Missouri ( or ) is a
state in the Midwest region of the United States bordered by Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska.
Missouri is the 18th most populous state with a 2008 estimated
population of 5,911,605. It comprises 114 counties
and one independent city
. Missouri's capital is
City. The four largest urban areas are Columbia, Kansas City, St. Louis, and
Missouri was originally acquired from
France as part of the Louisiana
and became defined as the Missouri Territory
. Part of the Missouri
Territory was admitted into the union as the 24th state in August
Missouri mirrors the demographic, economic and political makeup of
the nation with a mix of urban
. It has long been
considered a political bellwether
. With the exception of 1956
results in U.S. presidential elections have accurately predicted
the next President of the
in every election since 1904
. It has both
reflecting its history as a border state
. It is also a
transition between the eastern and western United States, as
Louis is often called the "western-most eastern city" and
City the "eastern-most western city."
geography is highly varied. The northern part of the state lies in
dissected till plains while
the southern part lies in the Ozark Mountains a (dissected
plateau), with the Missouri River dividing the two. The confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers is located near St. Louis.
Etymology and pronunciation
is named for the Missouri
River, which was named after the Siouan-language tribe, whose name in Illinois was ouemessourita
(wimihsoorita), meaning "those who have dugout canoes".
The etymology lies behind Bob Dyer
's tribute song, "River of the Big Canoes".
The pronunciation of the final syllable of "Missouri" is variable,
with some insisting on a relatively tense
(as in "meet"), while others prefer a lax vowel ("mitt"
or "mutt"). The most thorough study of the question
was done by
dialectologist Donald Max Lance
. From a linguistic point of view, no
one pronunciation is considered correct; rather, there are simply
patterns of variation, diachronic as well as synchronic
, according to divisions such
as geography, age, education, and/or rural vs. urban location. In
general, the schwa
with proximity to Kansas City
speakers (born before 1945), lower levels of formal education, and
rural location. Lance notes less controversial but also systematic
variations in pronunciation: the second consonant is most often
speakers ("missive"), and the medial vowel is variously raised
unrounded ("lurk") or rounded
Missouri, showing major cities and
Missouri borders eight different states, as does its neighbor,
Tennessee. No state in the U.S. touches more than eight states.
is bounded on the north by Iowa; on the
east, across the Mississippi River, by Illinois, Kentucky, and
Tennessee; on the south by Arkansas; and on the
west by Oklahoma, Kansas, and
Nebraska (the last
across the Missouri River). The two largest Missouri rivers are the
Mississippi, which defines the
eastern boundary of the state, and the Missouri, which flows from west to east through the state,
essentially connecting the two largest metros, Kansas City and St.
Although today the state is usually considered part of the Midwest
, historically Missouri was sometimes
considered a South
state, chiefly because
of the settlement of migrants from the South and its status as a
slave state before the Civil War. The counties that made up
" were those
along the Missouri River in the center of the state, settled by
Southern migrants who held the greatest concentration of
of cities farther north and of the state's large metropolitan
areas, where most of the state's population resides (Kansas
City, St. Louis, and Columbia), typically consider themselves Midwestern.
areas and cities farther south, such as (Cape
Bluff, Springfield, and Sikeston), residents typically self-identify as more
In 2005, Missouri received 16,695,000 visitors to its national
parks and other recreational areas totaling 202,000 acres, giving
it $7.41 mil. in annual revenues, 26.6% of its operating
River lie the Northern Plains that stretch into Iowa, Nebraska, and Kansas.
A physiographic map of Missouri
Here, gentle rolling hills remain behind from the glaciation
that once extended from the north to
the Missouri River. Missouri has many large river bluffs along
the Mississippi, Missouri, and Meramec Rivers. Southern Missouri rises to the Ozark
Mountains, a dissected plateau surrounding the Precambrian igneous
This region also hosts Karst topography
characterized by high
limestone content and the formation of sinkholes and caves.
southeastern part of the state is the Bootheel region, part of the Mississippi Alluvial Plain or
This region is the lowest, flattest, and wettest part of the state,
and among the poorest, as the economy is mostly agricultural. It is
also the most fertile, with cotton and rice crops predominant. The
Bootheel was the epicenter of the four New Madrid Earthquakes
Missouri generally has a humid continental climate (Koppen climate classification
Dfa), with cold winters and hot and humid summers. In the southern
part of the state, particularly in the Bootheel, the climate
borders on a humid subtropical climate (Koppen Cfa). Located in the
interior United States, Missouri often experiences extremes in
temperatures. Without high mountains or oceans nearby to moderate
temperature, its climate is alternately influenced by air from the
cold Arctic and the hot and humid Gulf of Mexico.
Normal High and Low Temperatures For Various Missouri Cities
for St. Louis only
Missouri for thousands of years before European exploration and
along the rivers have shown continuous habitation for more than
7,000 years. Beginning before 1000 CE was the rise of the complex Mississippian culture, whose people
created regional political centers at present-day St. Louis and across the Mississippi River at Cahokia, near present-day Collinsville, Illinois. Their large cities included thousands of
individual residences, but they are known for their surviving
massive earthwork mounds, built for religious, political and social
reasons, in platform, ridgetop and conical
shapes. Cahokia was the center of a regional trading
network that reached from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico.
The civilization declined by 1400 CE, and
most descendants left the area before the arrival of Europeans. St.
Louis was at one time known as Mound City, because of the numerous
surviving mounds, since lost to urban development.
The first European settlers were French
, mostly French Canadian
who migrated to the area of
present-day Ste. Genevieve
, the first European settlement,
about 1750. They came from colonial villages on the east side of
the Mississippi of the
Illinois Country, where soils were becoming exhausted and there was
insufficient river bottom land for the growing population.
St. Louis was also founded by French settlers.
St. Louis became the center of a regional fur trade, that dominated
its economy for decades.
Genevieve was a thriving agricultural center, producing enough
to ship downriver to Lower Louisiana for
Part of the 1803 Louisiana
by the United States, Missouri earned the nickname
"Gateway to the West" because it served as a departure point for
settlers heading to the west. The St. Louis area was the starting point
and the return destination of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, which
explored the western territories to the Pacific Ocean.
The territory was admitted as a slave state
in 1821 as part of the Missouri
. River traffic and trade along the Mississippi were
integral to the state's economy. To try to control regular flooding
of farmland and low-lying villages, by 1860 the state had completed
construction of of levees on the Mississippi.
The state was site of the epicenter of the 1812 New Madrid earthquake
possibly the most powerful earthquake in the United States since
the founding of the country. Casualties were light due to the
Originally the state's western border was a
straight line, defined as the meridian passing through the
Kawsmouth, the point where the Kansas River enters the Missouri River.
The river has
moved since this designation. This line is known as the Osage
Boundary. In 1835 the Platte
was added to the northwest corner of the state after
purchase of the land from the native tribes, making the Missouri
River the border north of the Kansas River. This addition increased
the land area of what was already the largest state in the Union at
the time (about to Virginia's 65,000 square miles (which then
included West Virginia.)
As many of the early American settlers in western Missouri migrated
from the Upper South, they brought enslaved African Americans for
labor, and a desire to continue their culture and the institution
of slavery. They settled predominantly in 17 counties along the
Missouri River, in an area of flatlands that enabled plantation
agriculture and became known as "Little Dixie
." In the early 1830s,
migrants from northern states and
Canada began settling near Independence and areas just north of
there. Conflicts over slavery and religion arose between the 'old
settlers' (mainly from the South) and the Mormons (mainly from the
and Canada). The 'Mormon War
' erupted. By 1839 settlers
expelled the Mormons from Missouri.
Conflicts over slavery exacerbated border tensions among the states
and territories. In 1838–1839 a border dispute with Iowa over
the so-called Honey
Lands resulted in both states' calling up militias along
the border. After many incidents with Kansans crossing
the western border for attacks (including setting a fire in the
historic Westport area of Kansas City), a border war erupted between Missouri and
From the 1830s to the 1860s, Missouri's population almost doubled
with every decade. Most of the newcomers were Americans, but many
Irish and German immigrants who arrived in the late 1840s and
1850s. Having fled famine, oppression and revolutionary upheaval,
they were not sympathetic to slavery.
Most Missouri farmers practiced subsistence farming. The majority
of those who held slaves had fewer than 5 each. Planters, defined
by historians as those holding 20 or more slaves, were concentrated
in the counties known as "Little Dixie", in the central part of the
state along the Missouri River. The tensions over slavery had
chiefly to do with the future of the state and nation. In 1860
enslaved African Americans made up less than 10% of the state's
population of 1,182,012.
After the secession of Southern states began in 1861, the Missouri
legislature called for the election of a special convention on
secession. The convention voted decisively to remain within the
Union. Pro-Southern Governor Claiborne F. Jackson ordered the mobilization of
several hundred members of the state militia who had gathered in a
camp in St.
Louis for training.
Alarmed at this action, Union
General Nathaniel Lyon
encircling the camp and forcing the state troops to surrender. Lyon
then directed his soldiers, largely non-English-speaking German
immigrants, to march the prisoners through the streets, and they
opened fire on the largely hostile crowds of civilians who gathered
around them. Soldiers killed unarmed prisoners as well as
men, women and children of St. Louis in the incident that became
known as the "St. Louis
These events heightened Confederate
support within the
state. Governor Jackson appointed Sterling Price
, president of the convention
on secession, as head of the new Missouri State Guard
. In the face of
General Lyon's rapid advance in the state, Jackson and Price were
forced to flee the capital of Jefferson City on June 14, 1861. In the town of
Missouri, Jackson called the state legislature into
They enacted a secession ordinance, recognized by
the Confederacy on October 30, 1861.
With the elected governor absent from his capital and the
legislators largely dispersed, Union forces installed an unelected
pro-Union provisional government with Hamilton Gamble
as provisional governor.
President Lincoln's Administration immediately recognized Gamble's
government as the legal government. This decision provided both
pro-Union militia forces for service within the state and volunteer
regiments for the Union Army.
ensued between Union forces and a combined army of General Price's
Missouri State Guard and Confederate troops from Arkansas and Texas under
General Ben McCulloch.
winning victories at the battle of Wilson's
Creek and the siege of Lexington, Missouri and suffering losses elsewhere, the Confederate
forces had little choice but to retreat to Arkansas and later
Texas, in the face of a largely reinforced Union
Though regular Confederate troops staged some large-scale raids
into Missouri, the fighting in the state for the next three years
consisted chiefly of guerrilla
. "Citizen soldiers" such as Colonel William Quantrill
, the Younger brothers
and William T. Anderson
made use of quick, small-unit
tactics. Pioneered by the Missouri Partisan Rangers, such
insurgencies also arose in other portions of the Confederacy
occupied during the Civil War. Recently historians have assessed
the James brothers' outlaw years as continuing guerrilla warfare
after the official war was over. The activities of the 'Bald
Knobbers' of south-central Missouri in the 1880s has also been seen
as an unofficial continuation of hostilities long after the
official end of the war.
In 1930, there was a diphtheria
in the area around Springfield which killed approximately 100
people. Serum was rushed to the area and stopped the
During the mid-1950s and 1960s, St. Louis suffered
deindustrialization and loss of jobs in railroads and manufacturing
as did other major industrial cities. At the same time highway
construction made it easy for middle-class residents to leave the
city for newer housing in the suburbs. St. Louis has gone through
decades of readjustment to developing a different economy. Suburban
areas have developed separate job markets, both in knowledge
industries and services, such as major retail malls. In 1956
was the site of
the first interstate
Missouri Population Density Map
In 2007, Missouri had an estimated population of 5,878,415; an
increase of 283,204 (5.1 percent) since the year 2000. This
includes a natural increase of 137,564 people since the last census
(480,763 births less 343,199 deaths), and an increase of 88,088
people due to net migration
from outside the United States resulted in a net increase of 50,450
people, and migration within the country produced a net increase of
37,638 people. Over half of Missourians (3,145,584 people, or
56.2%) live within the state's two largest metropolitan areas–St.
Louis and Kansas City. The state's population density
81.2 in 2000, is also
closer to the
national average than any other state
The U.S. Census of 2000 found that the population center of
the United States is in Phelps County, Missouri. The center
of population of Missouri itself is located in Osage
County, in the city of Westphalia.
As of 2004, the population included 194,000 foreign-born (3.4
percent of the state population).
The five largest ancestry groups in Missouri are: German
(23.5 percent), Irish
(12.7 percent), American (10.5
(9.5 percent) and
(3.5 percent). "American"
includes some of those reported as Native American
, but also European
Americans whose ancestors have lived in the United States for a
German Americans are an ancestry group present throughout Missouri.
African Americans are a substantial part of the population in St.
Louis, Kansas City, and in the southeastern Bootheel and some parts
of the Missouri River Valley, where plantation agriculture was once
important. Missouri Creoles
ancestry are concentrated in the Mississippi River Valley
St. Louis. Approximately 40,000-50,000 recent Bosniak
immigrants live mostly in the St. Louis
In 2004, 6.6 percent of the state's population was reported as
younger than 5 years old, 25.5 percent younger than 18, and 13.5
percent was 65 or older. Females were approximately 51.4 percent of
the population. 81.3 percent of Missouri residents were high school
graduates (more than the national average), and 21.6 percent had a
bachelor's degree or higher. 3.4 percent of Missourians were
foreign-born, and 5.1 percent reported speaking a language other
than English at home.
In 2000, there were 2,194,594 households in Missouri, with 2.48
people per household. The homeownership rate was 70.3 percent, and
the mean value of an owner-occupied dwelling was $89,900. The
median household income for 1999 was $37,934, or $19,936 per
capita. There were 11.7 percent (637,891) Missourians living below
the poverty line in 1999.
The mean commute time to work was 23.8 minutes.
Of those Missourians who identify with a religion, three out of
five are Protestants. There is also a moderate-sized Roman Catholic
community in some parts of the state; approximately one out of five
Missourians are Roman Catholic. Areas with large Catholic communities
City, Westplex, and the Missouri Rhineland (particularly that
south of the Missouri River).
The St. Louis and Kansas City
metropolitan areas also have important Jewish communities who have
contributed much to the culture and charities of the cities; more
recent, those same areas have Indian and Pakistani immigrants have
created Hindu and Muslim congregations as well.
The religious affiliations of the people of Missouri according to
the American Religious Identification Survey:
- Christian – 77%
- Other religions – 2%
- Not religious – 15%
- No answer – 5%
The largest denominations by number of adherents in 2000 were the
Roman Catholic Church
856,964; the Southern
with 797,732; and the United Methodist Church
religious organizations have headquarters in Missouri, including
Church—Missouri Synod, which has its headquarters in Kirkwood, as well as the United Pentecostal
Church International in Hazelwood, both outside St.
Kansas City is the headquarters of the Church of the Nazarene
Outside of Kansas City, is the headquarters
for the Community of Christ
(formerly the Reorganized
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
), and the group
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
. This area and
other parts of Missouri are also of significant religious and
historical importance to The Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
(Mormons), which maintains
several sites/visitors centers, and whose members make up about 1
percent, or 62,217 members, of Missouri's population. Springfield is the headquarters of the Assemblies of God and the Baptist Bible Fellowship
International. The General Association of
General Baptists has its headquarters in Poplar
Bluff. The Pentecostal Church of God is
headquartered in Joplin. The Unity Church
is headquartered in Unity Village.
The Bureau of Economic Analysis
estimates that Missouri's total state product in 2006 was $225.9
billion. Per capita personal income in 2006 was $32,705, ranking
in the nation.Major industries include aerospace
, food processing
, electrical equipment
, light manufacturing
, and beer
The agriculture products of the state are beef
rice, and eggs
. Missouri is ranked 6th in
the nation for the production of hogs and 7th for cattle. Missouri
is ranked in the top five states in the nation for production of
soy beans. As of 2001, there were 108,000 farms, the
second largest number in any state after Texas.
Missouri actively promotes its rapidly growing wine industry
Missouri has vast quantities of limestone
Other resources mined are lead
, and crushed stone
Missouri produces the most lead of all of the states. Most of the
lead mines are in the central eastern
of the state. Missouri also ranks first or near first
in the production of lime
, a key
ingedient in Portland cement
Tourism, services and wholesale/retail trade follow manufacturing
is taxed in 10 different
earning brackets, ranging from 1.5 percent to 6.0 percent.
Missouri's sales tax
rate for most items
is 4.225 percent. Additional local levies may apply. More than
2,500 Missouri local governments rely on property taxes
levied on real property
) and personal property
. Most personal property
is exempt, except for motorized vehicles. Exempt real estate
includes property owned by governments and property used as
nonprofit cemeteries, exclusively for religious worship, for
schools and colleges and for purely charitable purposes. There is
no inheritance tax
Missouri estate tax
related to federal estate tax
Missouri is the only state in the Union to have two Federal Reserve Banks
: one in Kansas
City (serving western Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma,
Colorado, northern New Mexico, and Wyoming) and one in St. Louis
(serving eastern Missouri, southern Illinois, southern Indiana,
western Kentucky, western Tennessee, northern Mississippi, and all
of Missouri has two major airport hubs:
Lambert-St. Louis International
Airport and Kansas City International
Two of the nation's three busiest rail centers are located in
Missouri. Kansas City is a major railroad hub for
BNSF Railway, Norfolk Southern Railway, Kansas City Southern Railway,
and Union Pacific
Kansas City is the second largest freight rail
center in the US. Like Kansas City, St.
Louis is a major destination for train freight.
Amtrak passenger trains serve Kansas
City, La Plata, Jefferson
Summit, Independence, Warrensburg, Hermann, Kirkwood, Sedalia, and Poplar
Bluff. The only urban light rail/subway system in
Missouri is the St. Louis MetroLink which connects the City of St. Louis with suburbs
in Illinois and St. Louis County.
It is one of the largest
(track mileage) systems in the USA. In 2007 preliminary planning
was being performed for a light rail system in the Kansas City
area, but was defeated by voters in November 2008.
Gateway Multimodal Transportation
Center in St. Louis is the largest active multi-use
transportation center in the state. It is located in
Downtown St. Louis next to the historic St. Louis
Union Station complex. It serves as a hub center/station for the
city's rail system St. Louis MetroLink and regional bus system MetroBus, Greyhound, Amtrak and
city taxi services.
Springfield remains an operational hub for BNSF Railway.
Mississippi River and Missouri
River are commercially navigable over their entire
lengths in Missouri.
The Missouri was channelized through
dredging and jettys and the Mississippi was given a series of
to avoid rocks and deepen the river. St. Louis is a
major destination for barge traffic on the Mississippi River.
Missouri state license plate as of
, detailed below, traverse
Following the passage of Amendment 3 in late 2004, the Missouri
Department of Transportation (MoDOT) began its Smoother, Safer,
Sooner road-building program with a goal of bringing of highways up
to good condition by December 2007. From 2006-2008 traffic deaths
have decreased annually from 1,257 in 2005 ... to 1,096 in 2006 ...
to 974 for 2007 ... to 941 for 2008.
United States Routes
Law and government
The current Constitution of Missouri, the fourth constitution for
the state, was adopted in 1945. It provides for three branches of
government: the legislative, judicial, and executive branches.
legislative branch consists of two bodies: the House of
Representatives and the Senate.
These bodies comprise the
The House of Representatives has 163 members who are apportioned
based on the last decennial
. The Senate consists of 34 members from districts of
approximately equal populations. The judicial department comprises the
Supreme Court of Missouri,
which has seven judges, the Missouri Court of Appeals (an
intermediate appellate court divided
into three districts, sitting in Kansas City, St. Louis, and Springfield), and 45 Circuit Courts which function as local
The executive branch is headed by the Governor of Missouri
includes five other statewide elected offices. Following the
Election of 2008, all but one of Missouri's statewide elected
offices are held by Democrats
Status as a political bellwether
Missouri is widely regarded as a state bellwether in American
politics. The state has a longer stretch of supporting
the winning presidential candidate than any other state, having
voted with the nation in every election since 1904 with two
exceptions: in 1956 when they
voted for Governor Adlai Stevenson of Illinois over the winner, incumbent President Dwight Eisenhower of Kansas, and in
they voted for Senator John McCain of Arizona over national winner Senator Barack
Obama of Illinois, both by extremely narrow
Past Presidential Elections
Laissez-faire alcohol and tobacco laws
Missouri has been known for its population's generally "stalwart,
conservative, noncredulous" attitude toward regulatory regimes,
which is one of the origins of the state's unofficial nickname, the
"Show-Me State." As a result, and combined with the fact that
Missouri is one of America's leading alcohol
-producing states, regulation of
alcohol and tobacco in Missouri is among the most laissez-faire
With a large German immigrant population and the development of a
brewing industry, Missouri always has had among the most permissive
in the United States
. It never enacted statewide prohibition
voters rejected prohibition in three separate referenda in 1910,
1912, and 1918. Alcohol regulation did not begin in Missouri until
1934. Today, alcohol laws are controlled by the state government,
and local jurisdictions are prohibited from going beyond those
state laws. Missouri has no statewide open container law
prohibition on drinking in public, no alcohol-related blue laws
, no local
, no precise locations for selling liquor by the package
(thus allowing even drug stores
to sell any kind of
liquor), and no differentiation of laws based on alcohol
percentage. Missouri had no laws prohibiting "consumption" of
alcohol by minors (as opposed to possession), and state law
protects persons from arrest or criminal penalty for public intoxication
. Missouri law
expressly prohibits any jurisdiction from going dry
. Missouri law also expressly allows parents
and guardians to serve alcohol to their children. The Power &
Light District in Kansas City is one of the few places in the
United States where a state law explicitly allows persons over the
age of 21 to possess and consume open containers of alcohol in the
street (as long as the beverage is in a plastic cup).
tobacco, as of June 2009 Missouri has the second-lowest cigarette
excise taxes in the United States (behind only South
Carolina) at 17
cents per pack, and the electorate voted in 2002 and 2006 to keep
it that way. In 2007, Forbes named Missouri's largest metropolitan
Louis, America's "best city for smokers."
- See also: Smoking
laws of Missouri
According to the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention
, in 2008 Missouri had the fourth highest
percentage of adult smokers among U.S states, at 24.5%. Although
Missouri's minimum age for purchase and distribution of tobacco
products is 18, tobacco products can be distributed to persons
under 18 by family members on private property. No statewide
ever has been seriously
entertained before the Missouri General Assembly
, and in
October 2008, a statewide survey by the Missouri Department of
Health and Senior Services found that only 27.5% of Missourians
support a statewide ban on smoking in all bars and restaurants.
Missouri state law permits bars, restaurants which seat less than
50 people, bowling alleys, and billiard parlors to decide their own
smoking policies, without limitation.
Additionally, in Missouri, it is "an improper employment practice"
for an employer to refuse to hire, to fire, or otherwise to
disadvantage any person because that person lawfully uses alcohol
and/or tobacco products when he or she is not at work.
has 114 counties and one independent
largest county by size is Texas County (1,179 sq. miles) and Shannon
County is second (1,004 sq. miles).
County is the smallest (266 sq. miles).
independent city of St. Louis has only of area.
St. Louis City is the most
densely populated area (5,724.7 per sq. mi.) in Missouri.
largest county by population (2008 estimate) is St. Louis
County (991,830 residents), with Jackson
County second (668,417 residents), St.
Louis third (354,361), and St. Charles fourth
Worth County is the least populous with 2,039
Important cities and towns
City is the state capital of Missouri.
largest cities in Missouri are Kansas City, St. Louis, Springfield, Independence, Columbia, Lee's Summit, and O'Fallon.
Louis is the principal city of the largest metropolitan
area in Missouri, comprising seventeen counties and the independent
city of St. Louis; eight of those counties lie in the state of
As of 2007, Greater St. Louis
was the 18th largest
in the nation with 2.81 million people.
However, if ranked using Combined Statistical Area
, it is
largest with 2.87 million people
. Some of the major
cities making up the St. Louis Metro area in Missouri include
St. Charles, St.
Peters, Florissant, Chesterfield, Creve Coeur, Maryland Heights, O'Fallon, Clayton, Ballwin, and University City.
City is Missouri's largest city and the principal city
of the fifteen-county Kansas City Metropolitan Statistical
Area, including six counties in the state of Kansas.
of 2008, it was the 29th largest metropolitan area in the nation,
with 2.002 million people. Some of the other major cities comprising
the Kansas City metro area in Missouri include Independence, Lee's Summit, Blue Springs, Raytown, Liberty, and Gladstone.
Branson is a major tourist attraction in the Ozarks of southwestern Missouri.
Image:09-01-06-bransonmaindrag.jpg|BransonImage:Cape dec29-07 (23).JPG|Cape
CityImage:St Joseph Missouri skyline.jpg|Saint JosephImage:St Louis night
LouisImage:Springfield, Missouri skyline,
Missouri State Board of Education
The Missouri State
Board of Education
has general authority over all public
education in the state of Missouri. It is made up of eight citizens
appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Missouri
Primary and secondary schools
Education is compulsory from ages seven to sixteen in Missouri,
commonly but not exclusively divided into three tiers of primary
and secondary education
: elementary school
, middle school
or junior high school
and high school
. The public schools system includes
kindergarten to 12th
grade. District territories are
often complex in structure. In some cases, elementary, middle and
junior high schools of a single district feed into high schools in
another district. High school athletics and competitions are
governed by the Missouri State
High School Activities Association
is legal in Missouri and
is an option to meet the compulsory education requirement. It is
neither monitored nor regulated by the state's Department of
Elementary and Secondary Education
A supplemental education program, the Missouri Scholars Academy
provides an extracurricular learning experience for gifted high
school students in the state of Missouri. The official MSA website
describes the goals of the Academy to be as such: "The academy
reflects Missouri's desire to strive for excellence in education at
all levels. The program is based on the premise that Missouri's
gifted youth must be provided with special opportunities for
learning and personal development in order for them to realize
their full potential."
Colleges and universities
University of Missouri
System is Missouri's statewide public university system, the
flagship institution and largest university in the state is the
of Missouri in Columbia. The others in the system are University of Missouri–Kansas
City, University of Missouri–St.
Louis, and Missouri University of Science and
Technology. Truman State University, Missouri's "premiere liberal arts and sciences
university," is the only public institution in the state with
highly selective admissions standards. A. T. Still University was the first osteopathic medical school in the world.
University of Medicine and Biosciences
, originally the
University of Health Sciences, was the first medical school in
highly rated private institutions include Washington
University in St. Louis and Saint Louis University.
University in Jefferson City is one of a number of historically black
colleges and universities.
Founded in 1866, it was
created by members of the 62nd and 65th United States Colored Troops
"Lincoln Institute", to provide education to freedmen. It was
created on a model of combining academics and labor. In 1921, the
state officially recognized the growth of Lincoln's undergraduate
and graduate programs by classifying it as a university. The
institution changed its name to "Lincoln University of Missouri."
In 1954, the university began to accept applicants of all
To develop new teachers for needed public schools, in 1905 the
state established a series of normal
at colleges in each region of the state. This was based
on the widely admired German model of public education. Normal
schools were for the training of teachers of students in
primary/elementary schools. The initial network consisted of Southeast
Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, Missouri State University (formerly Southwest Missouri State University)
in Springfield, Truman State University (formerly Northeast Missouri State University)
in Kirksville, Northwest Missouri State
University in Maryville, and University of Central
Missouri (formerly Central Missouri State University) in
Within several years, the normal school
curriculum expanded to a full four years of academic
There are numerous junior colleges, trade schools, church
universities and private universities in the state.
The state also funds a $2000, renewable merit-based scholarship,
given to the top 3 percent of Missouri High School graduates who
attend a university in-state.
c. border wars between Missouri and Kansas have continued as a
sports rivalry between the University of Missouri and University of Kansas.
The rivalry is chiefly expressed through
football and basketball games between the two universities. It is
the oldest college rivalry west of the Mississippi River
and the second oldest in
the nation. Each year when the universities meet to play, the game
is coined "Border War." An exchange occurs following the game where
the winner gets to take a historic marching band drum, which has
been passed back and forth for decades.
Former professional sports teams
Teams in Kansas City and St. Louis.
The use of the unofficial nickname the Show-Me State has several
possible origins. The phrase "I'm from Missouri" means I'm
skeptical of the matter and not easily convinced. This is related
to the state's unofficial motto of "Show Me," whose origin is
popularly ascribed to an 1899 speech by Congressman Willard Vandiver
, who declared that "I come
from a country that raises corn and cotton, cockleburs and
Democrats, and frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me.
I'm from Missouri, and you have got to show me." However, according
to researchers, the phrase was in circulation earlier in the 1890s.
According to another legend, the phrase was a reference to Missouri
miners brought to Leadville, Colorado to take the place of striking
miners and being unfamiliar with the mining methods there required
It has also been known as the Puke State, perhaps on account of an
1827 gathering at the Galena Lead Mines. George Earlie Shankle
"...so many Missourians had assembled, that those already there
declared the State of Missouri had taken a 'puke.'" Within the
state, “pukes” referred before the Civil War to impoverished
citizens who nonetheless supported slavery, the equivalent of “poor
white trash.” Walt Whitman
“pukes” as a nickname for Missourians.
is also known as "The Cave State" with over 6000 recorded caves
(second to Tennessee). Perry County has both the largest number of caves and the single
longest cave in the state.
Other nicknames include "The Lead State", "The Bullion State", "The
Ozark State", "Mother of the West", "The Iron Mountain State", and
"Pennsylvania of the West".
There is no official state nickname however the official state
motto is "Salus Populi Suprema Lex Esto,", Latin for "Let the
welfare of the people be the supreme law."
- Missouri. (2009). In Merriam-Webster
Online Dictionary. Retrieved May 13, 2009.
- Missouri QuickFacts, U.S. Census Bureau (July 1,
- Topic Galleries - chicagotribune.com
- Introduction to Missouri - The Show Me State
Capital Jefferson City
- McCafferty, Michael. 2004. Correction: Etymology of Missouri (restricted
access). American Speech, 79.1:32
- American Heritage Dictionary: Missouri
- Midwest Region Economy at a Glance
- UNC-CH surveys reveal where the ‘real' South
- Income Inequality in Missouri
- New York Times, "Louisiana: The Levee
System of the State", 10/8/1874; accessed 11/15/2007
- Hoffhaus. (1984). Chez Les Canses: Three Centuries at
Kawsmouth, Kansas City: Lowell Press. ISBN 0-913504-91-2.
- MISSOURI V. IOWA, 48 U. S. 660 (1849) - US
Supreme Court Cases from Justia & Oyez
- Meinig, D.W.
(1993). The Shaping of America: A Geographical Perspective on
500 Years of History, Volume 2: Continental America,
1800–1867. New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN
0-300-05658-3; pg. 437
- Historical Census Browser, 1860 Federal Census,
University of Virginia Library, accessed 21 March 2008
- http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/infrastructure/rw96h.cfm First
- 2001 American Religious Identification Survey,
City University of New York
- Missouri Secretary of State - State Archives -
Origin of "Show Me" slogan
- Mo. Rev. Stat. § 67.305
- Mo. Rev. Stat. § 311.170
- Mo. Rev. Stat. § 311.310
- Mo. Rev. Stat. § 311.086
- Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, State Excise
Tax Rates and Rankings, May 29, 2009
- "A burning issue," St. Louis Post-Dispatch, November
- "Best Cities for Smokers," Forbes
Magazine, November 1, 2007
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
"Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System - Adults who are
current smokers", September 19, 2008
- Mo. Rev. Stat. § 407.931.3
- Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services,
County Level Survey 2007: Secondhand Smoke for Missouri
Adults, October 1, 2008
- Mo. Rev. Stat. § 191.769
- Mo. Rev. Stat. § 290.145
- “ America's Best Colleges 2008: National
Universities: Top Schools.” USNews.com: . January 18,
- "I'm from Missouri -- Show Me."
- Origin of "Show Me" Slogan. Secretary of State, Missouri.
- State Names, Flags, Seals, Songs, Birds, Flowers and Other
- William G. Cutler, A History of the State of Kansas, Ch 6.
- A note first published by William White, W. L. McAtee and A. L.
H. in American Speech, Vol. 36, No. 4 (December, 1961), pp.
- "Introduction to Missouri", Netstate
- The Great Seal of Missouri, Secretary of State, Missouri.