Democrat Charlie Rangel probably won't be asked to serve on the Mississippi board of tourism anytime soon. I have never had the privilege of traveling to that state. Could it really be as bad as people say?


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  • [font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON 11-13-06 AT 07:23PM (CST)[/font][br][br]Since nobody has contributed anything positive to say about Mississippi, I went ahead and looked up some information:

    Mississippi was the 20th state admitted to the Union, on December 10, 1817.

    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, country 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 focus of the American Civil Rights Movement. Many white Mississippians, through their politicians and involvement in the White Citizens' Council movement, and the violent tactics of its Ku Klux Klan members and sympathizers gave Mississippi a reputation as a reactionary state during the 1960s.

    More than 98% of the white population of Mississippi is native-born, predominantly of Northern European descent.

    The state was the last to repeal prohibition and to symbolically ratify the 13th amendment which abolished slavery.

    Interestingly, Mississippi was once considered to be in the top five wealthiest states before the Civil War when slaves were still counted as property. Per capita personal income in 2005 was $33,569, 50th in the nation (ranking includes the District of Columbia). In contrast to the lowest per capita income Mississippians consistently rank as one of the highest per capita in charitable contributions.

    In 2004, Mississippi was ranked last among the fifty states in academic achievement by the American Legislative Exchange Council's Report Card on Education, with the lowest average ACT scores and spending per pupil in the nation.

    State motto: "Virtute et Armis" (By Valor and Arms)
    State song: "Go, Mississippi", adopted 1962

    Famous Mississippians
    Mississippi has produced a number of notable and famous individuals, including authors William Faulkner and Eudora Welty, musicians Elvis Presley Christian recording star and comedian David L Cook and Jimmy Buffet, blues musicians B.B. King, Muddy Waters, and Robert Johnson, novelist John Grisham, entertainers Oprah Winfrey and Jim Henson, drag performer Lypsinka, author Richard Wright, actors Morgan Freeman, James Earl Jones, and Sela Ward, playwright Tennessee Williams, rap music singer David Banner, punk metal band The Cooters, alternative rock band 3 Doors Down, opera singer Leontyne Price, athletes Brett Favre, Jerry Rice, Archie Manning, Walter Payton, Steve McNair, and Roy Oswalt and country music singers Jimmie Rodgers, Tammy Wynette, LeAnn Rimes, Mandingo and Faith Hill.

    Well, there you go.

  • Apparently no one has any thing positive or negative to say about Mississippi.
  • Is that where the squirrel went berserk in that sleepy little town of Pascagoula? The way Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi all run together in one corner I have difficulty remembering which is which.
  • No kidding? I never came across that incident in my research on the south.

    I will say I am impressed that Mississippi is the poorest state in the country but ranks #1 in charitable giving per capita.

    They are either selfless or watch too much TBN.
  • OK. I'll bite. I don't know how bad Mississippi really is, but in South Carolina, we always say "Thank God for Mississippi!!" Otherwise, we'd be in dead last place in a lot of areas instead of second from the bottom!
  • That's funny Rockie. I heard Alabama says the same thing.

    Maybe the state motto for Mississippi should be "Nowhere to go but UP!" That might build some positive synergy.

    I think Rangel was out of line. Has he apologized?
  • Rockie:
    When I lived in Arkansas we said the same thing: "At least we're ahead of Mississippi." I believe that was referring to the education factors already mentioned.
  • Rangel made the comment "who the hell wants to live in Missippi?"

    He got some heat from it but not as much as I would have thought. Maybe he was joking.

  • Update from down south:

    Rangel issued a news release Monday night, saying: "There is no excuse for my having said that. I am fully aware that every American loves their respective state and city and I'm afraid that my love and affection for New York got in the way of my common sense and judgment, and for that I sincerely apologize."

    Rangel's first remark - which came after Democrats regained the congressional majorities in the midterm elections - prompted indignant letters to the editor, Internet postings and calls to talk radio in Mississippi.

    U.S. Rep. Chip Pickering had called on Rangel to apologize and asked whether Mississippi could expect "insults, slander and defamation" from the Democrats in Washington.

    Now, Pickering says he accepts Rangel's apology.

    "Mississippians are forgiving folks," Pickering said.

    Rangel's spokesman, Elbert Garcia, confirms that at a Monday breakfast hosted by the Association for a Better New York, Rangel said: "For all of you from Mississippi, I'd like to extend my deepest apologies. I promise I'll visit as soon as I find a food taster."

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