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Mississippi is named for the Mississippi river which forms its western boundary and empties into the Gulf of Mexico. The name roughly translated from Native American folklore means "Father of Waters." Jackson is the state capital and largest city.
The state of Mississippi is entirely composed of lowlands, the highest point being Woodall Mountain, in the foothills of the Cumberland Mountains, only 806 feet (246 m) above sea level.
Major rivers in Mississippi, apart from its namesake, include the Big Black River, the Pearl River, the Yazoo, the Pascagoula, and the Tombigbee. Major lakes include Ross Barnett Reservoir, Arkabutla Lake, Sardis Lake and Grenada Lake.
The coastline includes large bays at Bay St. Louis, Biloxi and Pascagoula. It is separated from the Gulf of Mexico proper by the shallow Mississippi Sound, which is partially sheltered by Petit Bois Island, Horn Island, East and West Ship Islands, Deer Island, Round Island and Cat Island.
Mississippi has many famous people, events and inventions. Elvis Presley was born in Tupelo, on January 8, 1935. Borden's Condensed Milk was first canned in Liberty. Root beer was invented in Biloxi in 1898 by Edward Adolf Barq, Sr., The International Checkers Hall of Fame is in Petal. Pine Sol was invented in 1929 by Jackson native Harry A. Cole, Sr.
The Vicksburg National Cemetery is the second largest national cemetery in the country. Arlington National Cemetery is the largest.
In 1963 the University of Mississippi Medical Center accomplished the world's first human lung transplant and, on January 23, 1964, Dr. James D. Hardy performed the world's first heart transplant surgery.
In 1902 while on a hunting expedition in Sharkey County, President Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt refused to shoot a captured bear. This act resulted in the creation of the world-famous teddy bear. After the Civil War, famed hat maker John B. Stetson learned and practiced his trade at Dunn's Falls near Meridian.
Mississippi is the birthplace of the Order of the Eastern Star. Blazon-Flexible Flyer, Inc. is proclaimed to make the very best snow sled in the United States, which became an American tradition. It is called The Flexible Flyer. The largest Bible-binding plant in the nation is Norris Bookbinding Company in Greenwood.
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 gravesite in honor of his kindness.
Natchez was settled by the French in 1716 and is the oldest permanent settlement on the Mississippi River. Natchez once had 500 millionaires, more than any other city except New York City. Natchez now has more than 500 buildings that are on the National Register of Historic Places. The Natchez Trace Parkway, named an All American Road by the federal government, extends from Natchez to just south of Nashville, Tennessee. The Trace began as an Indian trail more than 8,000 years ago.
Mississippi is a pleasure seekers paradise, characterized by diversity. Mississippi has excellent options for accommodations to suit everyone's tastes and needs. And wherever you are in Mississippi there are so many attractions and activities to put on your itinerary, you'll surely run out of time before your run out of all the fun to be had. From festivals and fairs to top-name entertainment and authentic places like you've never seen anywhere else, Mississippi is sure to become one of your favorite places to visit.