The eternal bane of 3rd Grade spelling tests,
Mississippi is a place that most Americans come to know early on, if only
for its tongue twisting consonants. It doesn’t help that geographically and
linguistically Mississippi the state and Mississippi the river flow into one
another seamlessly, and it would be impossible to discuss one without talking
about the other. In the 1500s, Spanish explorer Hernando De Soto explored
Mississippi by sailing up the Mississippi. During the next three hundred years
the state thrived as cotton from the its plantations was shipped across the
world on riverboats. Today, Mississippi’s rural plantation magic is still
manifest in hanging Spanish moss and dirt roads that seem to go nowhere. But
these days, the real magic in Mississippi is happening in new auto assembly
plants and startup IT firms.
Even if you’re lost in a Huckleberry Finn time warp, Mississippi’s transition
shouldn’t be too surprising. Too often cast as Alabama’s backward cousin,
Mississippi has a long track record of innovation. Elvis, great uncle of American
pop music, was born in a two room shack in Tupelo, Mississippi. Blues, a predecessor
to jazz, was born on the Mississippi Delta, and it was a Mississippian who
invented the dollar sign in the 19th century.
If you want to make the most of moving to Mississippi, keep the following few
facts in mind:
- Mississippi is home to an estimated 2,881,281 Mississippians. The state
capital is Jackson.
- Mississippi residents take religion seriously. There are more churches
per capita here than in any other state, and the Norris Bookbinding company
in Greenwood, Mississippi is the largest Bible rebinding plant in the
- The Natchez Trace, a 400 mile recreational highway that stretches across
Mississippi is built following the route of an 8,000 year old Native American
- The International Checkers Hall of Fame is in Petal, Mississippi.
- In Tylertown, Mississippi it is illegal to shave in the middle of Main