The Story of the "Know Mississippi Better" Train

Governor Henry L. Whitfield called a mass meeting in Jackson, MS in 1925 with the object of the meeting to "adopt some plan whereby the opportunities, possibilities and resources of Mississippi might be effectively presented to the outside world."

Mississippians from twenty-six (26) counties attended.  Lieutenant Governor, Dennis Murphree proposed a plan of "The Know Mississippi Better" Train, a special train to carry representatives of Mississippi, exhibits of Mississippi resources, literature, and public speakers to visit across the country proclaiming Mississippi. The plan was adopted.

Know Mississippi Better Executive Committee
Dr. Felix Underwood State Health Officer
Mr.  W.F. Bond Director State Board Public Welfare
Mr. J. C. Holton State Commissioner Agriculture
Miss Emma Lee Redfearn Train Secretary
Mr. Dennis Murphree General Chairman, Lieutenant Governor

The original trip was such a pronounced success that the personnel of the party voted unanimously to continue the enterprise, which it did for many years.
Sixteen hundred of Mississippi's best citizens are enthusiastic "alumni" of this recognized statewide institution.  The trip made in July 1937 was the thirteenth consecutive Annual Tour for the train.  The train had visited in 47 states, seven times to Canada reaching nearly every province and three times into Mexico. It has traveled more than ninety thousand miles or approximately three times around the world.
The "Know Mississippi Better Train" was the longest Pullman Special Train in the world. It was the last word in travel luxury.  Nearly all of its cars were Drawing Room and Compartment cars and was air-conditioned.  Two air-conditioned dining cars furnished the finest meals available.
Each year a comprehensive exhibit of Mississippi products was carried and shown to multiple thousands of people.  Personnel is annually selected with care and only representative citizens are accepted.  For the 1937 trip, 300 Mississippians applied for reservations "after" all reservations had been awarded.

"It was one of the most effective messengers of Good Will and a permanent and pronounced success."

Excerpts from Mississippi That Grand Old State of Mine by R. Roy Coats
Director of the Ole Miss Band 1928-1936.

Written specially for and dedicated to
Ex-Governor Dennis Murphree and the Know Mississippi Better Train

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