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Five fascinating Mississippi-related Wikipedia pages that’ll send you down a rabbit hole

We all love a good Wikipedia rabbit hole. Whether you can’t sleep or are stuck doing something mind-numbingly boring or simply want to learn some weird/quirky/fascinating stuff about Mississippi, check out these pages.

1. Naomi Sims

Many know the late Naomi Sims was considered to be the first African-American supermodel, but you might not know Sims—who died of breast cancer in 2009 at age 61—was born in Oxford. She overcame years of hardship and carved out her own modeling breakthrough by demanding a seat at the table.


2. The Disappearance of Bobby Dunbar

When a 4-year-old Louisiana boy named Bobby Dunbar disappeared in August 1912, his family pursued a months-long search to find him. Investigators discovered a boy in Mississippi who matched Dunbar’s description despite the boy’s mother, Julia Anderson, and caretaker, William Walters, insisting he wasn’t the missing child.

The Dunbars claimed the boy as theirs and he lived the rest of his life as Bobby Dunbar. Anderson, unable to afford a court battle to fight them, settled in Poplarville, Mississippi, where she had several children.

In 2004, DNA testing proved the boy found in Mississippi wasn’t a blood relative of the Dunbars.


3. Magnolia Village Practice Center

There are three monasteries in the United States which are under the spiritual guidance of Buddhist monk and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh. One’s in New York, another is in California and the third…is in Batesville, Mississippi.

The Magnolia Grove residential monastery sits on 120 acres in Panola County and is part of Magnolia Village, a mindfulness practice and retreat center. Anyone can visit the monastery for a day or an entire weekend.


4. Gail Borden

It’s true that Texas rightly claims the condensed milk inventor and founder of what would later become Borden Dairy Co. and continues today as Eagle Brand. But Gail Borden spent part of his life in Liberty, where he met his wife. His life and infamous family connections (including fourth-cousin Lizzie Borden) are a fascinating read.


5. Priestess Miriam Chamani

Born in Jackson as Mary Robin Adams, Miriam Chamani, Mambo of the New Orleans Voodoo Spiritual Temple, has lived a life we can’t sum up better than her own Wikipedia entry:

“She was invited by actor Nicolas Cage to perform a blessing ceremony during his wedding to Lisa Marie Presley, after hiring her as a consultant for his directorial debut film Sonny. On Halloween, 1999, a local radio station asked her to perform a ceremony outside the Superdome to help the New Orleans Saints win against the Cleveland Browns (which was interrupted by harassment from a Browns fan dressed as a dog). She claims to have had better results helping the Spurs win the NBA championship in 2004.”

About the Author /

alex.mcdaniel@magnoliastatelive.com

Alex McDaniel is the director of content and audience development for Magnolia State Live. She's also the editorial director at Oxford Newsmedia, where she oversees The Oxford Eagle, Oxford Magazine and several other publications.

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