Thursday, June 21, 2012

Missouri - #24, August 10, 1821

Welcome to the Show Me State! Let's start with a trivia question - the state capital of Missouri is the first (in this order of how the states are being presented) of four to be an answer in the trivia question - How many state capitals have the word "city" in their names? Any guesses on the other three? We won't see them for several more weeks, one in about three months (#36) and the other two (#45 and #46) in four months. While we are talking trivia, Missouri and one other state (which is also a Missouri neighbor) border eight states - no other state but these two border more than eight states. What's the other state?

Now take your seats, boys and girls - it's time for the History Lesson. Missouri became a state in 1821 as part of the Missouri Compromise. In order to preserve the balance of power in Congress between slave and free states, the Missouri Compromise was passed in 1820, admitting Maine as a free state and Missouri as a slave state. The Compromise also prohibited slavery, with the exception of Missouri, in any portion of the Louisiana Territory north of the 36° 30´ latitude line. The Missouri Compromise was repealed by the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act in 1854, which allowed settlers of those two states to determine if they wanted slavery or not. Three years later, the Missouri Compromise was then declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in the Dred Scott decision, which ruled that Congress did not have the authority to prohibit slavery in the territories.

Missouri gets its name from an Native American word meaning the "town of large canoes." Following the 2012 decennial census, the mean center of US population was again located in Missouri, in the town of Plato. Missouri's unofficial nickname as the "Gateway to the West" owes itself to the fact that the Pony Express got its start in the state; St. Louis was the embarkation point for both the Oregon and Santa Fe Trails. It was also the starting and ending point for the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

Missouri is our next state to have produced a Chief Executive. The 33rd President of the United States, Harry S. Truman was born in the state and Independence is the location of the Truman Presidential Library.

The current Governor of Missouri is Jay Nixon, a Democrat. The Senators for Missouri are currently split - one Republican and one Democrat. Claire McCaskill (D) is the Senior Senator and is being targeted in the fall elections. Former Congressman Roy Blunt (R) is the Junior Senator. Missouri's Congressional delegation has nine members, three Democrats and six Republicans.
  • State Capital - Jefferson City
  • Largest city - Kansas City
  • Date of Admission - August 10, 1821
  • Area - 69,704 sq mi (21st)
  • Population (2011 est.) - 6,010,688 (18th)
  • State Motto - "Salus populi suprema lex esto" "The welfare of the people shall be the supreme law"
  • State Nickname - The Show Me State
  • State animal - the mule (so, what does that say?)
  • State bird - bluebird
  • State flower - hawthorn
  • State tree - flowering dogwood ("it's a tree and a flower, I'll take a dozen, please" - oh wait that's Virginia, better go with the ham)
  • State University - The University of Missouri
  • State Archives (which are under the Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan)- Missouri State Archives
  • The State Historical Society of Missouri
  • The Missouri History Museum
Prominent Missourians - (here's a few lists to peruse, one and two)


Anonymous said...

nice posting.. thanks for sharing.

Unknown said...

Carson City, Nevada; Oklahoma City; and ... ok, I had to look this one up ... Salt Lake City. I've been to 19 of the state capitols. How about you?

Brave Astronaut said...

Anon - thanks for commenting

C - I've been to 14.