There are two things most Mississippians can agree on. The first being that Mississippi is awesome. The second is that if anyone talks bad about our beloved state they can simply shut up. (Of course, we’d say it in the nicest way possible.) So, the next time someone badmouths Mississippi, bring up these 15 facts to remind them just how awesome the state actually is.
1. Music was basically born here.
From the blues to Elvis Presley, Mississippi has played a major part in cultivating the world’s music.
2. And so were Kermit the Frog and the Teddy Bear.
Can you imagine a childhood without the lovable green Muppet or, gasp, a Teddy bear?
3. Mississippi paved the way for a number of medical firsts.
The world’s first human lung transplant, heart transplant, and kidney autotransplant were performed by Dr. James Hardy, a surgeon at Mississippi’s University Medical Center.
4. And has continued to contribute to the medical field.
In terms of modern medicine, Mississippi literally wrote the book. Mississippian Dr. Arthur Guyton wrote the “Textbook of Medical Physiology” while he was at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. The textbook has been used by medical students around the world.
5. Mississippi is home to the only Grammy Museum outside of Los Angeles.
The recently opened museum aims to educate visitors about the history and cultural significance of American music through “innovative programming, cutting-edge interactives, and exciting exhibitions.”
6. With the help of Mississippi, the rest of the country can get to space.
Mississippi’s John C. Stennis Space Center is NASA’s primary center for testing and flight certifying rocket propulsion systems, and as such, tests all space shuttle main engines.
7. And around town.
In 2003, Nissan opened an assembly plant in Canton. The $1.4 billion facility encompasses 3.5 million square feet and has the capacity to produce 400,000 vehicles a year.
8. And in the air.
Flying high just wouldn’t be the same without Jackson’s Vickers – the company that supplies hydraulic components found on every commercial airliner.
9. Preserving history is serious business in Mississippi.
Thanks to over one thousand nationally registered historic sites, countless battlefields, Native American sites, plantations, and colonial settlements, Mississippi can offer visitors a chance to see the past for themselves.
10. Without Mississippi, the catfish industry wouldn’t be the same.
Mississippi growers raise more catfish than any other state; not to mention, Belzoni is known as the “Catfish Capital of the World.”
11. Forever changing the world of literature, Mississippi has produced some extremely influential writers, including William Faulkner, Tennessee Williams, and Eudora Welty.
And it’s not only noteworthy writers that call the state home. The oldest book in America, an ancient Biblical manuscript, is housed at the University of Mississippi; while the world's largest collection of original manuscripts and illustrations of children's literature is at the University of Southern Mississippi.
12. If it weren’t for Mississippi, several tasty creations wouldn’t exist, such as the Icee.
You know those delicious “Icee” drinks you just have to buy when you’re at the gas station? Well, if it weren’t for Edwards native, Fred Montalvo, you would’ve never experienced the refreshing treat.
13. Or Barq’s Root Beer.
The bubbly drink was created by Edward C. Barq, Sr. in Biloxi.
14. The historic Natchez Trace runs right through Mississippi.
This 450-mile foot trail was traveled by traders, missionaries, early settlers, and Indians for thousands of years, making it one of the most historically-significant spots in the nation. Visitors to the Natchez Trace can either drive on the parkway or select from several different trails, which all lead to a one-of-a-kind history-infused stroll filled with rocky outcroppings, steep ridges, and the “sunken” section of the trace.
15. Mississippi is the home of the renowned festival, Cruisin’ the Coast.
Every October, thousands of people head to the Gulf Coast for a week-long celebration known as Cruisin’ the Coast. A car enthusiast’s dream come true, the event attracts people from all over the country, Canada, and even Sweden. Aside from the thousands of antique, classic, and hot rod vehicles that take part in the festival, Cruisin’ the Coast also includes a ton of vendors and live musical performances.