Weird Travel

From Teddy Bears to Elvis – 15 Fun Facts About Mississippi

posted by Chris Valentine
Mississippi Gulf Coast

Photo Credit: Creative Commons

The U.S. is a big place and you don’t have to dig too deep to come up with some interesting, strange, ridiculous and even unbelievable facts and tidbits about it’s 50 states. Today: Mississippi. Here’s what you probably didn’t know about the Magnolia State.

The name

The name Mississippi comes from the word ‘misi-ziibi’, which means great waters in the Ojibwe language of the ancient times.

It grows catfish

The heavily-forested area outside Mississippi delta was cleared for cotton cultivation in 19th century. Today, the forested area is used as catfish aquaculture farms and produces the majority of farm-raised catfish that is consumed in the United States.

The Great River

The Mississippi River is the second largest in the US and is located next to Missouri river. The river is considered watershed and is the third largest watershed in the world. The river stretches from Lake Itasca to the Gulf of Mexico. The river is known to be 2,340 miles long but has somehow shortened due to numerous meanders and engineering.


The famous drink was first bottled in Vicksburg in 1894.

Mississippi medical achievements

The university of Mississippi medical care center in 1963 managed to perform the world’s first human lung transplant. On top of that, on January 23 1964, Dr. D Hardy did the world’s very first heart transplant surgery. Wow…So unbelievable but, it’s the truth!


The state is homes to world’s only cacti plantation with more mre than 3,000 types of cacti. Who knew.

The Mississippi Gulf Coast

The Mississippi Gulf Coast is a popular holiday and vacation retreat complete with Mississippi River tours, casinos, hotels and more.

The Teddy Bear

The name teddy bear originated in 1902 when a bear hunt in Mississippi with President Theodore Roosevelt who refused to shoot an exhausted and helpless bear. The news of this incident spread like wild fire across the country. A New York merchant capitalized on this publicity and created a stuffed bear naming it ‘Teddy’s Bear’.


Petal, Mississippi is home to the International Checkers Hall of Fame.

The Civil War

Mississippi is the one that suffered the largest percentage of people who perished during civil war of all confederate states. 78,000 Mississippians joined the military and by the end of the war, 59,000 were either wounded or dead.

Vicksburg National Cemetery

This cemetery is the second largest in the country.


The King was born in little ‘ol Tupelo, Mississippi.


In other music news, the Mississippi Delta was the birthplace for blues.

The 1st  nuclear submarine

Did you know that the first nuclear submarine to be built in the south was built in Mississippi? Now you know.


Mississippi leads the way when it comes to churches – it boasts more churches per capita than any other state in the U.S.

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