A city that has been immortalized in song by the likes of Johnny Cash, June Carter, and Kid Rock, Jackson has been called "The Crossroads of the South." With a population of over 175,000, it's the biggest city in Mississippi-and one of the most famous sites in the history of the Civil Rights movement.
Named after Andrew Jackson, in recognition of his victory in the 1815 Battle of New Orleans, the city was established as the state capital in 1822, seven years before Andrew Jackson became the seventh U.S. president. Although few traces of the past remain in Jackson proper, its ties to the southern hospitality are captured in its motto: City of Grace and Benevolence.
ECONOMY AND INDUSTRIES
Jackson, the capital of Mississippi, has been a major business force in the state. The high end industrial operations in the city are the result of an attractive labor force and good quality of life.
Jackson is the home for 16 banks, four of which are headquartered in the city. Also, the agricultural commodities business represents $180 million in business. Approximately 40,000 residents of the city are employed in governmental jobs ranging from municipal to federal. Manufacturing is one of the most important sectors with nearly 500 manufacturers in the city. Other important sectors are the automobile industry, construction, distribution and trade, health care, retail, telecommunications, and travel and tourism.
Some of the major employers include the State of Mississippi, University of Mississippi, Medical Center, United States Government, Jackson Public School District, Mississippi State Hospital and the City of Jackson.
The Greater Jackson Alliance (GJA) is a regional alliance of 12 entities and work towards facilitating and coordinating the economic development of Greater Jackson.
NEIGHBORHOODS AND DISTRICTS
Notable neighborhoods in Jackson include:
- Downtown Jackson is the economic and cultural heart of Mississippi. Home to four museums, 10 historic sites and three parks, Downtown Jackson is a bustling center for culture and entertainment.
- Alta Woods is one of the oldest neighborhoods within what is currently considered to be South Jackson. Before development of Alta Woods, the site currently occupied by the Carmelite monastery served as the site of speeches debating secession in the days leading up to the Civil War. Residential development began in Alta Woods in the 1920s and '30s. There are five active churches in the Alta Woods neighborhood.
- The Broadmeadow Neighborhood, located at the top of the historic Fondren district, dates back to the early 1950s. The neighborhood took shape as the World War II generation built homes and started families. Several streets in the Broadmeadow neighborhood were part of the original GI Subdivision. Land was plentiful, and many lots in the neighborhood still contain an acre or more of land.
ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
The Mississippi Arts Center in Jackson is home to a professionally trained group of dance performers known as Ballet Mississippi. Among other things, this company puts on an annual performance of The Nutcracker in the winter. In addition, the city hosts the USA International Ballet Competition. Held every four years, this international competition is one of the oldest in the world, drawing the finest dancers from countries all over the world to compete for Olympic-style medals.
Other fine arts, theater, and related arts destinations include:
- Alamo Theater
- Black Arts Music Society
- Boddie Mansion
- Bronze Statue of Medgar Evers
- Bryant Galleries
- Chimneyville Crafts Gallery
- Community Children's Theater
- Jackson Choral Society
- Jackson Community Concert Association
- Metropolitan Chamber Orchestra Society
- Mississippi Chorus
- Mississippi Museum of Art
- Mississippi Musicians Hall of Fame
- Mississippi Opera
- Mississippi Symphony Orchestra
- Municipal Art Gallery
- New Stage Theater
- Polarity Dance Theater
- Smith Robertson Museum and Cultural Center
- Mississippi Museum of Natural Science: A 73,000-square-foot facility located on Riverside Drive, this facility contains both indoor and outdoor exhibits dedicated to all sorts of wildlife, including endangered and extinct creatures, an aquarium, botanical gardens, walking paths, and other features. In addition, the museum occasionally offers special temporary exhibits with topics, such as dinosaurs, bones, insects, and more.
- Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum: The state of Mississippi has been the birthplace of many great athletes, from baseball stars Dizzy Dean and "Cool Papa" Bell to football heroes Archie Manning, Jerry Rice, and Walter Payton. Not only are these sports legends honored here; this Lakeland Drive facility includes a number of different educational and interactive exhibits.
- Old Capitol Museum/Museum of Mississippi History: These two facilities once shared a single location, but in 2009, the Museum of Mississippi History will relocate to a new facility. While it will explore all facets of the state's heritage, the Old Capitol Museum will shift focus to the history of the state government, and in particular, the different capital cities and historic buildings throughout Mississippi.
Jackson is a hotbed of post-secondary educational opportunities, with several two- and four-year colleges and universities located within the city limits, including:
- Belhaven College
- Jackson State University
- Millsaps College
- Mississippi College School of Law
- University of Mississippi Medical Center
Also located within driving distance from the city limits are:
- Mississippi College
- Hinds Community College
- Holmes Community College
- Alcorn State University
- Mississippi Valley State University
The Mississippi capital is home to Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for two-year colleges.
Multiple television stations broadcast to the Jackson metropolitan area, including:
- WLBT Channel 3 (NBC)
- WJTV Channel 12 (CBS)
- WAPT Channel 16 (ABC)
- WMPN Channel 29 (PBS)
- WRBJ Channel 34 (CW)
- WUFX Channel 35 (My Network TV)
- WDBD Channel 40 (Fox)
More than a dozen AM and two dozen FM radio stations offer service to this city, with programming choices including classic rock, contemporary Christian, country, oldies, Top 40, rhythm and blues, talk radio, sports, news, and business.
- The Clarion-Ledger, a statewide newspaper, is published in Jackson, as are several weekly newspapers, including the Jackson Advocate, the Jackson Free Press, and the Mississippi Business Journal. Mississippi magazine is also published locally.
DID YOU KNOW?
- Millsaps College is the training camp facility utilized by the New Orleans Saints of the National Football League.
- There is an extinct volcano located directly below the city of Jackson.
- Pulitzer Prize-winning author Eudora Welty was born in Jackson and lived there most of her life.
- Pioneering African-American author Richard Wright lived in Jackson as a young man.