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Hyundai Mississippi, MS. Information Page

Mississippi, MS.

Magnolia State

Mississippi is a Southern state of the United States. Postal abbreviation: MS. Official (long) name: State of Mississippi. The state takes its name from the Mississippi River, which flows along the western boundary. The name itself probably means "big waters" in an old form of Ojibwe, a Native American language spoken around the river's headwaters. Other nicknames attached to Mississippi are the Magnolia State and the Hospitality State. USS Mississippi was named in honor of this state.

Mississippi was part of the Mississippian culture in the early part of the second millennium AD; descendant Native American tribes include the Chickasaw and Choctaw. Other tribes who inhabited the territory of Mississippi (and gave their names to local towns) include the Natchez, the Yazoo, and the Biloxi. The first expedition into the territory that became Mississippi was that of Hernando de Soto, who passed through in 1540. However, the first settlement was that of Ocean Springs (or Old Biloxi), settled by Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville in 1699. In 1716, Natchez was founded on the Mississippi River (as Fort Rosalie); it became the dominant town and trading post of the area. After spending some time under Spanish, British, and French nominal jurisdiction, the Mississippi area was deeded to the United States after the French and Indian War under the terms of the Treaty of Paris. 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 U.S. and Spain. Land was purchased (generally through unequal treaties) from Native American tribes from 1800 to about 1830. Mississippi was the 20th state admitted to the Union, on December 10, 1817. When cotton was king during the 1850s, Mississippi plantation owners—especially those of the Delta and Black Belt regions—became increasingly wealthy due to the high fertility of the soil and the high price of cotton on the international market. The severe wealth imbalances and the necessity of large-scale slave populations to sustain such income played a heavy role in both state politics and in the support for secession. Mississippi was the second state to secede from the Union as one of the Confederate States of America on January 9, 1861. During the Civil War the Confederate States were defeated. Under the terms of Reconstruction, Mississippi was readmitted to the Union on February 23, 1870. Mississippi was considered to typify the Deep South during the era of Jim Crow. A series of increasingly restrictive racial segregation laws enacted during the first part of the 20th century resulted in the emigration of almost half a million people, three-quarters of them black, in the 1940s. However, at the same time, Mississippi became a center of rich, quintessentially American music traditions: gospel music, jazz music, blues, and rock and roll all were invented, promulgated, or heavily developed by Mississippi musicians. Mississippi was also noted for its authors in the early twentieth century, especially William Faulkner and Tennessee Williams. Mississippi was a center of the civil rights movement. While many in the state supported the effort to secure voting and other rights for African-Americans, the vocal opposition of many politicians and officials and the violent tactics of Ku Klux Klan members and sympathizers gave Mississippi a reputation as a reactionary state during the 1960s. The state was the last to repeal prohibition and to ratify the Thirteenth Amendment, in 1966 and 1995 respectively. On August 17, 1969, Category 5 Hurricane Camille hit the Mississippi coast killing 248 people and causing US$1.5 billion in damage (1969 dollars). On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina caused even greater destruction across the entire 90 miles of Mississippi Gulf Coast from Louisiana to Alabama. In recent years, Mississippi has been noted for its political conservatism, improved civil rights record, and increasing industrialization. In addition, a decision in 1990 to legalize riverboat gambling has led to economic gains for the state. However, an estimated $500,000 per day in tax revenue was lost following Hurricane Katrina's severe damage to several riverboat casinos in August 2005. Gambling towns in Mississippi include the Gulf Coast towns of Gulfport and Biloxi, and the river towns of Tunica, Greenville, Vicksburg and Natchez. Before Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast, Mississippi was the second largest gambling state in the Union, ahead of New Jersey and behind Nevada. On October 17, 2005, Governor Haley Barbour signed a bill into law which allows casinos in Hancock and Harrison counties to rebuild on land, but within 800 feet of the water. The only exception is in Harrison County, where the new law states that casinos can be built to the southern boundary of U.S. Highway 90.



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