Firsts

Mississippi was the first state to ratify the 18th Amendment to the United States Constitution, issuing in the era of Prohibition in 1919-1920.

The first chapter of the PTA was founded in Mississippi in 1909.
The 4-H Club, first known as the "Corn Club," started in Holmes County in 1907.
It had also been the first state to prohibit alcoholic beverages on a state level in 1908, and was the last state to end statewide prohibition in 1966, thirty-three years after the national prohibition had ended.
In 1882, the world's first heavyweight championship fight took place at Mississippi City. The term "knockout" was first used in this fight. John L. Sullivan won the fight in eight rounds.
The first state funded college for women in the nation was formed in Columbus in 1884. It is now known as Mississippi University for Women.
The nation's first black newspaper The Atlanta Daily World, was founded by Mississippian W. A. Scott.

Coca-Cola was first put into bottles in Vicksburg in 1894.

 The City of Jackson/Davis Planetarium was the first organization to make a commercial movie in space.

The Mississippi Legislature in 1839 passed one of the first laws in the English-speaking world protecting the property rights of married women.
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.
 The first bottle of Dr. Tichener's Antiseptic was produced in Liberty, Mississippi.
America's first artist-potter was George Ohr (1857-1918) of Biloxi. 

 Mississippi College was the first coeducational college in the nation to grant degrees to women. Established in 1826, it is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state.

The nation's first levee system was built along the Mississippi side of the Mississippi River in 1860 and stretched for 300 miles.
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 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.
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.
 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.
 Borden's Condensed Milk was first canned in Liberty, Mississippi.
 Historic Jefferson College, circa 1802, was the first preparatory school established in the Mississippi Territory.  Located in Washington, it is also the site where tradition holds that Aaron Burr was arraigned for treason in 1807 beneath what came to be known as the "Burr Oaks."
       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.
 The first nuclear submarine built in the South was produced in Mississippi.
In 1871 Liberty became the first town in the U.S. to erect a Confederate monument.
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.
 Dr. Emmette F. Izard, of Hazelhurst, developed the first fibers of rayon, the first real synthetic.
   Burnita Shelton Mathews, of Hazelhurst, was the first woman federal judge in the U.S. and served the District of Columbia, Washington.

 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.

Mississippi was the first state in the nation to have a planned system of junior colleges.

The first football player on a Wheaties box was Walter Payton of Columbia.
 

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.

 

And Other Facts

"You cannot go to the moon without FIRST stopping in Mississippi"    35 years ago, all SATURN ROCKET motors were tested at the Mississippi Test Facility in Hancock County.   Presently, all Space Shuttle engines are tested at (now named) John Stennis Center. The test stands were reworked to accept the Shuttle engines.
 
D. A. Young: The only known writer to simultaneously honor the outgoing and incoming United States presidents ( former President Bill Clinton and President George W. Bush) with published poems on an inauguration day, January 20, 2001
 In 1902, while on a hunting expedition in Sharkey County, Mississippi,
President Theodore ("Teddy") Roosevelt refused to shoot a captured bear. This act resulted in the creation of the world-famous "Teddy" Bear.
The world's largest collection of original manuscripts and illustrations of children's literature is at the University of Southern Mississippi.
 Mobile (now in Alabama) was originally part of Mississippi, as was most of the State of Alabama.
 Casey Jones, the famous railroad engineer, met his demise at Vaughan, Mississippi, while trying to make up for lost time. 
 When Aaron Burr fled prosecution from the duel/murder of Alexander Hamilton, he landed at Bruinsburg, Mississippi, on January 10, 1807, where he was promptly arrested by Acting Governor   Cowles Mead. Before a trial could be had at Washington, Mississippi, Burr was declared by the grand   jury to be guilty of no crime or misdemeanor. Burr was subsequently arrested north of Mobile, Alabama, and was eventually acquitted of treason.
The world's largest collection of blues music is at the University of Mississippi Blues Archives.
Since becoming a state, Mississippi has had four constitutions: 1817, 1832, 1869, and 1890.
Alcorn State University is the nation's oldest historically black land-grant college.
 Mississippi has had four Miss Americas -- Mary Ann Mobley (1959), Lynda Lee Mead (1960) , Cheryl Prewitt (1980), and Susan Dian Akin (1985).
The Mississippi River is the largest in the United States and is the nation's chief waterway. It's nickname is "Old Man River".

The world's largest hardboard manufacturing plant is the Masonite Company in Laurel, Mississippi.

The world's largest shrimp is on display at the Old Spanish Fort Museum in Pascagoula, Mississippi.
The oldest book in America, an ancient Biblical manuscript,is located the the University of Mississippi.

  The world's largest pecan nursery is in Lumberton, Mississippi.
The world's largest manufacturer of furniture wood products is in Eupora, Mississippi.
The world's largest cactus plantation is in Edwards, Mississippi.
The official world's record for keeping a plane aloft is held by Al and Fred Key of Meridian. They refueled in the air and kept their plane aloft for 653 hours and 34 minutes (27 days, 5 hours, and 34 minutes) in 1935.
The world's largest cottonwood tree plantation is in Issaquena County, Mississippi.
Mississippi is 32nd in size among the 50 states and 7th in size among the southern states.
Mississippi has more churches per capita than any other state.
Pine Sol was invented in 1929 by Jackson, Mississippi native Harry A. Cole, Sr.
Mississippi suffered the largest percentage dead of any Confederate State in the Civil War.  78,000 Mississippians entered the Confederate military. By the end of the war, 59,000 of the 78,000 were either dead or wounded.

 Root Beer was invented in Biloxi, Mississippi, in 1898 by Edward Adolf Barq, Sr.

Of Mississippi's 82 counties, Yazoo County is the largest and Alcorn County is the smallest.
Belzoni, Mississippi, is called the "Catfish Capital of the World."
Greenwood, Mississippi, is called the "Cotton Capital of the World."
Vardaman, Mississippi, is called the "Sweet Potato Capital of the World."

 Mississippi's Petrified Forest near Flora is the only such site in the eastern United States.

The largest cities in Mississippi are Jackson, Biloxi, Meridian, Hattiesburg, Greenville, and Gulfport.
 Mississippi is also known for having KUDZU. This vine-like plant was planted in the 1920s -- 1940s by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) to help prevent erosion of Mississippi's hill areas.
The Mississippi Methodist Rehabilitation Center in Jackson
houses a state-of-the-art surgical suite matched by only one other such facility in the western hemisphere.
The Space Shuttle's main engines are test-fired at the Stennis Space Center in Hancock County.
At Vicksburg, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Waterways
Experiment Station is the world's largest hydraulic research laboratory.
Jackson is headquarters for Vickers Aerospace, Marine Defense
where components are designed and manufactured for virtually every aircraft flown in the world.
At Pascagoula, the Ingalls Division of Litton Industries uses
leading-edge construction techniques to build the U.S. Navy's most sophisticated ships.
 Greenville, Mississippi, is called the "Towboat Capital of the World."
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 both Confederate and Union soldiers' 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.
General Frank Gregory of Shelby, is one of the principal developers of the helicopter.
The world's oldest Holiday Inn is located in Clarksdale.
The University of Mississippi Blues Archive in Oxford contains the world's largest collection of Blues music.
Mississippi is the birthplace of the Order of the Eastern Star
Guy Bush of Tupelo, was one of the most valuable players with the Chicgo Cubs.  He was on the 1929 World series team and Babe Ruth hit his last home run off a ball pitched by Bush.
 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.
After the Civil War, famed hat maker John B. Stetson learned and practiced his trade at Dunn's Falls near Meridian.
The largest Bible binding plant in the nation is the Norris Bookbinding company in Greenwood.
Blazon-Flexible Flyer, Inc. in West Point, is proclaimed to make the very best snow sled in the U.S. , which became an American tradition.  It is of course THE FLEXIBLE FLYER.
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.
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.
The world's only cactus plantation is located near Edwards, and grows more than 3,000 varieties of cacti.
The oldest game in America is stickball. The Choctaw Indians of Mississippi played the game. Demonstrations can be seen every July at the Choctaw Indian Fair in Philadelphia.
 
 The rarest of North American cranes lives in Mississippi in the grassy savannas of Jackson County.   The Mississippi Sand Hill Crane stands about 44 inches tall and has an eight-foot wing span.