Biloxi-Gulfport - USA, Mississippi

Biloxi with nearby Gulfport forms a city in southeastern Mississippi. The city lies on a narrow Gulf Coast peninsula. Biloxi, an Indian word which means "First People," is over 300 years old with a history of living under 8 different flags. Originally the shrimping capital, the beaches of Biloxi are now alive with the sites and sounds of casinos 24 hours a day. Twenty six miles of white sandy beaches allows for all types of water sports there are a wide variety of attractions in the area. Southern planter society left graceful antebellum homes here: Grasslawn (1836) in Gulfport, The Father Ryan House (1840), Tullis-Toledano (1856) and The Church of the Redeemer bell tower (1873-73) all in Biloxi. Beauvoir, last home of Jefferson Davis, the first and only President of the Confederacy, is outstanding among the many antebellum and fine Victorian homes that grace the coast. Other sites include Keesler Air Force Base and John S. Stennis Space Center, the test site for Nasa propulsion systems. The settlement at Fort Maurepas, across Biloxi Bay, was the first capital (1699-1702) of the Louisiana Territory while Fort Louis, the site of present-day Biloxi, was founded in 1719 and was the territorial capital from 1720 to 1722. Since its founding, Biloxi has been under the flags of France, Spain, Great Britain, the West Florida Republic, the Confederacy, and the United States. During the American Civil War, it submitted to the Union forces on Fort Massachusetts on Ship Island. Built prior to the Civil War but little used except as a Union prison, Fort Massachusetts stands guard off shore on West Ship Island, its cannons still ready to repel pirates or invaders. Now a part of the U.S. Department of the Interior's National Seashore, the fort may be toured.