the rural South, as well...

     Fund, many rural black communities across Mississippi raised matching funds and contributed public funds to build new schools for their children. Essentially, many black adults taxed themselves twice and made significant sacrifices to raise money for the education of children in their communities.

    Blacks and whites attended separate public schools in Mississippi until the 1960s, when they began to be integrated following the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court
    Supreme Court of the United States
    The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the United States. It has ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all state and federal courts, and original jurisdiction over a small range of cases...

     ruling in Brown v. Board of Education
    Brown v. Board of Education
    Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 347 U.S. 483 , was a landmark decision of the United States Supreme Court that declared state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students unconstitutional. The decision overturned the Plessy v. Ferguson decision of 1896 which...

    that racially segregated public schools were unconstitutional
    Constitutionality
    Constitutionality is the condition of acting in accordance with an applicable constitution. Acts that are not in accordance with the rules laid down in the constitution are deemed to be ultra vires.-See also:*ultra vires*Company law*Constitutional law...

    .

    In the late 1980s, the state had 954 public elementary and secondary school
    Secondary school
    Secondary school is a term used to describe an educational institution where the final stage of schooling, known as secondary education and usually compulsory up to a specified age, takes place...

    s, with a total yearly enrollment of about 369,500 elementary pupils and about 132,500 secondary students. Some 45,700 students attended private school
    Private school
    Private schools, also known as independent schools or nonstate schools, are not administered by local, state or national governments; thus, they retain the right to select their students and are funded in whole or in part by charging their students' tuition, rather than relying on mandatory...

    s. In 2008, Mississippi was ranked last among the fifty states in academic achievement by the American Legislative Exchange Council
    American Legislative Exchange Council
    The American Legislative Exchange Council is a politically conservative 501 non-profit Policy Organization, consisting of both state legislators and members of the private sector. ALEC's mission statement describes the organization's purpose as the advancement of free-market principles, limited...

    's Report Card on Education, with the lowest average ACT
    ACT (examination)
    The ACT is a standardized test for high school achievement and college admissions in the United States produced by ACT, Inc. It was first administered in November 1959 by Everett Franklin Lindquist as a competitor to the College Board's Scholastic Aptitude Test, now the SAT Reasoning Test...

     scores and sixth lowest spending per pupil in the nation. In contrast, Mississippi had the 17th highest average SAT scores in the nation. According to the report, 92% of Mississippi high school graduates took the ACT and 3% took the SAT, in comparison to the national averages of 43% and 45%, respectively.

    In 2007, Mississippi students scored the lowest of any state on the National Assessments of Educational Progress in both math and science.

    Mississippi is currently ranked at the bottom of the American Human Development Index.

    Jackson, the state's capital city, houses the state residential school for deaf and hard of hearing students. The Mississippi School for the Deaf
    Mississippi School for the Deaf
    The Mississippi School for the Deaf is a Mississippi school for the deaf and hard of hearing accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools...

     was established by the state legislature in 1854.

    The Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science (MSMS) is a public residential high school for academically gifted students located in Columbus, Mississippi on the campus of the Mississippi University for Women. MSMS was founded in 1987 by appropriations from the Mississippi Legislature and is the fourth public, residential high school for academically gifted students in the United States.[3] The school only enrolls students in the last two years of high school. Tenth grade students from across the state interested in the school apply and are selected to attend.

    Culture

    While Mississippi has been especially known for its music and literature, it has embraced other forms of art. Its strong religious traditions have inspired striking works by outsider artists
    Outsider Art
    The term outsider art was coined by art critic Roger Cardinal in 1972 as an English synonym for art brut , a label created by French artist Jean Dubuffet to describe art created outside the boundaries of official culture; Dubuffet focused particularly on art by insane-asylum inmates.While...

     who have been shown nationally.

    Jackson established the USA International Ballet Competition
    USA International Ballet Competition
    The USA International Ballet Competition, or USA IBC, is one of the world's top competitions for ballet. Located in Jackson, Mississippi, this competition is attended by dancers from all over the world to represent their country for bronze, silver, or gold medals in a variety of categories of...

    , which is held every four years. This ballet
    Ballet
    Ballet is a type of performance dance, that originated in the Italian Renaissance courts of the 15th century, and which was further developed in France and Russia as a concert dance form. The early portions preceded the invention of the proscenium stage and were presented in large chambers with...

     competition attracts the most talented young dancers from around the world.

    The Magnolia Independent Film Festival
    Magnolia Independent Film Festival
    The Magnolia Independent Film Festival or The Mag, a film festival based in Mississippi, was founded by Ron Tibbett in 1997 in West Point, Mississippi. It was the first film festival to take place in Mississippi. Three years later it was moved to Starkville.The Festival is held in February. Films...

    , still held annually in Starkville
    Starkville, Mississippi
    -Demographics:As of the census of 2000, there were 21,869 people, 9,462 households, and 4,721 families residing in the city. The population density was 851.4 people per square mile . There were 10,191 housing units at an average density of 396.7 per square mile...

    , is the first and oldest in the state.

    George Ohr, known as the "Mad Potter of Biloxi" and the father of abstract expressionism in pottery, lived and worked in Biloxi, MS.

    The New Southern View Ezine, first published in the summer of 2001, is the state's first online magazine.

    Music

    Musicians of the state's Delta region were historically significant to the development of the blues
    Blues
    Blues is the name given to both a musical form and a music genre that originated in African-American communities of primarily the "Deep South" of the United States at the end of the 19th century from spirituals, work songs, field hollers, shouts and chants, and rhymed simple narrative ballads...

    . Their laments arose out of the region's hard times after Reconstruction. Although by the end of the 19th century, two-thirds of the farm owners were black, continued low prices for cotton and national financial pressures resulted in most of them losing their land. More problems built up with the boll weevil infestation, when thousands of agricultural jobs were lost. Many Mississippi musicians migrated to Chicago
    Chicago
    Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

     and created new forms of jazz and other genres there.

    Jimmie Rodgers
    Jimmie Rodgers (country singer)
    James Charles Rodgers , known as Jimmie Rodgers, was an American country singer in the early 20th century known most widely for his rhythmic yodeling...

    , a native of Meridian and white guitarist/singer/songwriter known as the "Father of Country Music", played a significant role in the development of the blues. He and Chester Arthur Burnett were friends and admirers of each other's music. Rodgers was supposed to have given Burnett his nickname of Howlin' Wolf. Their friendship and respect is an important example of Mississippi's musical legacy. While the state has had a reputation for being the most racist in the United States, individual musicians created an integrated music community. Mississippi musicians created new forms by combining and creating variations on musical traditions from Africa with the musical traditions of white Southerners, a tradition largely rooted in Scots–Irish music.

    The state is creating a Mississippi Blues Trail
    Mississippi Blues Trail
    The Mississippi Blues Trail, created by the Mississippi Blues Commission, is a project to place interpretive markers at the most notable historical sites related to the growth of the blues throughout the state of Mississippi. The trail extends from the border of Louisiana in southern Mississippi...

    , with dedicated markers explaining historic sites significant to the history of blues music, such as Clarksdale
    Clarksdale, Mississippi
    Clarksdale is a city in Coahoma County, Mississippi, United States. The population was 20,645 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Coahoma County....

    's Riverside Hotel, where Bessie Smith
    Bessie Smith
    Bessie Smith was an American blues singer.Sometimes referred to as The Empress of the Blues, Smith was the most popular female blues singer of the 1920s and 1930s...

     died after her auto accident on Highway 61
    U.S. Route 61
    U.S. Route 61 is the official designation for a United States highway that runs from New Orleans, Louisiana, to the city of Wyoming, Minnesota. The highway generally follows the course of the Mississippi River, and is designated the Great River Road for much of its route. As of 2004, the highway's...

    . The Riverside Hotel is just one of many historical blues sites in Clarksdale. The Delta Blues Museum
    Delta Blues Museum
    The Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale exists to collect, preserve, and provide public access to and awareness of the blues. Along with holdings of significant blues-related memorabilia, the museum also exhibits and collects art portraying the blues tradition, including works by sculptor Floyd...

     there is visited by tourists from all over the world. Close by are "Ground Zero" and "Madidi", a contemporary blues club and restaurant co-owned by actor Morgan Freeman
    Morgan Freeman
    Morgan Freeman is an American actor, film director, aviator and narrator. He is noted for his reserved demeanor and authoritative speaking voice. Freeman has received Academy Award nominations for his performances in Street Smart, Driving Miss Daisy, The Shawshank Redemption and Invictus and won...

    .

    Mississippians have contributed to American music. Elvis Presley
    Elvis Presley
    Elvis Aaron Presley was one of the most popular American singers of the 20th century. A cultural icon, he is widely known by the single name Elvis. He is often referred to as the "King of Rock and Roll" or simply "the King"....

    , who created a sensation in the 1950s as a crossover artist and contributed to rock 'n' roll, was a native of Tupelo
    Tupelo, Mississippi
    Tupelo is the largest city in and the county seat of Lee County, Mississippi, United States. It is the seventh largest city in the state of Mississippi, smaller than Meridian, and larger than Greenville. As of the 2000 United States Census, the city's population was 34,211...

    . From opera star Leontyne Price
    Leontyne Price
    Mary Violet Leontyne Price is an American soprano. Born and raised in the Deep South, she rose to international acclaim in the 1950s and 1960s, and was one of the first African Americans to become a leading artist at the Metropolitan Opera.One critic characterized Price's voice as "vibrant",...

     to the alternative rock
    Alternative rock
    Alternative rock is a genre of rock music and a term used to describe a diverse musical movement that emerged from the independent music underground of the 1980s and became widely popular by the 1990s...

     band 3 Doors Down
    3 Doors Down
    3 Doors Down is an American rock band from Escatawpa formed in 1996. The band consists of Brad Arnold , Matt Roberts , Todd Harrell , Chris Henderson , and Greg Upchurch ....

    , to gulf and western singer Jimmy Buffett
    Jimmy Buffett
    James William "Jimmy" Buffett is a singer-songwriter, author, entrepreneur, and film producer. He is best known for his music, which often portrays an "island escapism" lifestyle. Together with his Coral Reefer Band, Buffett's musical hits include "Margaritaville" , and "Come Monday"...

    , to rappers David Banner
    David Banner
    Lavell Crump , better known by his stage name David Banner, is an American rapper, record producer and occasional actor. Banner was born in Jackson, Mississippi and graduated from Southern University. He started his music career as a member of the rap duo, Crooked Lettaz before going solo in 2000...

     and Afroman
    Afroman
    Joseph Edgar Foreman , better known by his stage name Afroman, is an American rapper who came to prominence with his singles "Because I Got High" and "Crazy Rap". "Because I Got High" circulated around the Internet before becoming a hit worldwide...

    , Mississippi musicians have been significant in all genres.

    (see: List of people from Mississippi)

    Sports

    • Biloxi, Mississippi
      Biloxi, Mississippi
      Biloxi is a city in Harrison County, Mississippi, in the United States. The 2010 census recorded the population as 44,054. Along with Gulfport, Biloxi is a county seat of Harrison County....

       is home to the Mississippi Surge
      Mississippi Surge
      The Mississippi Surge is a professional team in the Southern Professional Hockey League that began play in the 2009-10 season. Based in Biloxi, home games are played at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum also known as "The Power Plant".-History:...

       ice hockey team. The team is a member of the Southern Professional Hockey League
      Southern Professional Hockey League
      The Southern Professional Hockey League is a low-level professional ice hockey league based in Charlotte, North Carolina, with teams located in the southeastern United States.- History :...

       and began its first season of play in 2009.
    • Clinton, Mississippi
      Clinton, Mississippi
      Clinton is a city in Hinds County, Mississippi, United States. Situated in the Jackson metropolitan area, it is the tenth largest city in Mississippi. The population was 23,347 at the 2000 United States Census.-History:...

       is home to the Mississippi Brilla
      Mississippi Brilla
      Mississippi Brilla is an American soccer club based in Jackson, Mississippi, United States. Founded in 2006, the team plays in the USL Premier Development League , the fourth tier of the American Soccer Pyramid, in the Southeast Division of the Southern Conference.The team plays its home games at...

       soccer team. The Brilla are a member of the USL Premier Development League
      USL Premier Development League
      The USL Premier Development League is the amateur league of the United Soccer Leagues in the United States, Canada, and Bermuda, forming part of the American Soccer Pyramid...

      .
    • Pearl, Mississippi
      Pearl, Mississippi
      Pearl is a city in Rankin County, Mississippi, United States. The population was 21,961 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Jackson Metropolitan Statistical Area....

       is home to the Mississippi Braves
      Mississippi Braves
      The Mississippi Braves, or M-Braves as they are referred to locally, are a minor league baseball team based in Pearl, Mississippi, a suburb of Jackson. The team is the Class AA affiliate of the Atlanta Braves, and plays in the Southern League. The team is owned and operated by Liberty Media, which...

       baseball team. The Braves are an AA minor league affiliate of the Atlanta Braves
      Atlanta Braves
      The Atlanta Braves are a professional baseball club based in Atlanta, Georgia. The Braves are a member of the Eastern Division of Major League Baseball's National League. The Braves have played in Turner Field since 1997....

      . They play in the Southern League
      Southern League (baseball)
      The Southern League is a minor league baseball league which operates in the Southern United States. It is classified a Double-A league. The original league was formed in , and shut down in . A new league, the Southern Association, was formed in , consisting of twelve teams...

      .
    • Southaven, Mississippi
      Southaven, Mississippi
      -Households And Families:As of the census of 2000, there were 28,977 people, 11,007 households, and 8,134 families residing in the city. The population density was 857.9 people per square mile...

       is home to the Mississippi RiverKings hockey team, formerly known as the Memphis RiverKings. The RiverKings are a member of Southern Professional Hockey League
      Southern Professional Hockey League
      The Southern Professional Hockey League is a low-level professional ice hockey league based in Charlotte, North Carolina, with teams located in the southeastern United States.- History :...

      .

    Notable natives

    Mississippi has produced a number of notable and famous individuals, especially in the realm of music and literature. Among the most notable are:
    • Actors:Lacey Chabert
      Lacey Chabert
      Lacey Nicole Chabert is an American actress and voice actress, known for her roles as Claudia Salinger in the television drama Party of Five and as Gretchen Wieners in the movie Mean Girls...

      , Morgan Freeman
      Morgan Freeman
      Morgan Freeman is an American actor, film director, aviator and narrator. He is noted for his reserved demeanor and authoritative speaking voice. Freeman has received Academy Award nominations for his performances in Street Smart, Driving Miss Daisy, The Shawshank Redemption and Invictus and won...

      , Jim Henson
      Jim Henson
      James Maury "Jim" Henson was an American puppeteer best known as the creator of The Muppets. As a puppeteer, Henson performed in various television programs, such as Sesame Street and The Muppet Show, films such as The Muppet Movie and The Great Muppet Caper, and created advanced puppets for...

      , James Earl Jones
      James Earl Jones
      James Earl Jones is an American actor. He is well-known for his distinctive bass voice and for his portrayal of characters of substance, gravitas and leadership...

      , Gerald McRaney
      Gerald McRaney
      Gerald Lee "Mac" McRaney is an American television and movie actor. McRaney is best known as one of the stars of the television shows Simon & Simon, Major Dad, and Promised Land. He was a series regular for the first season of Jericho.-Early life:McRaney was born in Collins, Mississippi, the son...

      , Parker Posey
      Parker Posey
      Parker Christian Posey is an American actress. She became known during the 1990s after a series of roles in several well-received independent films. As a result, she has often been referred to as the "Queen of the Indies"....

      , Sela Ward
      Sela Ward
      Sela Ann Ward is an American movie and television actress, perhaps best known for her television roles as Teddy Reed on the American TV series Sisters and as Lily Manning on Once and Again...

      , and Oprah Winfrey
      Oprah Winfrey
      Oprah Winfrey is an American media proprietor, talk show host, actress, producer and philanthropist. Winfrey is best known for her self-titled, multi-award-winning talk show, which has become the highest-rated program of its kind in history and was nationally syndicated from 1986 to 2011...

    • Artists: Walter Inglis Anderson
      Walter Inglis Anderson
      Walter Inglis Anderson was an American painter, writer, and naturalist.Known to his family as "Bob", he was born in New Orleans to George Walter Anderson, a grain broker, and Annette McConnell Anderson, member of a prominent New Orleans family, who had studied art at Newcomb College, where she had...

       and George E. Ohr
      George E. Ohr
      George Edgar Ohr was an American ceramic artist and the self-proclaimed "Mad Potter of Biloxi." In recognition of his innovative experimentation with modern clay forms from 1880–1910, some...

    • Athletes: Cool Papa Bell, Brett Favre
      Brett Favre
      Brett Lorenzo Favre is a former American football quarterback who spent the majority of his career with the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League . He was a 20-year veteran of the NFL, having played quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons , Green Bay Packers , New York Jets and Minnesota...

      , Al Jefferson
      Al Jefferson
      Al Ricardo Jefferson is an American professional basketball player for the Utah Jazz of the NBA.-Early life:...

      , Archie Manning
      Archie Manning
      Elisha Archibald "Archie" Manning III is a former American football quarterback in the National Football League, playing for the New Orleans Saints from 1971 to 1982, then for the Houston Oilers and Minnesota Vikings...

      , Deuce McAllister
      Deuce McAllister
      Dulymus Jenod "Deuce" McAllister is a former American football running back. He was drafted by the New Orleans Saints in the first round of the 2001 NFL Draft...

      , Steve McNair
      Steve McNair
      Stephen LaTreal McNair was an American football quarterback who spent the majority of his NFL career with the Tennessee Titans....

      , Travis Outlaw
      Travis Outlaw
      Travis Marquez Outlaw is an American professional basketball player currently with the New Jersey Nets of the NBA.-NBA career:...

      , Walter Payton
      Walter Payton
      Walter Jerry Payton was an American football running back who played for the Chicago Bears of the National Football League for thirteen seasons. Walter Payton was known around the NFL as "Sweetness". He is remembered as one of the most prolific running backs in the history of American football...

      , and Jerry Rice
      Jerry Rice
      Jerry Lee Rice is a retired American football wide receiver. He is generally regarded as the greatest wide receiver of all time and one of the greatest players in National Football League history...

    • Authors: William Faulkner
      William Faulkner
      William Cuthbert Faulkner was an American writer from Oxford, Mississippi. Faulkner worked in a variety of media; he wrote novels, short stories, a play, poetry, essays and screenplays during his career...

      , John Grisham
      John Grisham
      John Ray Grisham, Jr. is an American lawyer and author, best known for his popular legal thrillers.John Grisham graduated from Mississippi State University before attending the University of Mississippi School of Law in 1981 and practiced criminal law for about a decade...

      , Thomas Harris
      Thomas Harris
      Thomas Harris is an American author and screenwriter, best known for a series of suspense novels about his most famous character, Hannibal Lecter...

      , Eudora Welty
      Eudora Welty
      Eudora Alice Welty was an American author of short stories and novels about the American South. Her novel The Optimist's Daughter won the Pulitzer Prize in 1973. Welty was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, among numerous awards. She was the first living author to have her works published...

      , Tennessee Williams
      Tennessee Williams
      Thomas Lanier "Tennessee" Williams III was an American writer who worked principally as a playwright in the American theater. He also wrote short stories, novels, poetry, essays, screenplays and a volume of memoirs...

      , and Richard Wright
      Richard Wright (author)
      Richard Nathaniel Wright was an African-American author of sometimes controversial novels, short stories, poems, and non-fiction. Much of his literature concerns racial themes, especially those involving the plight of African-Americans during the late 19th to mid 20th centuries...

      , Charlaine Harris
      Charlaine Harris
      Charlaine Harris is a New York Times bestselling author who has been writing mysteries for over twenty years. She was born and raised in the Mississippi River Delta area of the United States. She now lives in southern Arkansas with her husband and three children...

      , Kathryn Stockett
      Kathryn Stockett
      Kathryn Stockett is an American novelist. She is known for her 2009 debut novel, The Help, which is about African American maids working in white households in Jackson, Mississippi during the 1960s.-Career:...

    • Civil rights leaders: Medgar Evers
      Medgar Evers
      Medgar Wiley Evers was an African American civil rights activist from Mississippi involved in efforts to overturn segregation at the University of Mississippi...

      , Fannie Lou Hamer
      Fannie Lou Hamer
      Fannie Lou Hamer was an American voting rights activist and civil rights leader....

      , Aaron Henry
      Aaron Henry
      Aaron Henry was an American civil rights leader, politician, and head of the Mississippi branch of the NAACP. He was one of the founders of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party which tried to seat their delegation at the 1964 Democratic National Convention.-Early life:Henry was born in Dublin,...

      , and Anne Moody
      Anne Moody
      Anne Moody is an African-American author who has written about her experiences growing up poor and black in rural Mississippi, joining the Civil Rights Movement, and fighting racism against blacks in the United States beginning in the 1960s-Life:Born Essie Mae Moody, she was the oldest of nine...

    • Musicians: 3 Doors Down
      3 Doors Down
      3 Doors Down is an American rock band from Escatawpa formed in 1996. The band consists of Brad Arnold , Matt Roberts , Todd Harrell , Chris Henderson , and Greg Upchurch ....

      , David Banner
      David Banner
      Lavell Crump , better known by his stage name David Banner, is an American rapper, record producer and occasional actor. Banner was born in Jackson, Mississippi and graduated from Southern University. He started his music career as a member of the rap duo, Crooked Lettaz before going solo in 2000...

      , Lance Bass
      Lance Bass
      James Lance Bass , best known as Lance Bass, is an American pop singer, dancer, actor, film and television producer, and author. He grew up in Mississippi and rose to fame as the bass singer for the American pop boy band 'N Sync. 'N Sync's success led Bass to work in film and television...

      , Brandy
      Brandy (entertainer)
      Brandy Rayana Norwood , known professionally as Brandy, is an American singer-songwriter, producer, actress, and dancer. In 2009, she introduced her rap alter-ego Bran'Nu....

      , Jimmy Buffett
      Jimmy Buffett
      James William "Jimmy" Buffett is a singer-songwriter, author, entrepreneur, and film producer. He is best known for his music, which often portrays an "island escapism" lifestyle. Together with his Coral Reefer Band, Buffett's musical hits include "Margaritaville" , and "Come Monday"...

      , Bo Diddley
      Bo Diddley
      Ellas Otha Bates , known by his stage name Bo Diddley, was an American rhythm and blues vocalist, guitarist, songwriter , and inventor...

      , Faith Hill
      Faith Hill
      Faith Hill is an American country singer. She is known both for her commercial success and her marriage to fellow country star Tim McGraw. Hill has sold more than 40 million records worldwide and accumulated eight number-one singles and three number-one albums on the U.S...

      , Howlin' Wolf
      Howlin' Wolf
      Chester Arthur Burnett , known as Howlin' Wolf, was an influential American blues singer, guitarist and harmonica player....

      , Robert Johnson, B.B. King, Denise LaSalle
      Denise LaSalle
      Denise LaSalle is an American R&B/soul and blues singer, songwriter, and record producer.-Career:...

      , Elvis Presley
      Elvis Presley
      Elvis Aaron Presley was one of the most popular American singers of the 20th century. A cultural icon, he is widely known by the single name Elvis. He is often referred to as the "King of Rock and Roll" or simply "the King"....

      , Leontyne Price
      Leontyne Price
      Mary Violet Leontyne Price is an American soprano. Born and raised in the Deep South, she rose to international acclaim in the 1950s and 1960s, and was one of the first African Americans to become a leading artist at the Metropolitan Opera.One critic characterized Price's voice as "vibrant",...

      , Charlie Patton
      Charlie Patton
      Charlie Patton , better known as Charley Patton, was an American Delta blues musician. He is considered by many to be the "Father of the Delta Blues", and is credited with creating an enduring body of American music and personally inspiring just about every Delta blues man...

      , Charlie Pride, LeAnn Rimes
      LeAnn Rimes
      LeAnn Rimes is an American country/pop singer. She is known for her rich vocals and her rise to fame as an eight-year-old champion on the original Ed McMahon version of Star Search, followed by the release of the Patsy Cline-intended single "Blue" when Rimes was only age 13, resulting in her...

      , Jimmie Rodgers
      Jimmie Rodgers (country singer)
      James Charles Rodgers , known as Jimmie Rodgers, was an American country singer in the early 20th century known most widely for his rhythmic yodeling...

      , Britney Spears
      Britney Spears
      Britney Jean Spears is an American recording artist and entertainer. Born in McComb, Mississippi, and raised in Kentwood, Louisiana, Spears began performing as a child, landing acting roles in stage productions and television shows. She signed with Jive Records in 1997 and released her debut album...

      , Conway Twitty
      Conway Twitty
      Conway Twitty , born Harold Lloyd Jenkins, was an American country music artist. He also had success in early rock and roll, R&B, and pop music. He held the record for the most number one singles of any act with 55 No. 1 Billboard country hits until George Strait broke the record in 2006...

      , Muddy Waters
      Muddy Waters
      McKinley Morganfield , known as Muddy Waters, was an American blues musician, generally considered the "father of modern Chicago blues"...

      , Hayley Williams
      Hayley Williams
      Hayley Nichole Williams is an American singer, songwriter, and the lead vocalist of the band Paramore.- Life and career :...

      , Randy Houser
      Randy Houser
      Shawn Randolph "Randy" Houser is an American country music artist. Signed to the Universal South Records label in 2008, he charted the single "Anything Goes" that year...

      , and Tammy Wynette
      Tammy Wynette
      Virginia Wynette Pugh, known professionally as Tammy Wynette , was an American country music singer-songwriter and one of the genre's best-known artists and biggest-selling female vocalists....



    Cultural references

    Children in the United States and Canada often count "One-Mississippi, two-Mississippi" during informal games such as hide and seek
    Hide and seek
    Hide-and-seek or hide-and-go-seek is a variant of the game tag, in which a number of players conceal themselves in the environment, to be found by one or more seekers.-Variants:Numerous variants of the game can be found around the world...

     to approximate counting by seconds.

    On March 12, 1894, the Biedenharn Candy Company bottled the first Coca-Cola
    Coca-Cola
    Coca-Cola is a carbonated soft drink sold in stores, restaurants, and vending machines in more than 200 countries. It is produced by The Coca-Cola Company of Atlanta, Georgia, and is often referred to simply as Coke...

     in Vicksburg, Mississippi. Root beer
    Root beer
    Root beer is a carbonated, sweetened beverage, originally made using the root of a sassafras plant as the primary flavor. Root beer, popularized in North America, comes in two forms: alcoholic and soft drink. The historical root beer was analogous to small beer in that the process provided a drink...

     was invented in Biloxi
    Biloxi, Mississippi
    Biloxi is a city in Harrison County, Mississippi, in the United States. The 2010 census recorded the population as 44,054. Along with Gulfport, Biloxi is a county seat of Harrison County....

     in 1898 by Edward Adolf Barq, the namesake of Barq's Root Beer
    Barq's
    -External links:* - Official website* - The History of Root Beer...

    .

    The Teddy bear
    Teddy bear
    The teddy bear is a stuffed toy bear. They are usually stuffed with soft, white cotton and have smooth and soft fur. It is an enduring form of a stuffed animal in many countries, often serving the purpose of entertaining children. In recent times, some teddy bears have become collector's items...

     gets its name from President Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt
    Theodore Roosevelt
    Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt was the 26th President of the United States . He is noted for his exuberant personality, range of interests and achievements, and his leadership of the Progressive Movement, as well as his "cowboy" persona and robust masculinity...

    . On a 1902 hunting trip to Sharkey County, Mississippi
    Sharkey County, Mississippi
    -National protected area:*Delta National Forest*Theodore Roosevelt National Wildlife Refuge -Demographics:As of the census of 2000, there were 6,580 people, 2,163 households, and 1,589 families residing in the county. The population density was 15 people per square mile . There were 2,416 housing...

    , he ordered the mercy killing of a wounded bear
    Bear
    Bears are mammals of the family Ursidae. Bears are classified as caniforms, or doglike carnivorans, with the pinnipeds being their closest living relatives. Although there are only eight living species of bear, they are widespread, appearing in a wide variety of habitats throughout the Northern...

    .

    In 1935, the world's first night rodeo
    Rodeo
    Rodeo is a competitive sport which arose out of the working practices of cattle herding in Spain, Mexico, and later the United States, Canada, South America and Australia. It was based on the skills required of the working vaqueros and later, cowboys, in what today is the western United States,...

     held outdoors under electric lights was produced by Earl Bascom and Weldon Bascom in Columbia, Marion County, Mississippi
    Columbia, Mississippi
    Columbia is a city in Marion County, Mississippi, United States, which was formed six years before Mississippi was admitted to statehood. Columbia was named for Columbia, South Carolina, from which many of the early settlers had migrated. The population was 6,603 as of the 2000 census. It is the...



    In 1936, Dr. Leslie Rush
    J. H. Rush
    Jesse Hackley Rush was an American physician who founded the first private hospital in Meridian, Mississippi.Rush was born in De Kalb, Mississippi...

    , of Rush Hospital in Meridian, Mississippi
    Meridian, Mississippi
    Meridian is the county seat of Lauderdale County, Mississippi. It is the sixth largest city in the state and the principal city of the Meridian, Mississippi Micropolitan Statistical Area...

    , performed the first bone pinning in the United States. The "Rush Pin" is still in use.

    Burnita Shelton Matthews
    Burnita Shelton Matthews
    Burnita Shelton Matthews was a judge of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. She was the first woman appointed to serve on a U.S...

     from near Hazlehurst, Mississippi
    Hazlehurst, Mississippi
    Hazlehurst is a city in and the county seat of Copiah County, Mississippi, United States, located about 30 miles south of the state capital Jackson along Interstate 55. The population was 4,400 at the 2000 census...

     was the first woman appointed as a judge of a U.S. district court
    United States district court
    The United States district courts are the general trial courts of the United States federal court system. Both civil and criminal cases are filed in the district court, which is a court of law, equity, and admiralty. There is a United States bankruptcy court associated with each United States...

    . She was appointed by Harry S. Truman
    Harry S. Truman
    Harry S. Truman was the 33rd President of the United States . As President Franklin D. Roosevelt's third vice president and the 34th Vice President of the United States , he succeeded to the presidency on April 12, 1945, when President Roosevelt died less than three months after beginning his...

     on October 21, 1949.

    Marilyn Monroe
    Marilyn Monroe
    Marilyn Monroe was an American actress, singer, model and showgirl who became a major sex symbol, starring in a number of commercially successful motion pictures during the 1950s....

     won the Mrs. Mississippi finals in the 1952 movie We're Not Married!
    We're Not Married!
    We're Not Married! is a romantic comedy film released by 20th Century Fox. The featured was directed by Edmund Goulding, and released on July 11, 1952....

    .

    Texas Rose Bascom, of Columbia, Mississippi
    Columbia, Mississippi
    Columbia is a city in Marion County, Mississippi, United States, which was formed six years before Mississippi was admitted to statehood. Columbia was named for Columbia, South Carolina, from which many of the early settlers had migrated. The population was 6,603 as of the 2000 census. It is the...

    , became the most famous female trick roper in the world, performing on stage and in Hollywood movies. She toured the world with Bob Hope
    Bob Hope
    Bob Hope, KBE, KCSG, KSS was a British-born American comedian and actor who appeared in vaudeville, on Broadway, and in radio, television and movies. He was also noted for his work with the US Armed Forces and his numerous USO shows entertaining American military personnel...

    , billed as the "Queen of the Trick Ropers," and was the first Mississippian to be inducted into the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame.

    In 1963, Dr. James D. Hardy of the University of Mississippi Medical Center performed the first human lung transplant in Jackson, Mississippi. In 1964, Dr. Hardy performed the first heart transplant, transplanting the heart of a chimpanzee into a human, where it beat for 90 minutes.

    "At 10:00 a.m. on October 22, 1964, the United States government detonated an underground nuclear device in Lamar County, in south Mississippi. (...) The Project Salmon
    Salmon Site
    Salmon Site is a tract of land in Lamar County, Mississippi, near Baxterville. The tract is located over a geological formation known as the Tatum Salt Dome and is the location of the only nuclear weapons test detonations known to have been performed in the eastern United States.Two underground...

     blast was about one-third as powerful as the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima in 1945. (...) The Project Sterling blast, on December 3, 1966, was considerably weaker than the blast two years earlier, as it was intended to be."

    On January 8, 1935, Elvis Aaron Presley was born in Tupelo.

    Several warships have been named USS Mississippi
    USS Mississippi
    USS Mississippi, named either for the state of Mississippi or the Mississippi River, may refer to: was a sidewheel frigate that saw action in the Mexican–American War and was lost during the American Civil War. was the lead ship of her class of battleships, saw action before World War I and was...

    .

    The comic book character Rogue
    Rogue (comics)
    Rogue was first slated to appear in Ms. Marvel #25 , but the book's abrupt cancellation left her original introduction story unpublished for over a decade, before seeing print in Marvel Super Heroes #11 in 1992. Rogue's first published appearance was in Avengers Annual #10...

    , from the well-known series X-Men
    X-Men
    The X-Men are a superhero team in the . They were created by writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby, and first appeared in The X-Men #1...

    , is a Mississippian and self-declared southern belle
    Southern belle
    A southern belle is an archetype for a young woman of the American Old South's upper class....

    . Her home town is located in the fictional county of Caldecott.

    For the past seven years, the Sundancer Solar Race Team from Houston, MS
    Houston, Mississippi
    Houston is a city in and one of two county seats of Chickasaw County, Mississippi, United States. The population was 4,079 at the 2000 census. The land on which Houston, MS resides was donated to the city by Judge Joel Pinson on the condition that it would be named for Sam Houston, a childhood...

    , has won first place in the Open Division of the Dell-Winston School Solar Car Challenge
    Dell-Winston School Solar Car Challenge
    The Solar Car Challenge is an annual solar-powered car race for high school students.The event attracts teams from around the world, but mostly from American high schools. The race was first held in 1995. Each event is the end product of a two year education cycle launched by the Winston Solar Car...

    .

    See also

    • Gulf of Mexico
      Gulf of Mexico
      The Gulf of Mexico is a partially landlocked ocean basin largely surrounded by the North American continent and the island of Cuba. It is bounded on the northeast, north and northwest by the Gulf Coast of the United States, on the southwest and south by Mexico, and on the southeast by Cuba. In...

    • List of National Register of Historic Places in Mississippi
    • List of people from Mississippi

    • U.S. state
      U.S. state
      A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...



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