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On November 30th, National Mississippi Day recognizes the home of the Delta blues and the 20th state to join the union.

How did you learn to spell Mississippi? Was it the M-I crooked letter-crooked letter-I-crooked letter-crooked letter-I-humpback-humpback-I rhyme? Or did you keep track of the seconds by counting one Mississippi, two Mississippi? If you did, you’re not alone. Millions around the country recall doing this and other similar word associations with the name Mississippi!

The Mississippi River flows into the Gulf of Mexico along the western boundary of the state and derives its name from the Ojibwe word misi-ziibi which means “Great River.”

It was along the Mississippi Delta that the blues developed in the middle to late 19th century. Within a few decades, blues music would slowly grow in many ways creating a crop of musicians and variety of new genres.

Official Mississippi

  • State Capital – Jackson
  • State Nickname – Magnolia State
  • State Motto – Vitute et armis
  • State Bird – Mockingbird
  • State Toy – Teddy Bear
  • State Flower – Magnolia
  • State Wildflower – Coreopsis
  • State Reptile – American Alligator
  • State Cookie – Butter Cookie
  • State Stone – Petrified Wood
  • State Shell – Oyster Shell
  • State Tree – Southern Magnolia
  • State Song – Go, Mississippi
  • State Butterfly – Spicebush Swallowtail
Civil Rights

Both the American Civil War and the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s were uncertain, turbulent and violent times for Mississippi. Even though the Civil War brought about freedom for enslaved people, that was more than half of Mississippi’s population and the economy had been ruined.

Nearly 100 years later circumstances had not much improved when Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr. ignited the movement that would bring voices and faces to the story.

Natchez Trace

One of the most prolific features of the state is the Natchez Trace. In existence for thousands of years, this ancient pathway was beaten down by the hooves of bison. Hunting and gathering mound builders later used the path which became an ideal road for transporting goods. Today, it’s both a 444-mile scenic parkway and natural timeline through the history of three states (Tennessee, Mississippi, and Alabama).

There are many fun and fascinating tidbits about Mississippi to explore.  For example, did you know while hunting in Sharkey County, President Roosevelt came upon a bear he refused to shoot which is how we came to have the teddy bear today.


For a complete list of Mississippi State and National Parks & Historic Sites visit and  Check out a few of the featured sites around the state below. Mississippi State Parks

Clarkco State Park – Quitman

Golden Memorial State Park – Walnut Grove

LeFleur’s Bluff State Park – Jackson

Wall Doxy State Park – Holly Springs

Mississippi Delta

Mississippi Museum of Art – Jackson

Mississippi Civil Rights Museum – Jackson


Delta Blues Museum – Clarksdale

Walter Anderson Museum of Art – Ocean Springs

Eudora Welty House – Jackson

Maritime & Seafood Industry Museum – Biloxi

INFINITY Science Museum – Pearlington

Mississippi Flavor

Chief Tishomingo – Chickasaw Chief -(1734 – abt 1841)
Elizabeth Taylor Greenfield – Singer – (1834 – March 31 – 1876)
Elizabeth Lee Hazen – Microbiologist – (August 24, 1885 – June 24, 1975)
William Faulkner – Author – (September 25, 1897 – July 6, 1962)
Tennessee Williams – Playwright – (March 26, 1911 – February, 25, 1983)
Robert Johnson – Musician/Singer – (May 8, 1911 – August 16, 1938)
Medgar Evers – Activist – (July 2, 1925 – June 12, 1963)
BB King – Musician/Singer – (September 16, 1925 – May 14, 2015)
James Earl Jones – Actor – (January 17, 1931 – )
Elvis Presley – Singer/Actor – (January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977)
Jim Henson – Puppeteer – (September 24, 1936 – May 16, 1990)
Oprah Winfrey – Talk Show Host/Actress – (January 29, 1954 -)
Walter Payton – Professional Football Player – (July 25, 1954 – November 1, 1999)
Sarah (Bailey) Thomas – NFL Official – (1973 -)

HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalMississippiDay

Join us for a trip through Mississippi’s historic places and discover her untold stories. Listen to America’s music while traveling all the highways and byways on National Mississippi Day! Use #NationalMississippiDay to share on social media.

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