We conducted a phone survey of the rural South and Midwest examining fatalism and riskiness of health practices. Contrary to the contentions of some historians, ethnographers, writers, and social scientists, we found no evidence that Southerners were more fatalistic than Midwesterners. Southerners were not more likely to express the view that God or fate controlled their lives, and they were not more likely to take chances with their health and safety. The present findings contradict a commonly held view of the South, as well as a famous report in Science (Sims & Baumann, 1972) maintaining that higher death rates for tornadoes in this region might be due to Southern fatalism.