Mississippi Facts



State Location Mississippi Location In The US
State Abbreviation MS
Statehood December 10, 1817
State Capital Jackson
State Size Total (Land + Water): 48,430 sq miles; Land Only: 46,907 sq miles
Number of Counties 82
State Population (2015)2,992,333
State Population Density63.8 people / square mile
Electoral Votes6
State Quarter Issue Date October 15, 2002
State Motto Virtute et armis (By valor and arms)
State Flower Bloom of the magnolia or evergreen magnolia
State Tree Magnolia
State Bird Mockingbird
Nickname Magnolia State
State Flag Mississippi State Flag
State Gas Tax$0.1879 / Gallon
State Cigarette Tax$0.68 / Pack
Area Codes 228, 601, 662, 769
Top 5 Cities (2010 population) Jackson (173,514)
Gulfport (67,793)
Southaven (48,982)
Hattiesburg (45,989)
Biloxi (44,054)
Major Sports Teams None

Mississippi Fun Facts

  • The state of Mississippi was named for the Mississippi River, whose name comes from the Ojibwa (Chippewa) Indian word "misi-ziibi," meaning "great river."
  • On April 25, 1866, women in Columbus decorated the graves of both the Confederate and Union soldiers in Friendship Cemetery. This gesture became known as Decoration Day, the beginning of what we observe today as Memorial Day.
  • The Mississippi city of Greenwood is commonly called the Cotton Capital of the World.
  • While on a hunting expedition near Onward in November of 1902, President Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt refused to shoot a bear that had been surrounded. This event inspired a Brooklyn candy shop owner to create a stuffed "Teddy's Bear." Teddy bears soon became a favorite toy all over the world.
  • On June 11, 1963, Dr. James Hardy of the University of Mississippi performed the world's first human lung transplant.
  • The Mississippi city of Vardaman is called the Sweet Potato Capital of the World.
  • Greenville is called the Towboat Capital of the World.
  • The world's only cactus plantation is in Edwards, Mississippi.
  • In 1894, Coca-Cola was first bottled by Joseph A. Biedenharn in Vicksburg.
  • In Mississippi, it is illegal for a man to seduce a woman by pretending that he will marry her.




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