Living in Mississippi comes with a lot of perks; one of which is getting to brag about the state’s many attributes and accolades. From inventions to well-known residents, here are 16 things you can only brag about if you’re from the Magnolia State.
1. Mississippi growers raise more catfish than any other state; not to mention, Belzoni is known as the "Catfish Capital of the World."
2. According to the Catalogue of Philanthropy’s “Generosity Index,” Mississippi is the most charitable state.
3. The prestigious USA International Ballet Competition can’t be seen anywhere else in the country except for Jackson.
4. The first human lung transplant, first heart transplant, and first kidney autotransplant were all performed right here in Mississippi by Dr. James Hardy.
5. The world record for keeping a plane aloft was broken in 1935 by the “Ole Miss,” a plane piloted by brothers Al and Fred Key of Meridian.
Nearly one month after taking off, the Keys returned to the Meridian airport to a crowd of about 30,000 cheering supporters, shattering the record with a non-stop endurance flight time of 653 hours and 34 minutes.
6. Mississippi is the birthplace of the Blues and Elvis Presley – both of which greatly impacted the world of music.
So, it only makes sense that the world’s largest collection of Blues music is located at Oxford’s University of Mississippi.
7. 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.
8. In 1884, the state established what is now known as the University of Mississippi for Women, which just so happened to be the first state funded college for women in the entire nation.
9. Jackson’s Russell C. Davis Planetarium was the first organization to shoot a documentary film aboard a U.S. spacecraft.
“The Space Shuttle: An American Adventure” was released in January of 1985, and eventually won a gold medal in an international film festival.
10. There’s no denying it; Mississippi is the place to go for the best seafood, barbecue, fried food, slugburgers, tamales, and, of course, good ole home cookin’.
What other state can be accredited with perfecting such a wide variety of food?
11. And washing that food down with an ice cold Coca-Cola or Barq’s Root Beer would be out of the question without Mississippi.
Coca-Cola was first bottled in Vicksburg in 1894, while Barq’s Root Beer was invented in Biloxi in 1898.
12. Mississippi is home to over 20 beautiful state parks, many of which have been nationally recognized.
More than 4,000 state parks were reviewed by Reserve America, and Mississippi’s state parks snagged spots in several categories, including the “Top 100 Campgrounds,” “Top 25 Amazing Spots,” and “Top 25 Water Recreation Parks.”
13. Since 1921, Mississippi has won the Miss America pageant four times. To put that into perspective, 19 states have never won, and larger states such as New York and California have each won six times.
Mary Ann Mobley of Brandon won in 1959; Lynda Mead of Natchez won in 1960; Cheryl Prewitt of Ackerman won in 1980; Susan Akin of Meridian won in 1986.
14. Liberty is the site of the first Confederate monument, where Borden’s condensed milk was canned for the first time, and where the first bottle of Dr. Tichener's Antiseptic was produced.
15. Millions of years in the making, Flora’s Petrified Forest is the only one of its kind in the eastern United States.
16. Mississippi is home to several historic Indian mound sites, including the Winterville Site which is one of the largest and best preserved in the southeastern United States.
In fact, the National Park Service and Harvard University conducted the first modern archaeological studies at the Winterville Site in the 1940s.
This list could easily go on and on, so let’s do just that! Add to it in the comments section below.