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When did Mississippi become a state?

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Quick Answer

Mississippi became a state on December 10, 1817. It became the 20th state of the Union, almost exactly one year after Indiana became a state and one year before Illinois followed suit.

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Full Answer

The word "Mississippi" is a Native American word that means “great river,” a reference to the Mississippi River, which is the longest river in the country, covering more than 2,000 miles and snaking through 10 states. The earliest inhabitants of the state were Chickasaw, Choctaw and Natchez Indians who nestled their communities along this great river. The Mississippi Gulf Coast is another famous body of water, and the coastline holds the distinction of having the longest man-made beach in the world.

Mississippi is bordered by the states of Arkansas, Louisiana, Alabama and Tennessee. As with other Southern states, Mississippi has contributed immensely to the foodstuff and textile industries. Cotton is the most important crop harvested in the state, but Mississippi farmers also grow rice, peanuts, soybeans and pecans. The catfish capital of the world is in Belzoni, while Lumberton houses the largest pecan nursery in the world. Biloxi is also where root beer was invented.

The Blues was also born in the Mississippi Delta, which is significant because the Blues is one of the two original American music art forms, the other being Jazz.

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