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Did You Know ?

Some little known facts about Mississippi and Mississippians

Oliver Pollock : inventor of the dollar symbol [ $ ] is buried near Pickneyville and was the largest individual financial contributor to the American War for Independence .
 The worlds first transoceanic flight  was made in 1928 by Iuka  native H.T. Merrell to England in a plane loaded with ping pong balls .

10 Mississippians have won a total of 13 Pulitzer Prizes with  three winning it twice.
 Mississippi was the first state to ratify the 18th amendment - Prohibition - and has yet to ratify the 21st amendment which repealed prohibition !

Mississippi supplies 65-70%  of farm raised catfish for the country.

Belzoni is the Catfish Capital of the World.

Vardaman is the sweet potato capital of the world.

Mississippi College in Clinton was the first co-educational college in the United States to grant a degree to a woman.

Mississippi University for Women in Columbus was the first state college for women in the country. March 12 , 1884 by act of the Mississippi Legislature.

The first can of evaporated condensed milk was produced in Liberty by Gail Borden in 1856 .

The first bottle of Dr. Tichener's antiseptic was also produced in Liberty.

Coca-Cola was first bottled and sold in Vicksburg by a young candy merchant , Joseph A. Biedenharn in the summer of 1894.

The 4-H club was founded in Holmes County in 1907.

Pine-Sol was invented by Harry Cole , Sr. from Jackson.

The world’s only cactus plantation is near Edwards and has over 3000 varieties.

The first library in the state was in Claiborne County charted in 1818

Mississippi has the second oldest yacht club in Pass Christian Yacht Club organized in 1849  [ only 5 years younger than the NYC yacht club - the oldest in the country].

The second oldest executive residence in the United States is the Governor’s Mansion - circa 1842 - in Jackson that has been continuously occupied as a gubernatorial residence. [ the oldest is the Governor’s mansion in Richmond , Virginia  March 12,1813 ]

Did you know that the " Teddy Bear " originated in Mississippi in 1902 when President Theodore Roosevelt was on a hunt in Sharkey County and refused to shoot a bear captured by his guide, Mississippian Holt Collier. It became Teddy's Bear to become the world famous toy Teddy Bear named after President “ Teddy “  Roosevelt .

The “Teddy Bear” is an official state symbol the official toy of Mississippi.

In WW II more Mississippians were awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor than servicemen from any other state.

Jack Lucas from Hattiesburg was the youngest Marine ever and the youngest man in the 20th century to be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. He was 17.

Jackson , Mississippi is one of four cities in the world to host the International Ballet Competition - the only city in the USA to host the prestigious event.

Sergeant Major Lawrence Kennedy US Army retired  from Amory holds the most number military medals in the history of  the US  military  including 4 Legions of Merit  and is in the Army Aviation Hall of Fame.

Windsor Plantation once covered over 2600 acres. The house was not damaged when General Grant landed his army at the river town of Bruinsburg just a few miles west. Following the battle of Port Gibson Windsor was used as a temporary Union hospital and observation post during the war between the states and was most likely spared from being burned at the time. The house was a marker for riverboat pilots [ the Mississippi River ] and legend says that Mark Twain told his passengers that it was a college. Windsor was destroyed by fire in 1890 when a careless smoker [ a guest ] dropped a lighted cigar or cigarette on the forth floor balcony during a party.

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