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Life IS history in the making. Every word we say, everything we do becomes history the moment it is said or done. Life void of memories leaves nothing but emptiness. For those who might consider history boring, think again: It is who we are, what we do and why we are here. We are certainly individuals in our thoughts and deeds but we all germinated from seeds planted long, long ago.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Mississippi: Where History Runs Deep

This Day in History: December 10, 1817

Mississippi State Motto: “By valor and arms” (Virtute et armis)

Birthplace of America's Music...
Mississippi is the Birthplace of American Music - whether it is Charley Patton and Son House's interpretations of the Delta Blues, Elvis Presley and Rock 'n' Roll from Tupelo or Jimmie Rodgers the Father of Country Music from Meridian - America's musical tradition was born and refined in the culture and struggles of Mississippi.
How did Mississippi get its name?
The name Mississippi comes from the French "Messipi" - the French rendering of the Anishinaabe (Ojibwe or Algonquin) name for the mighty Mississippi river, "Misi-ziibi," meaning "Great River." As French explorers took the name down the river with them to the delta, it was adopted by local Indian tribes and replaced their own names, and the earlier Spanish explorers' names, for the river.
The most well-known nickname for Mississippi is The Magnolia State. This nickname honors the stately beauty of the Magnolia Trees of Mississippi, the state tree and the state flower of Mississippi are representatives of the magnolia. Mississippi is sometimes referred to as The Bayou State for its slow-moving streams that wander through marshes and lowlands along the Mississippi River and the southern section of the state to the Gulf coast. The name The Eagle State comes from the Mississippi Coat of Arms which depicts a Bald Eagle clasping arrows and an olive branch in its talons. The Mississippi Coat of Arms, based on the National Coat of Arms, can be seen on the Mississippi Great Seal. For additional nicknames not so common, click HERE...
Aerial America: Mississippi 
In Mississippi, culture and history run as deep as its mighty river. Soar over landmarks where Civil Rights movements were waged, Civil War battles were lost and the Blues were born. The Magnolia State is also a land of seductive landscapes and endless creativity, giving us literary geniuses such as William Faulkner and Tennessee Williams, plus musical legends Muddy Waters and Elvis. Take flight on this journey over a land of hospitality, beauty and complexity.
After Great Britain's victory in the French and Indian War (Seven Years' War), the French surrendered the Mississippi area to them under the terms of the Treaty of Paris (1763). After the American Revolution, this area became part of the new United States of America. The Mississippi Territory was organized on April 7, 1798, from territory ceded by Georgia and South Carolina. It was later twice expanded to include disputed territory claimed by both the United States and Spain. On December 10, 1817, Mississippi was the 20th state admitted to the Union. Mississippi played a pivotal role in the American Civil War. The second state to secede from the Union, its secession resolution, like those of the other southern states, clearly stated that defense of slavery was its reason for leaving the Union. The state is heavily forested outside of the Mississippi Delta area, which was cleared for cotton cultivation in the 19th century. Today, its catfish aquaculture farms produce the majority of farm-raised catfish consumed in the United States.The capital of Mississippi is Jackson.

Mississippi is a U.S. state located in the Southern United States.

Mississippi State Flag

 Mississippi State Seal

Mississippi State Land Mammal: White-tailed Deer
White-tailed deer fawn with spots; photo by Becky Gregory on Flickr
Mississippi designated the white-tailed deer, an animal of incredible beauty and power, as official state land mammal in 1974...

...then, in 1997, the Red Fox was also recognized as the Mississippi State Land Mammal.
Mississippi State Bird: Mockingbird

 Mississippi State Waterfowl: Wood Duck

 Mississippi State Tree and State Flower: Magnolia

Mississippi State Wildflower: Coreopsis

Mississippi State Reptile: American Alligator

 Mississippi has a State Toy: The Teddy Bear!

An original "Teddy Bear" from 1903 at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History; 
photo by Tim (dctim1) on Flickr (use permitted with attribution /share alike).
Mississippi designated the Teddy Bear as the official state toy in 2002. President Theodore Roosevelt went to the Mississippi Delta to hunt black bear in 1902, where he refused to shoot an injured bear. A political cartoon poked fun at the president over this incident. The owner of a New York City toy store saw the cartoon and asked the president's permission to use the name "Teddy's bears" on a small stuffed bear cub toy (and Teddy Roosevelt consented). "Teddy's bears" soon became just "Teddy bears" and all stuffed bear toys are now called teddy bears.
 For all State Symbols of Mississippi click HERE!

Mississippi Song
Great song from the former Ole Miss QB paying homage to the state that set the course for a career that has included some of the most heartfelt songs ever written. Jim Weatherly's appreciation for his past is also brilliantly conveyed in the beautiful song "Misty Mississippi Morning" where one can close your eyes and imagine mornings in Jim's hometown, Pontotoc, MS.
Where History Runs Deep


Civil war battle scars
Johnny Reb and Billy Yank
White and black soldiers alike
 Took up military rank


Mississippi Delta's fertile roots
  Pay homage to the blues
Songs of hope and despair
As slaves provide the cues
Sit in the dark and smoky Saturday night audience of a real juke joint and you'll hear the real blueness of the blues...and feel just how tired, just how lonesome, just how broken-hearted a man or woman can be.

Land of catfish and tamales
Heart and soul of the South
 Rich, varied heritage
Edified by word of mouth

Seamless blend of old and new
The ride on a riverboat queen
A transport back in time
Captures each historical scene

Ghosts of a distant past
Like a whispering dome
Where history runs deep
It's like coming home

  Mississippi Facts and Trivia

Next state by month: #19 Indiana - December 11, 1816