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Neely-Dorsey: December 10 is Mississippi’s Statehood Birthday

a a a blog Ms birthday

December 10 is Mississippi’s Statehood Birthday!

Mississippi was admitted into the Union on December 10, 1817, and became the 20th state of the United States of America.

a a a blog birthsay 5

I have always considered myself a Goodwill Ambassador for Mississippi and was truly honored when the governor proclaimed me as an official Goodwill Ambassador for the state in 2015.

There are so many negative connotations associated with Mississippi and the South in general. Through my poems I attempt to convey more positive images rather than all of the negative ones usually portrayed.

It’s not that I ignore, negate or disregard the negatives about our state and region. It’s just that there is SO MUCH MORE to the story! I want to help others to KNOW more about Mississippi, LEARN more about Mississippi and LOVE more about Mississippi!

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Mississippi is named for the Mississippi River which forms the state’s western boundary as it empties into the Gulf of Mexico. The name is roughly translated from the Native American folklore meaning “Father of Waters.” The translation comes from the Chippewa words “mici zibi” meaning “great river” or “gathering in of all the waters” and the Algonquin word “Messipi.”

The first settlers in the region (1699) were French, and that area became part of Louisiana. British owned it from 1763 to 1779 then the Spanish had it before ceding it to the United States in 1783. The Mississippi Territory, organized in 1798 and enlarged in 1804 and 1813, also included the present state of Alabama.

Today, Jackson is its capital city and the largest metropolitan area in the state.

Mississippi’s state flower, the magnolia, was chosen by school children of the state in November 1900. According to the historical records, 23,278 children voted and over half of these children voted for the magnolia blossom.

Coming in second behind the magnolia is the cotton blossom, promoted by the Mississippi Federation of Women’s Clubs and the Cape Jasmine came in third. Mississippi officially adopted the magnolia blossom a little over fifty years later in 1952.

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Other state symbols include:

  • Wildflower – Coreopsis (1991)
  • Tree – Magnolia (1938)
  • Bird – Mockingbird (1944)
  • Song – “Go, Mississippi” (1962
  • Stone – Petrified wood (1976)
  • Fish – Largemouth or Black Bass (1974)
  • Insect – Honeybee (1980)
  • Shell- Oyster shell (1974)
  • Water mammal – Bottle-nosed dolphin or Porpoise (1974)
  • Fossil – Prehistoric whale (1981)
  • Land mammal – White-tailed deer (1974) and Red fox (1997)
  • Waterfowl – Wood duck (1974)
  • Beverage – Milk (1984)
  • Butterfly – Spicebush Swallowtail (1991)


Mississippi also has two nicknames: Magnolia State and Hospitality State.

Here are two more poems celebrating Mississippi. Enjoy!

a a a blog poem birthday2

a a a blog made in Mississippi

patricia dorsey

Patricia Neely-Dorsey is the author of two books of poetry, Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia-A Life In Poems and My Magnolia Memories and Musings-In Poems. Through her poems, the author hopes to protect, preserve and promote the rich cultural history and heritage of her state and region along with providing more positive images than all of the negative images usually portrayed. Patricia lives in Tupelo with her husband James, son Henry and Miniature Schnauzer, Happy. The author has been named a Goodwill Ambassador for the state by Governor Phil Bryant. Her slogan is “Always, Always Celebrating the South and Promoting a Positive Mississippi ” Her website is www.patricianeelydorsey.com and her email is magnoliagirl21@yahoo.com.

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