2. The University of Mississippi Blues Archive in Oxford contains the world's largest collection of Blues music.
3. The world's first round trip transoceanic flight was performed in 1928 by H.T. Merrill, from Iuka. The flight to England was made in a plane loaded with ping pong balls.
4. Vardaman, is the Sweet Potato Capital of the world. Each year, in November, the Sweet Potato Festival is held in Vardaman.
5. William Faulkner, one of the literary giants of the twentieth century, was born in New Albany. His accomplishments include winning the Nobel prize for Literature, two Pulitzer Prizes and the National Book Award. He is considered to be the greatest writer of fiction during the first half of the 20th century. His novels include THE REIVERS, THE SOUND AND THE FURY, LIGHT IN AUGUST, and ABSALOM, ABSALOM! His home, Rowan Oak, is in Oxford, and is open to the public. At Rowan Oak, the visitor can view Faulkner's room where an outline for A FABLE, has been scribbled on the wall by the author's own hand.
6. Tupelo, is the birthplace of the "King of Rock and Roll," Elvis Presley. Here can be visited the Elvis Presley Museum, Chapel and the two-room, "shot-gun" style house where he was born.
7. The world's oldest Holiday Inn is located in Clarksdale.
8. Lawrence "Rabbit" Kennedy, of Amory, was the most decorated soldier in the U.S. Army.
9. Oxford is home of John Grisham, author of THE FIRM, PELICAN BRIEF, THE CLIENT, and A TIME TO KILL.
10. General Frank Gregory, of Shelby, is one of the principal developers of the helicopter.
11. Guy Bush, of Tupelo, was one of the most valuable players with the Chicago Cubs. He was on the 1929 World Series team and Babe Ruth hit his last home run off a ball pitched by Bush.
12. During the 1930's one of Mississippi' s most famous pilots, a barnstormer by the name of Roscoe Turner, of Corinth, was proclaimed to be one if the best speed pilots in the U.S. But he was perhaps best known for flying with his animal mascot named Gilmore, an African lion cub. A world renowned aviator, Turner is featured in the National Air and Space Museum at the Smithsonian Institute and is the only three time winner of the Thompson Trophy Race. In Corinth, during August. visitors can enjoy the Annual Roscoe Turner Hot Air Balloon Races, which offer a weekend of fun, festivities, food and entertainment.
13. Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest, of Civil War fame, was reared in Benton County and was pronounced by military historians and critics alike to be the foremost calvary officer ever produced in America.
14. S.B. "Sam" Vick of Oakland, played for the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. He was the only man ever to pinch hit for baseball great Babe Ruth.
15. Blazon-Flexible Flyer, Inc., in West Point, is proclaimed to make the very best snow sled in the U.S., which has become an American tradition. It is of course called THE FLEXIBLE FLYER.
16. The world's first human lung transplant was performed at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, in 1963. The world's first heart transplant was performed at the Center the following year.
17. Mississippi College, in Clinton, was the first co-educational college in the United States to grant a degree to a woman.
18. Jimmie Rodgers, from Meridian, was often hailed as "The Father of Country Music" and was the first name placed in the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, Tennessee. The Jimmie Rodgers Museum, in Meridian, is dedicated to "The Singing Brakeman," and features his original guitar, other memorabilia of his life and career and collectibles from the steam engine era.
19. Mississippi produces more than 80% of the world's supply of farm-raised catfish. Each year, in April, the World Catfish Festival is held in Belzoni, which is known as the Catfish Capital of the World.
20. In 1982, through a Joint Resolution of the United States Congress, Jackson became the official home of the USA International Ballet Competition, which is now held every fourth year in Jackson, during the second weekend in June. This dance competition is touted as the Olympics of Dance, where competitors vie for gold, silver and bronze medals, cash awards and scholarships. Jackson is the only city in the United States to host this international event while in Europe host cities include Moscow, Russia; Helsinki, Finland: Paris, France and Varna, Bulgaria.
21. The second largest cotton exchange in the United States is Cotton Row, located in Greenwood.
22. Greenwood is the Cotton Capital of the World.
23. Greenville is the Towboat Capital of the World.
24. In Rose Hill Cemetery, in Meridian, can be found the graves of Emil and Kelly Mitchell, the King and Queen of all the Gypsies in the United States. People travel from near and far to leave small gifts of fruit and juice at the grave sites in a cemetery that has been, since 1915, the burial site for the Gypsy Royal Family.
25. The 4-H Club was founded in Holmes County, in 1907.
26. Mississippi native Ethel Wright Mohamed is world renowned for her unique style of art stitchery and is touted as the "Grandma Moses of Stitchery." Her works are on permanent display with the Smithsonian Institute. However, many fine examples of her art may be seen at the Ethel Wright Mohamed Museum, "Mama's Dream World," located at 307 Central Street, in Belzoni.
27. The governor's Mansion, circa 1842, in Jackson, is the second oldest executive residence in the United States that has been continuously occupied as a gubernatorial residence. The Mansion was designated a National Historic Landmark by the U.S. Department of Interior in 1975.
28. The Petrified Forest, located in Flora, is found to be about 36 million years old and is a National Registered Landmark.
29. The Waterways Experiment Station is the largest research, testing and development facility of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. It is located in Vicksburg.
30. Greenville is the birthplace of puppetmaster Jim Henson, creator of Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Big Bird, Cookie Monster..., the list goes on and on. In Leland, where he spent his boyhood along Deer Creek, can be found an exhibit dedicated to this unique individual who has made the world laugh and smile at the antics of his Muppets and the Sesame Street Characters.
31. In Greenwood Cemetery, in Jackson, you will find the grave sites of seven Mississippi governors, four State Supreme Court Justices, four Episcopal bishops, one Methodist bishop and James Lynch, an African-American who served as Mississippi's Secretary of State during the post-Civil War years. Also, you will find numerous graves of Civil War soldiers.
32. Friendship Cemetery, in Columbus, has been called "Where Flowers Healed A Nation." It was April 25, 1866 and the Civil War had been over for a year when the ladies of Columbus decided to decorate the Confederate and Union soldier's graves with beautiful bouquets and garlands of flowers. As a direct result of this kind gesture, Americans celebrate what has come to be called Memorial Day each year, an annual observance of recognition of our war dead.
33. The Biedenharn Candy Company Museum, in Vicksburg, commemorates the site where Coca-Cola was first bottled in 1894.
34. The Dentzel Carousel, circa 1892-99, in Meridian, is the world's only two-row stationary Dentzel menagerie in existence. Original paintings of museum quality adorn the top crown of the carousel and all animals are meticulously hand-carved of basswood and poplar. The carousel has been designated a National Historic Landmark.
35. Shoes were first sold in boxes in pairs (right foot and left foot) in Vicksburg, at Phil Gilbert's Shoe Parlor on Washington Street in 1884.
36. Kosciusko is the birthplace of Ophrah Winfrey, nationally syndicated talk show hostess and actress.
37. Greenville is home to Shelby Foote, novelist, historian and Pulitzer prize winner.
38. Margaret Walker Alexander, of Jackson, is a poet, novelist, essayist, and author of an international best seller.
39. Beth Henley is a playwright and Pulitzer Prize winner from Jackson.
40. Eudora Welty is a world renowned novelist, short story writer, and winner of the Pulitzer Prize as well as the American Book Award. Ms. Welty is from Jackson, where she makes her home today.
41. Tennessee Williams (Thomas Lanier), born in Columbus, was a novelists, short story writer, poet, playwright, and winner of two Pulitzer Prizes and four New York Drama Circle Critics Awards. He was known to spend his summers in Clarksdale.
42. James Dotson Byrd, of Clinton, is an inventor and polymer scientist with more than 40 technical publications to his credit. Mr. Byrd holds seven U.S. patents and developed the plastic used as a heat shield in the NASA Space Program.
43. Harry A. Cole, Sr., of Jackson, invented Pine-Sol.
44. Author Guyton, of Jackson, is a physician and the author of the most widely used text of physiology in the world.
45. Mississippi University for Women was the first state college for women in the nation and was established in Columbus, by an act of the Mississippi Legislature, March 12,1884.
46. The largest Bible binding plant in the nation is the Norris Bookbinding Company in Greenwood, Mississippi.
47. The first female rural mail carrier in the U.S. was Mrs. Mamie Thomas, who delivered mail by buggy in 1914 to the area southeast of Vicksburg, Mississippi.
48. The largest cottonwood plantation in the world is the Fitler Plantation, in Issaquena County.
49. Every commercial airliner in the free world has at least one hydraulic component on it that is designed and manufactured at Vickers, Incorporated, which is the leader in hydraulics and is located in Jackson.
50. The Federal Building in Jackson, is the first federal building in the U.S. to be named for an African-American. Dr. A.H. McCoy was a prominent dentist and business leader.
51. Mississippi University for Women graduate, Ms. Neill James, of Meridian, has authored several travel books, including THE PETTICOAT VAGABOND, and is credited with introducing the silk industry to Ajijic, Mexico. in 1983 she was inducted into The International Who's Who of Intellectuals in Cambridge, England.
52. After the Civil War, famed hatmaker John B. Stetson learned and practiced his trade at Dunn's Falls near Meridian, Mississippi.
53. The Union gunboat, the U.S.S. Cairo (pronounced Kay-ro) struck a Confederate torpedo in the Yazoo River on December 12, 1862, just north of Vicksburg. The 175 foot iron clad vessel became the first ship in history to be sunk by an electrically detonated torpedo. All 160 men on board escaped injury because it took the Cairo about 12 minutes to sink and also because it took the Cairo about 12 minutes to sink and also because it was close to the river bank. The Cairo has in recent years been resurrected from its watery grave and is now on display at the Cairo Museum in the Vicksburg National Military Park.
54. According to many soldiers and military historians the most decisive battle of the entire Civil War was fought in Mississippi and was called the Battle of Champion' s Hill. Each Spring this crucial battle is reenacted near the small town of Edwards on the actual battle site.
55. The oldest field game in America is Stickball, played by the Choctaw Indians of Mississippi. Stickball is a rough game played on a large field with goalposts (precursors of the modern-day football goals) erected at each end of the field. Demonstrations of this sport can be seen each year at the Annual Choctaw Indian Fair, a week-long event held in July on the Choctaw Indian Reservation in Philadelphia, Mississippi.
56. 1870 was the year of the famous riverboat race between the Robert E. Lee I and the Natches VI. The race was won by the Robert E. Lee I and the traditional trophy awarded was a huge set of "Golden Elk Antlers," which are now on display at the Old Courthouse Museum in Vicksburg.
57. The Marathon "Gorilla" is the world's largest and heaviest mobil off-shore jack up (self-elevating) oil rig. This colossal rig was built in Vicksburg, by Marathon LeTourneau Company and stands over 600 feet tall with a weight of approximately 38 million pounds. This monstrous drilling platform moves across land at a snail's pace of 100 feet per day.
58. On May 11, 1887, a most unexpected object fell from the sky during a severe hail storm near Bovina. The unusual object proved to be a 6-inch by 8-inch gopher turtle completely encased in ice.
59. In 1872 a 180 foot paddle wheeler, The Iron Mountain, left Vicksburg, bound for New Orleans with 55 passengers and crew on board, laden with a cargo of molasses and towing barges of cotton. Two hours after The Iron Mountain left Vicksburg, another steamer, The Iroquois Chief, almost collided with a string of runaway cotton barges. The Iron Mountain had simply vanished, leaving no debris or survivors. A search was mounted but no sign of The Iron Mountain was ever found.
60. The last man to fight Rocky Marciano, World Heavyweight Champion from 1952-1956, was Archie Moore from Benoit, Mississippi. Though Archie Moore lost to Rocky, he did hold the Light-heavyweight title from 1952-1960.
61. Henry Armstrong, of Columbus, held the World Champion Featherweight title in 1937, the World Lightweight title in 1938 and the World Welterweight title during the years 1938-1940.
62. Riley B. King, the blues singer and guitarist who was born in Mississippi near Itta Bena on September 16, 1925, no longer uses his real name but goes by B.B. King. This is the shortened form of Blues Boys from Beale Street, a nickname given to him during his days after World War II while he was working as a disc jockey at radio station WDIA, in Memphis, Tennessee. Charles Sawyer, author of B.B. King - The Authorized Biography, says B.B. names his guitar "Luicille" after an incident which took place in Twist, Arkansas, in 1949. It seems that a fight broke out between rivals over a lady named Lucille. In the melee a kerosene heater was turned over, setting the dance hall on fire. B.B. fled with the rest of the crowd, but realizing he had left his guitar behind he impulsively rushed back inside, snatched up the guitar on the run and escaped the fast spreading flames a second time.
63. Fred Grant, the teenage son of General U.S. Grant, accompanied his father on the Vicksburg campaign during the Civil War. While in Jackson, to watch the raising of the U.S. flag over the dome of the state capitol building, the young man removed a smoking pipe from the governor's office as a souvenir.
64. In the Civil War section of the Old Capitol Museum in Jackson, you'll find an authentic General William T. Sherman necktie. Such an example of a Sherman necktie is quite rare. What is a Sherman necktie? A railroad rail heated over a fire and bent around a tree. This was the method Sherman used to render the rail system in the South useless and was very successful in his attempts. This particular necktie was found buried in a muddy bank of the Pearl River, just a few hundred yards from the museum that now houses the rail, the same museum that borders some of the very tracks Sherman destroyed on his destructive sweep throughout the South.
65. Leontyne Price, from Laurel, was the first African-American to achieve international stardom in the field of opera. Ms. Price was with the New York Metropolitan Opera and gave her last performance on January 3, 1985, in the title role of AIDA.
66. In 1882, the world's first heavyweight championship fight took place in Mississippi City, and was won by John L. Sullivan. In 1889, Sullivan and Jake Kilrain fought a heavyweight championship fight in the small town of Richton, that lasted 75 rounds. Again, Sullivan was the winner. This was the last sanctioned bare-knuckle fight in America.
67. The University of Southern Mississippi, in Hattiesburg, houses the de Grummond Exhibit, which is the World's largest collection of original manuscripts and illustrations of children's literature.
68. Alcorn State University, in Jefferson County, is the world's oldest land grant college for African-Americans.
69. The International Checkers Hall of Fame is located in Petal, Mississippi.
70. Windsor, near Port Gibson, was the largest antebellum mansion ever built in Mississippi. Built in 1860, it survived the Civil War, but was destroyed by a fire in 1890. Twenty-three mammoth columns are all that remain today. The Ruins of Windsor has been filmed extensively and was featured in the major motion picture "Raintree County," starring Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Cliff.
71. Longwood, circa 1858-61, in Natchez, is the largest remaining octagonal house in the United States. It is a superb example of the mid-19th century Oriental style and was originally designed by it's owner, Dr. Haller Rush Nutt, with solar panels (strategically place mirrors) to reflect the sun's rays for the purpose of heating water. However, when the Civil War began, the workmen who were from the north, abandoned saws and hammers and returned home. Dr. Nutt, also a northerner, lost his wealth and plantations across the river in Louisiana and died a broken man. Longwood remains unfinished today, but that is part of its charm. A visit will take you through the rooms and corridors of this most unusual house where you will find the workmen's tools left where they were dropped, abandoned in their haste to quit the South.
72. Natchez, was first settled by the French in 1716, two years before New Orleans, Louisiana, and is the oldest settlement on the Mississippi River. Natchez once boasted over 500 millionaires, more than any other city in the United States, except New York. Natchez also has the largest concentration of antebellum, or pre-Civil War, structures in the country. Each year these homes are opened for touring during Spring and Fall Pilgrimages and many remain open to the public year-round.
73. Historic Jefferson College, circa 1802, was the first preparatory school established in the Mississippi Territory. Located in Washington, it was also the site where tradition holds that Aaron Burr was arraigned for treason in 1807 beneath what came to known as the "Burr Oaks."
74. The "Devil's Punch Bowl," located near Natchez is one of nature's freak occurrences. It is a gigantic, semi-circular pit, somewhat cone-shaped. Connected with this uncanny spot are countless traditions of river pirates, runaway slaves, buried treasures, and other involvements with adventure and romance.
75. The Grand Village of the Natchez Indians, located in Natchez, has been designated a National Historic Landmark by the National Park Service. Between 1682 and 1729, the Grand Village was the center of activities for the Natchez Indians. In 1730, the Natchez Indians attacked Fort Rosalie, in Natchez, killing the French settlers. In retaliation, the French attacked the Natchez Indians. Those that were not killed, escaped and were absorbed by other tribes of the region. According to A History of Mississippi, by Robert Lowery, the Natchez indian nation was one of Mississippi's early tribes, that could be traced to Mexico where they aided Cortez in the conquest of the country and the overthrow of Montezuma. Mr. Lowery contends that the Natchez were of a light mahogany complexion, with jet black hair and eyes; their expression was intelligent, open and noble..., they were tall in statue, very few being under six feet. Unfortunately, the Natchez Indians have joined the ranks of the extinct so that we cannot know, first hand, what they were like.
76. Natchez-Under-The-Hill was called Natchez Landing at the turn of the nineteenth century, when it began to acquire an infamous reputation as "the most notorious spot on the Mississippi River." Above the hill the wealthy of Natchez looked down upon the rougher elements of river life that flowed in a steady stream as constant as the river itself. Here could be found the gaming halls and dens of vice where the lawless villainy gathered, as well as bustling wharves, cluttered warehouses, shops and boisterous saloons. today, much of the area has been washed away by the river and all that remains is the ever busy Silver Street where scenes were filmed for such movies as "NORTH AND SOUTH," and most recently, Disney's "HUCK FINN." Gaming has also returned to this historic district in the form of the luxurious Lady Luck Casino, where Law Vegas style gambling can be enjoyed 24 hours a day.
77. Springfield Plantation, circa 1786-91, off the Natchez Trace Parkway, near Fayette, was the site of the marriage between Andrew Jackson and Rachel Robards, in 1791. Springfield was one of the first houses in America built with a full colonnade across the entire facade and is the first such mansion to be built in the Mississippi Valley. Springfield remains almost entirely original and is on the National Register of Historic Places.
78. Camp Shelby, located south of Hattiesburg, was the largest Army Training Camp in the United States during World War II.
79. The Old Spanish Fort, located in Pascagoula, was built between 1715 and 1726 and is the oldest edifice west of the Atlantic coast. Originally, this historic structure was the carpentry shop of Joseph Simon de La Pointe.
80. The Singing River, in Pascagoula, offers a tragic legend of Indian lore. It is told that the Pascagoula Indians were a tribe of contented, idyllic and innocent people, whereas the Biloxi Indians considered themselves the "first people," and grew jealous of the Pascagoula. Legand says that Anola, a princess of the Biloxi tribe, was in love with Altama, a young chieftain of the Pascagoulas. She was betrothed to a chieftain of her own tribe but fled with Altama to his people. Faced with enslavement by the Biloxi tribe, the Pascagoula braves, with their women and children leading the way, joined the river until the last voice was hushed by the dark engulfing waters. The Singing River is famous worldwide for the singing sound it makes, very much like a swarm of bees in flight. The sound is best heard during late summer and autumn in the still of late evening. The music seems to grow nearer and louder until it sounds as though it comes from directly under foot. Various hypothetical scientific explanations have been offered for the phenomenon, but none have been proven.
81. In Natchez City Cemetery can be found the grave of Jose Vidal, governor of Natchez Spanish District in 1798 and Spanish Consul; Issac Guion, commander of the U.S. Forces that took control of the Natchez Territory; General John A. Quitman, hero of the Mexican War and Governor of Mississippi; Captain T.P. Leather, Captain of the steamboat NATCHEZ in the famous river race with the steamboat Robert E. Lee; William Johnson, a free African-American barber whose published antebellum diary is a unique account of the free African-American in the pre-Civil War South; General W.T. Martin, Mississippi's highest ranking Confederate officer.
82. William Grant Still, of Woodville, composed the Afro-American Symphony which was the first symphonic work by someone of his race to be performed in the U.S.
83. During the War of 1812, American gunboats engaged the British fleet in the Gulf of Mexico near Bay St. Louis. This proved to be the last battle to date between the U.S. Navy and a foreign foe in American waters.
84. Burnita Shelton Mathews, of Hazlehurst, was the first woman federal judge in the U.S. and served the district of Washington, D.C.
85. Dr. Emmette F. Izard, of Hazelhurst, developed the first fibers of rayon, the first real synthetic.
86. Dizzy Dean, from Bond, was a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, former pitcher for St. Louis Cardinals and sports television commentator. The Dizzy Dean Museum is located in Jackson, Mississippi.
87. The Mississippi Gulf Coast has long been one of the South's most popular seashore resort areas. The world's longest man-made beach averages 200 feet in width and stretches for 26 miles along the Mississippi Coast where it edges gracious homes, modern hotels, numerous fine restaurants, and most recently, Las Vegas style gaming casinos.
88. On February 18, 1861, Jefferson Davis, a former Senator form Warren County, was inaugurated as President of the Confederate States of America. rosemont, "Where my memories began," said Jefferson Davis of his boyhood home, is located in Woodville, Mississippi. His last home was Beauvoir, located in Biloxi, Mississippi. Both homes are open to the public for touring and Beauvoir houses a fine collection of Civil War/Jefferson Davis memorabilia. Legend holds that Beauvoir was built in 1852-54 with cypress logs by a Madison County planter names James Brown who, reportedly pulled the logs from a Louisiana swamp and used camels to carry them to Lake Pontchartrain for transportation to Biloxi.
89. The first can of condensed milk was produced by Gail Borden in the small town of Liberty, where his home still stands.
90. The first nuclear submarine built in the South was produced in Mississippi.
91. The first permanent European settlement in the lower Mississippi Valley was established in Ocean Springs in 1699 by Frenchman Pierre Le Moyne, Sieur d'Iberville. Each year, the Landing of d'Iberville festival is held there to commemorate this historic event.
92. In 1834, Captain Isaac Ross, whose plantation was in Lorman, freed his slaves and arranged for them to be sent to Africa, where they founded the country of Liberia. Recently, representatives of Liberia visited Lorman and placed a stone at the Captain's grave site in honor of his kindness.
93. U.S. Highway 90, between Bay St. Louis and New Orleans, Louisiana, in known as the Praline Capitol of the World. What is a praline? For a confectionery treat, try it yourself. Here is the recipe:
2 cups of sugar
1 cup of mild
1/2 teaspoon soda
pinch of salt
2 Tablespoons Karo syrup
2 Tablespoons butter or margarine
2 1/2 cups pecans
Combine sugar, milk, soda, salt and Karo syrup.
Boil briskly for 5 minutes , stirring frequently.
Add butter and pecans. Stir constantly for 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and cool for 1 minute. Beat until
creamy and drop by teaspoon on wax paper.
94. Dr. Charles Bryant, former president of Chamberlain Hunt Academy in Port Gibson, as an amateur archaeologist in the late 1960's, discovered the lost Biblical town of Trogylium on the eastern shore of the island of Samos in the Aegean Sea near the southern coastline of Turkey. This town which appeared for so long to be lost was deleted from the newer Bible translations but can still be found in the King James Version of the Bible where it was visited by the Apostle Paul in Acts 20:15.
95. Oliver Pollock, the largest individual financial contributor to the American War of Independence, is buried near Pinckneyville, but is best known as the man who invented the ($) sign.
96. Jackson County, is famed worldwide for its development of none of the ten most successful varieties of "paper-shell" pecans: Stuart, Success, Schley, Alley, Delmas, Papst, Russell, Hall and Lewis.
97. Resin Bowie, the famous inventor of the "Bowie Knife" is buried in the Catholic cemetery in Port Gibson. The knife, fashioned by a Philadelphia, Pennsylavania, cutter form a blacksmith's rasp after Resin Bowie's model, was made famous by younger brother Jim Bowie, in a duel on a sandbar near Natchez.
98. Joe Newman, a professional inventor from Lucedale, holds patents on plastic-covered barbell sets, an orange picker and several other unusual devices. Mr. Newman also invented an "energy machine" which, according to several well known physicists and engineers: "actually produces more energy than it consumes."
99. The first Southerner to use Negro dialect in poetry was Mississippi, Irwin Russell, born in Port Gibson, in 1853. His long poem "Christmas Night In The Quarter," earned for him the stamp of genius.
100. During the period between 1824-47 Joseph Holt Ingraham, of Natchez, wrote and published 80 novels - approximately 10 percent of all novels published in the U.S. during that period. Included in this literary feat was the first successful Biblical novel ever published, PRINCE OF THE HOUSE OF DAVID.
101. Will Price of McComb, was the script consultant for the movie GONE WITH THE WIND, and later married Maureen O'Hara.
102. In 1871 Liberty became the first town in the U.S. to erect a Confederate monument.
103. Throughout the Civil War General U.S. Grant rode a horse called Cincinnati. However, in his memoirs he admitted that while near Vicksburg he stole a small horse from Brierfield Plantation, which was then owned by Confederate President Jefferson Davis. What did he name this horse? Jeff Davis, of course.
104. Mississippi's original soft drink, Barq's Root Beer, was invented by Edward Barq, Sr. of Biloxi. The building in which this drink was made and bottled still stands and is located at 224 Keller Avenue, one block off U.S. Highway 90 in Biloxi. The secret formula is mixed by Edward "Sonny" Barq IV, who is the quality control specialist, and sold to Barq's franchises in every state in the nation.
105. The world's largest hardboard manufacturing plant is Masonite Corporation, located in Laurel, Mississippi.
106. The Pass Christian Yacht Club formed in 1849 in Pass Christian, holds the distinction of being the second oldest yacht club in North America. The oldest is the New York Yacht Club in New York City, organized in 1844.
107. The world's only cactus plantation is located near Edwards, and grows more than 3,000 varieties of cacti.
108. The rarest of North American cranes lives in Mississippi in the grassy savannas of Jackson County. The Mississippi Sandhill Crane stands about 44 inches tall and has an eight-foot wing-span.
109. Elizabeth Taylor Greenfield was known as the "Black Swan," and was America's first African-American singer of classical music. She was born in Natchez in 1809.
110. In 1978, during the presidency of Jimmy Carter, Confederate President Jefferson Davis was restored his U.S. citizenship.
111. In 1839, the Mississippi Legislature passed one of the first laws in the English speaking world protecting the property rights of married women.
112. The Natchez Trace Parkway begins it's 450 mile scenic route in Natchez and extends across Mississippi into Alabama and ends near Nashville, Tennessee. The Trace, which began as a buffalo and Indian trail, is more that 8,000 years old.
113. Mississippi has more tree farms than any other state, according to the American Forest Institute.
114. Mississippian, W.A. Scott, founded the first African-American owned newspaper, THE ATLANTA DAILY WORLD.
115. National parks in Mississippi include: Vicksburg National Military Park; Natchez Trace Parkway; Gulf Islands National Seashore and Natchez National Historic Park.
116. The Mississippi Delta is the birthplace of Blues music, the only music truly original to America. The Blues was born of the hardships suffered by Blacks as they toiled beneath the hot sun in the cotton fields of rich Delta farmland.
117. In 1870, Mississippi was readmitted to the Union. It was during this time, the Reconstruction Period, that Hiram Revels was elected as the first African-American to the U.S. Senate.
118. The Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) was founded in Mississippi in 1909.
119. Mississippi is the birthplace of the Order of the Eastern Star.
120. Mississippi was the first state in the nation to have a planned system of junior colleges.
121. Since the 1930's Mississippi has been known as the Magnolia State and the Hospitality State. Few people know that it was also called the Bayou State, from a speech by Sergeant Smith Prentiss in 1841 where he told of the earliest Mississippians, the mound builders, who had connected all of the Delta area by way of an intricate pattern of waterways or "bayous."
122. The Choctaw Indians are the largest tribe to live in Mississippi and at one time possessed more than 50 villages. Their warriors were said to number 25,000. What does the name Choctaw mean? "Charming Voices," because of their proficiency in singing.
123. What does the word Mississippi mean? Mississippi is Choctaw for "Father of Water," and refers of course to the Mississippi River, from whence the State takes its name.
124. The Mississippi River is the only U.S. river whose approaches were mined with explosives during World War II. This was done by Germany in 1942.
125. During the Civil War some 78,000 Mississippians entered the Confederate military. By the end of the war, 59,000 of the 78,000 were either dead or wounded.
FAMOUS MISSISSIPPIANS IN THE FIELD OF ENTERTAINMENT
Dana Andrew - Collins, Actor
Moe Bandy - Meridian, Singer/Songwriter
Jimmy Buffett - Pascagoula, Singer/Songwriter/Novelist
Sam Chatom - Bolton, Blues Singer
Jerry Clower - Yazoo City, Comedian
Paul Davis - Meridian, Songwriter
Bo Diddley (Elias McDaniels) - Singer/Songwriter
Pete Fountain - Bay St. Louis, Musician
Morgan Freeman - Greenwood, Actor
Cynthia Geary - Jackson, Actor
Bobbie Gentry - Chickasaw County, Singer
Mickey Gilley - Natchez, Singer
Jim Henson - Greenwood, Creator of Muppets
Eddie Hodges - Hattiesburg, Actor
Guy Hovis - Tupelo, Singer
Robert Johnson - Hazelhurst, Blues Singer
James Earl Jones - Tate County, Actor
B.B. King - Indianola, Blue Singer/Songwriter
Dianne Ladd - Meridian, Actor
Tracy Lawrence - Singer/Songwriter
Tom Lester - Laurel, Actor
Gerald McRaney - Collins, Actor
Mary Ann Mobley - Brandon, Former Miss America, Actor
Dorothy Moore - Jackson, Singer
Elvis Presley - Tupelo, Singer/Songwriter/Actor
Charley Pride - Sledge, Singer
Beah Richards - Vicksburg, Actor
Jimmie Ridgers - Meridian, Singer/Songwriter
Cheryl Prewitt Salem - Ackerman, Former Miss America
Linda Lee Mead Shea - Natchez, Former Miss America
Stella Stevens - Hot Coffee , Actor
Marty Stuart - Philadelphia, Singer/Songwriter
Fingers Taylor - Jackson, Harmonica Player
James "Son" Thomas - Eden, Blues Singer
Ike Turner - Clarksdale, Singer/Songwriter
Conway Twitty -Friar's Point, Singer/Songwriter
Ray Walston - Laurel, Actor
Sela Ward - Meridian, Actor
Muddy Waters - Rolling Ford, Blues Singer/songwriter
Sonny Boy Williamson - Glendora, Blues Singer
Howlin' Wolf (Chester Pugh) - Tremont, Singer \
Tammy Wynette - Tremont, Singer
TRIVIA COMPILED BY LAWANDA TURNAGE OF THE MISSISSIPPI TOURISM DIVISION 1993