Mississippi was the 20th state to be admitted into the United States, and its history and people have helped shape America from the very beginning. Here are 20 fascinating facts about the Magnolia State.
1 National Geographic magazine is printed in Corinth, Mississippi.
2 There are only four cities in the world that are officially sanctioned as places to host the International Ballet Competition: Helsinki (Finland), Moscow (Russia), Varna (Bulgaria), and Jackson, Mississippi.
3 Phil Gilbert’s Shoe Parlor in Vicksburg, Mississippi was the first store to sell its shoes in boxed pairs in 1884.
4 The largest Bible restoration company in the nation is in Greenwood, Mississippi.
5 An ancient biblical manuscript is housed at Ole Miss. It's considered to be the oldest book in the United States.
6 The first public women's college in America is the Mississippi University for Women. It was founded in 1884.
7 Theodore Roosevelt famously refused to shoot a bear on a hunting trip that took place in Sharkey, Mississippi. As a result, the Teddy Bear was born and it remains the official state toy of Mississippi.
8 The famous Barq’s Root Beer was born in Biloxi, Mississippi by Edward Adolf Barq Sr.
9 Although Coca-Cola was invented in Atlanta, it was first bottled in Vicksburg, Mississippi.
10 The nation's first Memorial Day celebration was held in Columbus, Mississippi due to its heavy losses during the Civil War.
11 Fred and Al Key of Meridian, Mississippi hold the record for keeping a plane in the air for the longest amount of time. The brothers kept their plane up (refueling in the air) for almost 654 hours in 1935.
12 Both the first successful lung transplant and the first heart transplant took place in Mississippi.
13 Famous Mississippi natives include Jim Henson, Jimmy Buffett, Brett Favre, Elvis Presley, B.B. King, Oprah Winfrey, Tennessee Williams, and James Earl Jones.
14 As its nickname suggests, Mississippi's state flower is the magnolia. Its state bird is the mockingbird.
15 Stetson hat creator John B. Stetson learned the craft of hatmaking in Dunn's Falls, Mississippi.
16 The world's largest (and probably only) cactus plantation is in Edwards, Mississippi.
17 The first confederate monument was erected in Liberty, Mississippi in 1871.
18 Pine Sol was invented by Jackson native Harry Cole, Sr. in 1929.
19 Mississippi received its name from the French word "Messipi." Messipi is derived from the Algonquin title for the Mississippi River, which was formerly known as Misi-ziibi. The name means "Great River."
20 The oldest permanent settlement on the Mississippi River is Natchez, MI. It was settled by the French in 1716.