Interesting facts about Mississippi

mississippi flag

Mississippi is a state in the Southern United States.

It is bordered to the north by Tennessee, to the east by Alabama, to the south by Louisiana and a narrow coast on the Gulf of Mexico; and to the west, across the Mississippi River, by Louisiana and Arkansas.

As of July 2018, the population of Mississippi was estimated to be about 3 million. It is the 32nd most populous state in the United States.

Mississippi is the 32nd largest state in the United States in terms of total area with 48,430 square kilometers (125,443 square miles).

Jackson, officially the City of Jackson, is the capital and most populous city of the U.S. state of Mississippi. Founded in 1821 as the site for a new state capital, the city is named after General Andrew Jackson, who was honored for his role in the Battle of New Orleans during the War of 1812 and would later serve as U.S. president.

mississippi jackson

In general terms central Mississippi is hilly, as the land gently rises from the Gulf of Mexico coastline to the far northeastern highlands where the state’s highest point, Woodall Mountain, stands at 246 meters (806 feet).

In addition to its namesake, major rivers in Mississippi include the Big Black River, the Pearl River, the Yazoo River, the Pascagoula River, and the Tombigbee River. Major lakes include Ross Barnett Reservoir, Arkabutla Lake, Sardis Lake, and Grenada Lake with the largest lake being Sardis Lake. [Photo below: Mississippi river]

mississippi river

The state is heavily forested, with over half of the state’s area covered by wild or cultivated trees.

Mississippi has 8 national park and 21 state parks.

Vicksburg National Military Park preserves the site of the American Civil War Battle of Vicksburg, waged from March 29 to July 4, 1863. The park, located in Vicksburg, Mississippi, (flanking the Mississippi River), also commemorates the greater Vicksburg Campaign which led up to the battle. Reconstructed forts and trenches evoke memories of the 47-day siege that ended in the surrender of the city.

vicksburg national military park

De Soto National Forest, named for 16th-century explorer Hernando de Soto, is about 210,000 hectares (520,00 acres) of pine forests in southern Mississippi. It is one of the most important protected areas for the biological diversity of the Gulf Coast ecoregion of North America.

de soto national forest

The Tupelo Automobile Museum was declared the official auto museum of the state of Mississippi in 2003, the culmination of 28 years of collecting by founders Frank Spain and Max Berryhill. The entire collection includes 150 vehicles, some of which are presently being restored in open bays while museum visitors watch. The vehicles on display represent the evolution of the automobile with chronologically organized exhibit halls.

tupelo automobile museum

The Elvis Presley Birthplace is a historic museum site in Tupelo, Mississippi dedicated to the preservation of the birthplace of American musician Elvis Presley. It is listed on the Mississippi Blues Trail as well as designated as a landmark by the State of Mississippi.

elvis presley museum

The Biloxi Visitors Center, which opened in July 2011 in the shadow of the Biloxi Lighthouse on U.S. 90, fuses the city’s architectural heritage with state-of-the-art technology and multi-media exhibits to give visitors and residents alike a feel for the Biloxi of yesterday and today.

biloxi visitors center

Mississippi gets its name from the Mississippi River, which forms its western border. Mississippi comes from the Ojibwa (Chippewa) Indian word misi-ziibi meaning “great river or gathering of waters.”

Near 10,000 BC Native Americans or Paleo-Indians arrived in what today is referred to as the American South.

Early inhabitants of the area that became Mississippi included the Choctaw, Natchez and Chickasaw.


In the Mississippi Delta, Native American settlements and agricultural fields were developed on the natural levees, higher ground in the proximity of rivers.

Before the American Civil War, most development in the state was along riverfronts, where slaves worked on cotton plantations.

Mississippi became the 20th state to join the Union on December 10, 1817.


Despite the abolition of slavery, racial discrimination endured in Mississippi, and the state was a battleground of the Civil Rights Movement in the mid-20th century.

In the early 21st century, Mississippi ranked among America’s poorest states.

The musical style known as the blues started in Mississippi after the Civil War. Rooted in the songs sung by slaves working in the fields and African spirituals, the Blues offered an escape from oppression and a means of expression for many African Americans.

Mississippi produces some 60 percent of America’s farm-raised catfish. Commercial catfish production began in the state in the mid-1960s.

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

The magnolia is the official state flower of both Mississippi. Mississippi’s nickname is the “Magnolia State.”