Welcome to Fun Facts About the 50 States, where – week by week – I’ll be taking you on a tour around this great nation of ours, providing you with interesting, yet completely useless and probably untrue, information about each of the 50 states.
This week, it’s time get stinkin’ drunk, float down the Big Muddy, and wash up on a sandbar with a hangover, because we’re headed to Mississippi, so let’s get started…
* Mississippi became the 20th state on December 10th 1817. Although the new state’s entry faced violent opposition, it managed to get admitted to the Union since people with lisps did not yet have the right to vote.
* Mississippi has 82 counties, all of which have at least one town named “Bubbaville”.
* Talk show host Oprah Winfrey was born in Kosciusko, Mississippi. The world’s largest couch was built there in her honor, just in case Tom Cruise stops by.
* Chitlins were first served in Shuqulah, Mississippi, which – I assume – is home to a disproportionate population of the hopelessly insane.
* Mississippi gets its name from the Chippewa Indian word “mici-zibi”, which means “River’s flooding again… WHY do these stupid white people keep rebuilding here?”
* Mississippi has a population of 3 million people and 6 million teeth.
* Singer Elvis Presley was born in Tupelo, Mississippi. Does anyone else find it ironic that he once had a hit song about shoes?
* In a fight between Aquaman & someone from Mississippi, the Mississippian would lose, but he’d write a great blues song about the fight that would make millions.
* Most people from Mississippi have several Confederate flag sticker on their cars. This doesn’t make them racist, it just means that they’re too poor to afford enough duct tape to hold their cars together.
* If you’re in Mississippi and someone tries to mug you, just yell, “Look! Snow!”. The mugger will become paralyzed with confusion and you can make your escape.
* Although Mississippi is frequently the 50th ranked state in quality of education, it IS ranked #1 in the category of “boosting self-esteem for students in the other 49 states”.
* The world’s largest Bible-binding plant is in Greenwood, Mississippi, and uses only genuine atheist-skin leather.
* …And people wonder why I’ve never been to Mississippi…
* The Stetson hat was invented in Dunn’s Falls, Mississippi, which is constantly being attacked by Texas Crusaders seeking to recapture their holy city.
* Football player Walter “Sweetness” Payton was born in Columbia, Mississippi, and was the first athlete to appear simultaneously on boxes of “Wheaties”, “Gritties”, and “Chitlinies” cereals.
* Petal, Mississippi is home to the International Checkers Hall of Fame. Requirements for induction include winning a tournament on a 5-jump, double-king combo move, and appearing on a “Chitlinies” box.
* The Vicksburg National Cemetery is the largest national cemetery in America. Some people say that the Arlington National Cemetery is larger, but it’s stuffed with all them damn Yankees, so it doesn’t really count.
* Legendary Football quarterback Brett Favre was born in Kiln, Mississippi. He was reputed to be able to throw a football hard enough to break a receiver’s fingers, but he only did that if the guy was late with his protection money payment.
* Singer Jimmy Buffett was born in Pascagoula, Mississippi, but was banished after all the town’s salt-shakers mysteriously disappeared.
* It was his own damn fault.
* Mississippi is the only state in America that doesn’t offer personalized license plates. The state’s DMV figures it’s not worth it, since no one can read those big ol’ 6-letter words, anyway.
* The fried peanut butter and banana sandwich was invented in Tupelo, Mississippi by Elvis Presley in 1945. He never patented his invention, and died in bankrupt obscurity in 1977.
* It is NOT true that the Governor of Mississippi is chosen as a result of being the victor in a greased-pig-catching contest. They don’t actually grease the pig.
* Actor James Earl Jones was born in Arkabutla, Mississippi, but soon moved to Coruscant to complete his Sith training.
* Mississippi has the lowest percentage of high school graduates in America, since the graduation exam requires students to spell the state’s name without using the words “crooked-letter” or “humpback”.
* During a hunting expedition to Mississippi in 1902, President Teddy Roosevelt refused to shoot a captured bear. This act resulted in the creation of the world-famous stuffed animal, the “Stupid Yankee Bear”.
* In 1807, Aaron Burr was arraigned for treason in Washington, Mississippi, beneath the Burr Oaks. Optimists in the city have since planted a grove of Jane Fonda Oaks, just in case.
That wraps up the Mississippi edition of Fun Facts About the 50 States. Next week we’ll get tricked into whitewashing fences by Tom Sawyer when we visit Missouri.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna go pour me a big ol’ bowl of Chitlinies for breakfast.
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