77 Mississippi Facts And Weird Laws

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Did you know how many people visited Mississippi in 2021 despite the in the middle of the COVID pandemic? 

Nearly 21 million people. 

Why is so fascinating about Mississippi?

This southern state is home to historical sites that will take you back to the days of the Civil War. Vicksburg National Military Park, for instance, is located where a key Civil War battle took place.

Other than Jackson, the state capital city and home to the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science, Tupelo is small but famous. Tourists to Tupelo visit Elvis Presley, the legendary singer’s birthplace. A small house where the King of Rock and Roll was born.

You can walk along the Natchez Trace Pathway to explore historic spots and the natural beauty that comes with this tour.

Mississippi is packed with unique destinations tourists love.

Today, we will take you through the state’s history, geography, wildlife, and a list of top locations tourists visit.

Here are our interesting facts about Mississippi that you probably didn’t know.

Best Fun Facts About Mississippi

  1. Onward, Mississippi is the birthplace of the teddy bear. It was invented to honor former US President Theodore Roosevelt.
  2. Mississippi has the highest number of churches per capita in the country.
  3. Isaac Ross freed all his slaves and sent them to Africa. They ended in Liberia. 
  4. Vicksburg National Military Park is a haunting site.
  5. The first Memorial Day was when Mississippian women from Columbus visited the graves of both Union and Confederate soldiers to lay flowers.

Mississippi Facts —Politics And Government

Jackson. Credits: Unsplash
  1. Mississippi has six electoral votes in the electoral college.
  2. The state’s political atmosphere shows a conservative state. 
  3. The last Democratic political candidate to win Mississippi was Jimmy Carter in 1976.
  4. The people of Mississippi tend to vote along racial lines. African Americans lean towards Democrats while the whites vote for Republican candidates.
  5. The governor is the chief executive officer in the state. The current governor is a Republican, Tete Reeves.
  6. The state’s lieutenant governor is elected on a separate ballot from the governors. 
  7. Mississippi conducts its state’s election in odd-numbered years like Louisiana, New Jersey, Virginia, and Kentucky.
  8. According to a study in 2020, Mississippi is the 4th hardest state to vote in.

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Mississippi Facts —History

  1. Native Americans inhabited the region of Mississippi as early as 10,000 BC.
  2. The Mississippi Delta attracted Native Americans due to its closeness to rivers.
  3. The Mississippian culture was the largest in the region.
  4. Choctaw and Chickasaw are Native American tribes who inhabited this region.
  5. Hernando de Soto led the first European expedition through Mississippi to the New World.
  6. French built-Fort Maurepas is the first European settlement established in this area.
  7. Mississippi is part of the “New France,” which was under the control of the French before the French and Indian War. 
  8. The French territory went under British control after the French and Indian War.
  9. The United States acquired this region after the American revolution.
  10. In 1798, the United States established Mississippi territory. 
  11. Some of the Choctaw people who remained in the territory of Mississippi became US citizens. The Indian Removal Act forced them to move to Oklahoma. 
  12. Mississippi became the 20th state to achieve statehood in 1817, with David Holmes as the state’s first governor.
Mississippi State Capitol. Credits: Unsplash
  1. Mississippi State was the second state to withdraw from the Union. The state is among the first members to join the Confederate States of America.
  2. Residents of Mississippi lived mostly along the riverfronts before the civil war.
  3. Mississippians actively fought in the Civil War. Over 80,000 people from the state were involved.
  4. The freedmen founded independent congregations after the civil war.

Mississippi Facts —Geography

  1.  Mississippi is the 32nd largest, with an area of 48,430 square miles.
  2. This southern state borders Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee, Louisiana, and the Gulf of Mexico. The Mississippi River forms the western boundary of the state.
  3. Mississippi is home to rivers such as the Mississippi River, Pearl River, Tombigbee River, Big Black River, Pascagoula River, and the Yazoo River.
Yazoo River. Credits: Unsplash
  1.  Mississippi’s major lakes are Arkabuta, Grenada, Ross Barnett Reservoir,  and Sardis (the state’s largest lake.)
  2. This southern state, Mississippi, is a lowland state, with the highest point being Woodland Mountain at 807 feet above sea level. The Gulf Coast is the lowest point at sea level.
  3. Mississippi’s main elevation is 300 feet above sea level.
  4. The state’s coastline has large bays, such as Bay St. Louis. 
  5. The Mississippi Sound separates the state from the Gulf of Mexico.
  6. The Northwest region of the state is made up of the Mississippi Delta.
  7. With 293.3 km², Jackson is the largest city in Mississippi.
  8. Mississippi experiences a humid subtropical climate.
  9. This state –like the others in the deep south–experiences adverse weather such as hurricanes, storms, and tornadoes.
  10. Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Camille are two of the deadliest hurricanes in this state.
  11. Two of the five deadliest tornadoes in the US hit Mississippi state. While the northern region is mostly hit by tornadoes early in the year, Southern Mississippi experiences tornadoes later in the year.

Mississippi Facts —Animals And Plants

Credits: Unsplash
  1. Over half of Mississippi is covered by trees. When you take a walk through Mississippi, you will come across wild or cultivated trees.
  2.  The Southeast Mississippi is home to longleaf pine as the dominant tree.
  3. Mississippi Alluvial Plain is home to oaks, bald cypress, cottonwood, and willows.
  4. Other plants thriving in this state include sweetgum, hickories, bitter pecan, water elm, and loblolly pine.
  5. Mississippi’s state symbols include Magnolia ( state tree & state flower).
  6. The state has over 200 species of fish. 
  7. Over 400 bird species thrive in Mississippi.
Credits: Unsplash
  1. The state bird of Mississippi is the northern mockingbird.
  2. Mississippi is home to the endangered Mississippi Sandhill Crane. 
  3. Eight winter stonefly species live in this state.
  4. The official land mammal of the state is the White-tail deer.
  5. Bottlenose Dolphin is the official state water mammal.
  6. The largemouth bass is the state fish.
  7. Some of the mammals you can see in the state include the southern flying squirrels, beavers, white-tailed deer, skunks, and raccoons.
  8. The cottonmouth snakes are some of the most dangerous animals found in this state.

Mississippi Facts —Demographics

  1. With over 2,961,279, Mississippi is the 35th most populous US state.
  2.   With over 153,701 people, Jackson is the most populous city. Gulfport, Southaven, and Biloxi are some of the major cities in the state.
  3.  Jackson is the state capital city of Mississippi. The current State Capitol building is the third in the city.
  4. Mississippi is the 32nd state in terms of population density. There are about 63 people per square mile.
  5.  The median age is 36.7 years.
  6. Over 80% of the population are Christians. 
  7. About 58% of the state’s population is made up of whites.
  8. Mississippi is home to the largest black population in the country.
  9. Over 90% of Mississippians use only English for communication.
  10. Females are most likely to marry between ages 45-54, while males mostly marry over 65 years.
  11. Over 95% of Mississippians were born in the country, with nearly 71% born in the state.
  12. About 32% of the residents of Mississippi are college-educated.

Mississippi Facts —Economy

Vicksburg. Credits: Unsplash
  1. Mississippi ranked 41st in fiscal stability with its strongest attributes being natural environment (22), crime & corrections (33), and education (43).
  2. The GDP of Mississippi was $116 billion in 2019.
  3. Forestry and agriculture are the primary industries in Mississippi.
  4. The state is the nation’s leading producer of raised catfish. 
  5. Mississippi is also a top producer of pulpwood, cotton, and sweet potatoes.
  6. Mississippi produces one of the country’s largest quantities of broiler chickens.
Farming. Credits: Unsplash
  1. The state’s mineral resources include natural gas, petroleum,  sand, clay, and gravel.
  2. Nuclear plants, coal-powered plants, and natural gas are the source of hydroelectric power.
  3. Mississippi’s manufacturing industry includes lumber, furniture, and automotive parts.
  4. John C. Stennis Space Center, located between the Gulfport and New Orleans, is Nasa’s main testing center for rockets and space shuttles. 
  5. Taxation is one of the state’s sources of income, including gaming taxes, sales taxes, gasoline taxes, corporate income taxes, and personal income taxes.
  6. The University of Mississippi is home to the state’s infant hospital and health science center–Mississippi Medical Center.

Famous Location in Mississippi 

  1. Gulf Islands National Seashore offers you the opportunity to enjoy white-sand beaches, dense forests, and coastal marshes.
  2. Tupelo Automobile Museum, founded by Max Berryhill and Frank Stein, became the state’s official auto museum in 2003. It houses 150 vehicles.
  3. Vicksburg National Military Park is where General Grant was killed before the Union forces assumed control of the waterway during the civil war. Inside is the USS Cairo, a battleship that went under during the War.
Vicksburg. Credits: Unsplash@Justin
  1. B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center feature the life of B.B. King, one of the most influential blues singers. 
  2. The Vicksburg National Cemetery is home to the remains of 17,000 Union soldiers.
  3. The Institute for Marine Mammal Studies in Gulfport has everything you might want to know about Dolphins.
  4. Beauvoir, in Biloxi, houses the Confederate Presidential Library and Museum. It’s a beautiful estate you may want to visit not just for the view but also for the knowledge.
  5. Elvis Presley Birthplace & Museum in Tupelo. It’s open for tours. 
  6. Grammy Museum Mississippi, located in Cleveland, has relics, including instruments the iconic artists used. 
  7. The Mississippi Museum of Natural Science is located in Lefleur Bluff State Park. It allows you to learn about the natural world. 
  8. Natchez Trace Parkway is the place you should visit if you want to sightsee while walking along the Native Americans’ path.
  9. Jackson Zoological Park is home to about 250 animals. Besides the diverse animals, this place is home to unique events that attract several people.
  10. The Old Capitol Museum in Jackson is open for the public to learn more about the historical events that happened in the state.
  11. Ocean Springs has studios, historic churches, and art shops that attract people. This city was hit and destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.
  12.  Mississippi Petrified Forest gives you the chance to explore the ancient forest.
  13. The University of Mississippi Medical Center–where Martin MacMillan performed the world’s first human lung transplant.
  14. Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge is home to the Mississippi Sandhill Crane.
  15. The Mississippi Gulf Coast is famous for its beaches, including Biloxi beaches and Gulfport beach.

Famous People From Mississippi

  • Elvis Presley, born in Tupelo, was a singer & actor.
  • Britney Spears, born in McComb, is a singer-songwriter.
  • Oprah Winfrey, born in Kosciusko, is the host of the Oprah Winfrey Show.
  • Rick Ross, born in Coahoma county, is a rapper & songwriter.
  • B.B. King, dead, was a singer-songwriter.

Common Misconceptions About Mississippi

The movie’s portrayal of Mississippi is mostly misleading and false.

Here are some of the wrong beliefs about Mississippi. 

Mississippians are uneducated

No, nearly 32% of the state’s population are college-educated.

Mississippians are racist

Mississippi residents elect African Americans to serve in various offices, including the governor’s position.

Mississippi is backward

No, this belief is false. Mississippi is home to some of the most famous individuals, including Elvis Presley, Morgan Freeman, and James Earl Jones.

Top 10 Weird Laws in Mississippi 

Here are our top 10 weird Mississippi laws. Read the Craziest Laws in the United States, if you want more.

  1. Keeping your horses close to any road (within 50) is illegal.
  2. If you interrupt a church service, any private citizen can arrest you.
  3. Having two illegitimate children may land you in jail.
  4. The fine waving a gun in public is more than the one for shooting in Columbus.
  5. Shaving in the center of the main street is illegal in Tylertown.
  6. Using profane language in public may cause a fine of up to $100.
  7. You Shouldn’t explain polygamy to someone else. It’s illegal.
  8. It’s illegal to sleep with someone who is not your partner.
  9. Living with your partner when you are not married is unlawful.
  10. It’s unlawful to seduce a woman by pretending you’ll marry her. (This law makes a lot of sense from a father’s perspective. :)) 
Image: Unsplash

Final Thoughts 

Mississippi is rich in life. The Western, Eastern, Southern, Northern, and Central Mississippi have so many amazing activities you would love. 

You can play your favorite sport, enrich your knowledge at a museum, or visit a state park to explore the unique wildlife in this state.

Either way, you’ll know why tourists wish to come back. 

Mississippi Facts And Stats

Population2020 (2,961,279)
GovernorTate Reeves ( Republican Party)
Date Of AdmissionDecember 10, 1817
U.S. SenatorsCindy Hyde-Smith(R)
Roger Wicker(R)
US House of Representatives4 (of 435 Seats) 
State NicknameHospitality StateMagnolia State
State MottoVirtute et Armis meaning “By Valor and Arms”
State Song“Go Mississippi” by William Houston Davis
State FlowerMagnolia
State FishLargemouth Bass
State BirdNorthern Mockingbird
State TreeMagnolia
State Land MammalWhite-tailed deerRed Fox
State SoilNatchez Silt Loam
State ShellOyster Shell
State GemPetrified Wood
State FossilFossil Whale
Neighbor StatesLouisiana Tennessee Arkansas Alabama 

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the 10 interesting facts about Mississippi?

  1. Mississippi is known as the catfish capital of the world.
  2. Mississippi is the state where most movies are filmed.
  3. Magnolia state is home to the region’s last Mississippi Sandhill Crane.
  4. Mississippi boasts the world’s human lung transplant, heart transplant, and kidney autotransplant.
  5. Mississippi was home to several US airfields during World War II.
  6. The Mississippi River is the nation’s second-largest river.
  7. Mississippi Medical Center is the state’s only health care science center. Martin McMullan performed the first human lung transplant here.
  8. The federal government owns slightly over 5% of the state’s land.
  9. The North Central Hills is higher than the Pine Hills.
  10. Mississippi is home to the Mississippi Sandhill crane.

What food is Mississippi best known for?

  • Fried chicken.
  • World’s first human lung transplant.
  • Mississippi River.
  • Fried okra.
  • Vicksburg National Cemetery.
  • Greenwood, Mississippi –which was once the cotton capital of the world.
  • Natchez Trace Parkway.
  •  Collard greens.
  •  Catfish.

Related Content: 


[1] https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/rankings

[2] https://www.attractionsofamerica.com/attractions/mississippi.php

[3] https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mississippi

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Sabrina is a former campaign manager who has decided to focus her effort to help people contact senators and get help. She leads our Editorial Team with Ronald and Lawrence to curate content and resources that help us navigate the system.

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