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Jackson, MS (Population: 177,977)

Jackson is the capital of Mississippi, and the most populated city in the state. Jackson has a rich history, including its role in the Civil War and in the Civil Rights Movement. Historically, Jackson was named for President Andrew Jackson and was the first to pass state laws stating that married women could own and manage properties. The city is the birthplace of famed author Eudora Welty, as well as Richard Wright, a well-known African-American author.

The Mississippi State Fair is held each April in Jackson. Other annual festivals include the Jubilee! Jam, CelticFest Mississippi, Festival Latino and OUToberfest. Every four years the USA International Ballet Competition is held here. Also of interest in Jackson are the many historical sites here, such as the Governor's Mansion, the King Edward Hotel and the Greenwood Cemetery. The Medgar Evers Home Museum and Smith Robertson Museum and Cultural center are located in Jackson, among others.

Jackson State University is a historically black university that was founded in 1877. Jackson State's business and computer departments are among the highest ranked in the United States. Jackson is home to many of Mississippi's big performing arts companies, such as Ballet Mississippi, the Mississippi Orchestra, the Mississippi Chorus and more. The Craftman's Guild of Mississippi is active in this area as well.