Missouri

Missouri is a state in the Midwestern United States.[4] With over six million residents, it is the 18th-most populous state of the Union. The largest urban areas are St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield, and Columbia; the capital is Jefferson City. The state is the 21st-most extensive in area. In the South are the Ozarks, a forested highland, providing timber, minerals, and recreation. The Missouri River, after which the state is named, flows through the center of the state into the Mississippi River, which makes up Missouri's eastern border.

Humans have inhabited the land now known as Missouri for at least 12,000 years. The Mississippian culture built cities and mounds, before declining in the 14th century. When European explorers arrived in the 17th century they encountered the Osage and Missouria nations. The French established Louisiana, a part of New France, and founded Ste. Genevieve in 1735 and St. Louis in 1764. After a brief period of Spanish rule, the United States acquired the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. Americans from the Upland South, including enslaved African Americans, rushed into the new Missouri Territory. Missouri was admitted as a slave state as part of the Missouri Compromise. Many from Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee settled in the Boonslick area of Mid-Missouri. Soon after, heavy German immigration formed the Missouri Rhineland.

Missouri played a central role in the westward expansion of the United States, as memorialized by the Gateway Arch. The Pony Express, Oregon Trail, Santa Fe Trail, and California Trail all began in Missouri.[5] As a border state, Missouri's role in the American Civil War was complex and there were many conflicts within. After the war, both Greater St. Louis and the Kansas City metropolitan area became centers of industrialization and business. Today, the state is divided into 114 counties and the independent city of St. Louis.

Missouri's culture blends elements from the Midwestern and Southern United States. The musical styles of ragtime, Kansas City jazz, and St. Louis Blues developed in Missouri. The well-known Kansas City-style barbecue, and lesser-known St. Louis-style barbecue, can be found across the state and beyond. St. Louis is also a major center of beer brewing; Anheuser-Busch is the largest producer in the world. Missouri wine is produced in the nearby Missouri Rhineland and Ozarks. Missouri's alcohol laws are among the most permissive in the United States. Outside of the state's major cities, popular tourist destinations include the Lake of the Ozarks, Table Rock Lake, and Branson.

Well-known Missourians include U.S. President Harry S. Truman, Mark Twain, Walt Disney, Chuck Berry, and Nelly. Some of the largest companies based in the state include Cerner, Express Scripts, Monsanto, Emerson Electric, Edward Jones, H&R Block, Wells Fargo Advisors, and O'Reilly Auto Parts. Missouri has been called the "Mother of the West" and the "Cave State"; however, Missouri's most famous nickname is the "Show Me State."[6]

State of Missouri
Flag of Missouri State seal of Missouri
Flag Seal
Nickname(s):
Show Me State, Cave State, and Mother of the West
Motto(s): Salus populi suprema lex esto (Latin) Let the good of the people be the supreme law
State song(s): "Missouri Waltz"
Map of the United States with Missouri highlighted
Official languageEnglish
Spoken languages
DemonymMissourian
CapitalJefferson City
Largest cityKansas City
Largest metroGreater St. Louis
AreaRanked 21st
 • Total69,715 sq mi
(180,560 km2)
 • Width240 miles (390 km)
 • Length300 miles (480 km)
 • % water1.17
 • Latitude36° 0′ N to 40° 37′ N
 • Longitude89° 6′ W to 95° 46′ W
PopulationRanked 18th
 • Total6,126,452 (2018)
 • Density87.1/sq mi  (33.7/km2)
Ranked 30th
 • Median household income$59,196[1] (22nd)
Elevation
 • Highest pointTaum Sauk Mountain[2]
1,772 ft (540 m)
 • Mean800 ft  (244 m)
 • Lowest pointSt. Francis River at Arkansas border
230 ft (70 m)
Before statehoodMissouri Territory
Admission to UnionAugust 10, 1821 (24th)
GovernorMike Parson (R)
Lieutenant GovernorMike Kehoe (R)
LegislatureMissouri General Assembly
 • Upper houseSenate
 • Lower houseHouse of Representatives
U.S. SenatorsRoy Blunt (R)
Josh Hawley (R)
U.S. House delegation6 Republicans
2 Democrats (list)
Time zoneCentral: UTC −6/−5
ISO 3166US-MO
AbbreviationsMO, Mo.
Websitewww.mo.gov

Etymology and pronunciation

The state is named for the Missouri River, which was named after the indigenous Missouri Indians, a Siouan-language tribe. It is said that they were called the ouemessourita (wimihsoorita[7]), meaning "those who have dugout canoes", by the Miami-Illinois language speakers.[8] This appears to be folk etymology—the Illinois spoke an Algonquian language and the closest approximation that can be made in that of their close neighbors, the Ojibwe, is "You Ought to Go Downriver & Visit Those People."[9] This would be an odd occurrence, as the French who first explored & attempted to settle the Mississippi River usually got their translations during that time fairly accurate, often giving things French names that were exact translations of the native tongue(s).

Assuming Missouri were deriving from the Siouan language, it would translate as "It connects to the side of it," in reference to the river itself.[10] This isn't entirely likely either, as this would be coming out as "Maya Sunni" (Mah-yah soo-nee) Most likely, though, the name Missouri comes from Chiwere language, a fairly unique Siouan dialect spoken by people who resided in the modern day states of Wisconsin, Iowa, South Dakota, Missouri & Nebraska.

The name "Missouri" has several different pronunciations even among its present-day natives,[11] the two most common being /mɪˈzɜːri/ (listen) and /məˈzɜːrə/ (listen).[12] [13] Further pronunciations also exist in Missouri or elsewhere in the United States, involving the realization of the first syllable as either /mə-/ or /mɪ-/; the medial consonant as either /z/ or /s/; the vowel in the second syllable as either /ɜːr/ or /ʊər/;[14] and the third syllable as [i] (listen), [ə] (listen), centralized [ɪ̈] (listen)), or nothing.[13] Any combination of these phonetic realizations may be observed coming from speakers of American English.

The linguistic history was treated definitively by Donald M. Lance, who acknowledged that the question is sociologically complex, but that no pronunciation could be declared "correct", nor could any be clearly defined as native or outsider, rural or urban, southern or northern, educated or otherwise.[15] Politicians often employ multiple pronunciations, even during a single speech, to appeal to a greater number of listeners.[11] Often, informal respellings of the state's name, such as "Missour-ee" or "Missour-uh", are used informally to phonetically distinguish pronunciations.

Nicknames

There is no official state nickname.[16] However, Missouri's unofficial nickname is the "Show Me State", which appears on its license plates. This phrase has several origins. One is popularly ascribed to a speech by Congressman Willard Vandiver in 1899, who declared that "I come from a state 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." This is in keeping with the saying "I'm from Missouri" which means "I'm skeptical of the matter and not easily convinced."[17] However, according to researchers, the phrase "show me" was already in use before the 1890s.[18] Another one states that it is a reference to Missouri miners who were taken to Leadville, Colorado to replace striking workers. Since the new men were unfamiliar with the mining methods, they required frequent instruction.[16]

Other nicknames for Missouri include "The Lead State", "The Bullion State", "The Ozark State", "The Mother of the West", "The Iron Mountain State", and "Pennsylvania of the West".[19] It is also known as the "Cave State" because there are more than 6,000 recorded caves in the state (second to Tennessee). Perry County is the county with the largest number of caves and the single longest cave.[20]

The official state motto is Latin: "Salus Populi Suprema Lex Esto", which means "Let the welfare of the people be the supreme law."[21]

Geography

National-atlas-missouri
Missouri, showing major cities and roads.

Missouri is landlocked and borders eight different states as does its neighbor, Tennessee. No state in the U.S. touches more than eight. Missouri is bounded by Iowa on the north; by Illinois, Kentucky, and Tennessee across the Mississippi River on the east; on the south by Arkansas; and by Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska (the last across the Missouri River) on the west. Whereas the northern and southern boundaries are straight lines, the Missouri Bootheel protrudes southerly into Arkansas. The two largest rivers are the Mississippi (which defines the eastern boundary of the state) and the Missouri River (which flows from west to east through the state) essentially connecting the two largest metros of Kansas City and St. Louis.

Although today it is usually considered part of the Midwest,[22][23] Missouri was historically seen by many as a border state, chiefly because of the settlement of migrants from the South and its status as a slave state before the Civil War, balanced by the influence of St. Louis. The counties that made up "Little Dixie" were those along the Missouri River in the center of the state, settled by Southern migrants who held the greatest concentration of slaves.

In 2005, Missouri received 16,695,000 visitors to its national parks and other recreational areas totaling 101,000 acres (410 km2), giving it $7.41 million in annual revenues, 26.6% of its operating expenditures.[24]

Topography

US mo physiographic map
A physiographic map of Missouri

North of, and in some cases just south of, the Missouri River lie the Northern Plains that stretch into Iowa, Nebraska, and Kansas. Here, rolling hills remain from the glaciation that once extended from the Canadian Shield 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 St. Francois Mountains. This region also hosts karst topography characterized by high limestone content with the formation of sinkholes and caves.[25]

The southeastern part of the state is known as the Missouri Bootheel region, which is part of the Mississippi Alluvial Plain or Mississippi embayment. This region is the lowest, flattest, warmest, and wettest part of the state. It is also among the poorest, as the economy there is mostly agricultural.[26] It is also the most fertile, with cotton and rice crops predominant. The Bootheel was the epicenter of the four New Madrid Earthquakes of 1811 and 1812.

Climate

Missouri Köppen
Köppen climate types of Missouri

Missouri generally has a humid continental climate with cold snowy winters and hot, humid, and wet summers. In the southern part of the state, particularly in the Bootheel, the climate becomes humid subtropical. Located in the interior United States, Missouri often experiences extreme 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. Missouri's highest recorded temperature is 118 °F (48 °C) at Warsaw and Union on July 14, 1954, while the lowest recorded temperature is −40 °F (−40 °C) also at Warsaw on February 13, 1905.

Located in Tornado Alley, Missouri also receives extreme weather in the form of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes. The most recent tornado in the state to cause damage and casualties was the 2011 Joplin tornado, which destroyed roughly one-third of the city of Joplin. The tornado caused an estimated $1–3 billion in damages, killed 159 (+1 non-tornadic), and injured over 1,000 people. It was the first EF5 to hit the state since 1957 and the deadliest in the U.S. since 1947, making it the seventh deadliest tornado in American history and 27th deadliest in the world. St. Louis and its suburbs also have a history of experiencing particularly severe tornadoes, the most recent memorable one being an EF4 tornado that damaged Lambert-St. Louis International Airport on April 22, 2011. One of the worst tornadoes in American history struck St. Louis on May 27, 1896, killing at least 255 and causing $10 mil. damage ($3.9 bil. damage in 2009) or $4.55 billion in today's dollars.

Monthly normal high and low temperatures for various Missouri cities in °F (°C).
City Avg. Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Columbia High 37
(3)
44
(7)
55
(13)
66
(19)
75
(24)
84
(29)
89
(32)
87
(31)
79
(26)
68
(20)
53
(12)
42
(6)
65.0
(18.3)
Columbia Low 18
(−8)
23
(−5)
33
(1)
43
(6)
53
(12)
62
(17)
66
(19)
64
(18)
55
(13)
44
(7)
33
(1)
22
(−6)
43.0
(6.1)
Kansas City High 36
(2)
43
(6)
54
(12)
65
(18)
75
(24)
84
(29)
89
(32)
87
(31)
79
(26)
68
(20)
52
(11)
40
(4)
64.4
(18.0)
Kansas City Low 18
(−8)
23
(−5)
33
(1)
44
(7)
54
(12)
63
(17)
68
(20)
66
(19)
57
(14)
46
(8)
33
(1)
22
(−6)
44.0
(6.7)
Springfield High 42
(6)
48
(9)
58
(14)
68
(20)
76
(24)
85
(29)
90
(32)
90
(32)
81
(27)
71
(22)
56
(13)
46
(8)
67.6
(19.8)
Springfield Low 22
(−6)
26
(−3)
35
(2)
44
(7)
53
(12)
62
(17)
67
(19)
66
(19)
57
(14)
46
(8)
35
(2)
26
(−3)
45.0
(7.2)
St. Louis High 40
(4)
45
(7)
56
(13)
67
(19)
76
(24)
85
(29)
89
(32)
88
(31)
80
(27)
69
(21)
56
(13)
43
(6)
66.2
(19.0)
St. Louis Low 24
(−4)
28
(−2)
37
(3)
47
(8)
57
(14)
67
(19)
71
(22)
69
(21)
61
(16)
49
(9)
38
(3)
27
(−3)
48.0
(8.9)
Source:[27]

Wildlife

Lower Missouri River
Missouri River near Rocheport, Missouri

Missouri is home to a diversity of both flora and fauna. There is a large amount of fresh water present due to the Mississippi River, Missouri River, Table Rock Lake and Lake of the Ozarks, with numerous smaller tributary rivers, streams, and lakes. North of the Missouri River, the state is primarily rolling hills of the Great Plains, whereas south of the Missouri River, the state is dominated by the Oak-Hickory Central U.S. hardwood forest.

History

External video
Westminster College gym from NE 1
Missouri, Westminister College Gymnasium in Fulton, Missouri

Indigenous peoples inhabited Missouri for thousands of years before European exploration and settlement. Archaeological excavations along the rivers have shown continuous habitation for more than 7,000 years. Beginning before 1000 CE, there arose 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 long before the arrival of Europeans. St. Louis was at one time known as Mound City by the European Americans, because of the numerous surviving prehistoric mounds, since lost to urban development. The Mississippian culture left mounds throughout the middle Mississippi and Ohio river valleys, extending into the southeast as well as the upper river.

Gateway Arch edit1
The Gateway Arch in St. Louis

The first European settlers were mostly ethnic French Canadians, who created their first settlement in Missouri at present-day Ste. Genevieve, about an hour south of St. Louis. They had migrated about 1750 from the Illinois Country. They came from colonial villages on the east side of the Mississippi River, where soils were becoming exhausted and there was insufficient river bottom land for the growing population. Sainte-Geneviève became a thriving agricultural center, producing enough surplus wheat, corn and tobacco to ship tons of grain annually downriver to Lower Louisiana for trade. Grain production in the Illinois Country was critical to the survival of Lower Louisiana and especially the city of New Orleans.

St. Louis was founded soon after by French fur traders, Pierre Laclède and stepson Auguste Chouteau from New Orleans in 1764. From 1764 to 1803, European control of the area west of the Mississippi to the northernmost part of the Missouri River basin, called Louisiana, was assumed by the Spanish as part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain, due to Treaty of Fontainebleau[28] (in order to have Spain join with France in the war against England). The arrival of the Spanish in St. Louis was in September 1767.

St. Louis became the center of a regional fur trade with Native American tribes that extended up the Missouri and Mississippi rivers, which dominated the regional economy for decades. Trading partners of major firms shipped their furs from St. Louis by river down to New Orleans for export to Europe. They provided a variety of goods to traders, for sale and trade with their Native American clients. The fur trade and associated businesses made St. Louis an early financial center and provided the wealth for some to build fine houses and import luxury items. Its location near the confluence of the Illinois River meant it also handled produce from the agricultural areas. River traffic and trade along the Mississippi were integral to the state's economy, and as the area's first major city, St. Louis expanded greatly after the invention of the steamboat and the increased river trade.

Nineteenth century

Napoleon Bonaparte had gained Louisiana for French ownership from Spain in 1800 under the Treaty of San Ildefonso, after it had been a Spanish colony since 1762. But the treaty was kept secret. Louisiana remained nominally under Spanish control until a transfer of power to France on November 30, 1803, just three weeks before the cession to the United States.

Part of the 1803 Louisiana Purchase by the United States, Missouri earned the nickname Gateway to the West because it served as a major departure point for expeditions and settlers heading to the West during the 19th century. St. Charles, just west of St. Louis, was the starting point and the return destination of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, which ascended the Missouri River in 1804, in order to explore the western lands to the Pacific Ocean. St. Louis was a major supply point for decades, for parties of settlers heading west.

As many of the early settlers in western Missouri migrated from the Upper South, they brought enslaved African Americans as agricultural laborers, and they desired 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 1821 the former Missouri Territory was admitted as a slave state, in accordance with the Missouri Compromise, and with a temporary state capital in St. Charles. In 1826, the capital was shifted to its current, permanent location of Jefferson City, also on the Missouri River.

The state was rocked by the 1811–12 New Madrid earthquakes. Casualties were few due to the sparse population.

Originally the state's western border was a straight line, defined as the meridian passing through the Kawsmouth,[29] 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.[30] In 1836 the Platte Purchase 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 66,500 square miles (172,000 km2) to Virginia's 65,000 square miles, which then included West Virginia).[31]

In the early 1830s, Mormon migrants from northern states and Canada began settling near Independence and areas just north of there. Conflicts over religion and slavery arose between the 'old settlers' (mainly from the South) and the Mormons (mainly from the North). The Mormon War erupted in 1838. By 1839, with the help of an "Extermination Order" by Governor Lilburn Boggs, the old settlers forcefully expelled the Mormons from Missouri and confiscated their lands.

Conflicts over slavery exacerbated border tensions among the states and territories. From 1838 to 1839, a border dispute with Iowa over the so-called Honey Lands resulted in both states' calling-up of militias along the border.

With increasing migration, from the 1830s to the 1860s Missouri's population almost doubled with every decade. Most of the newcomers were American-born, but many Irish and German immigrants arrived in the late 1840s and 1850s. As a majority were Catholic, they set up their own religious institutions in the state, which had been mostly Protestant. Having fled famine and oppression in Ireland, and revolutionary upheaval in Germany, the immigrants were not sympathetic to slavery. Many settled in cities, where they created a regional and then state network of Catholic churches and schools. Nineteenth-century German immigrants created the wine industry along the Missouri River and the beer industry in St. Louis.

Most Missouri farmers practiced subsistence farming before the American Civil War. The majority of those who held slaves had fewer than five each. Planters, defined by some historians as those holding twenty slaves or more, were concentrated in the counties known as "Little Dixie", in the central part of the state along the Missouri River. The tensions over slavery chiefly had 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.[32] In order to control the flooding of farmland and low-lying villages along the Mississippi, the state had completed construction of 140 miles (230 km) of levees along the river by 1860.[33]

American Civil War

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 struck first, encircling the camp and forcing the state troops to surrender. Lyon 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 Massacre".

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 Union General Lyon's rapid advance through the state, Jackson and Price were forced to flee the capital of Jefferson City on June 14, 1861. In the town of Neosho, Missouri, Jackson called the state legislature into session. They enacted a secession ordinance. However, even under the Southern view of secession, only the state convention had the power to secede. Since the convention was dominated by unionists, and the state was more pro-Union than pro-Confederate in any event, the ordinance of secession adopted by the legislature is generally given little credence. The Confederacy nonetheless recognized it on October 30, 1861.

With the elected governor absent from the capital and the legislators largely dispersed, the state convention was reassembled with most of its members present, save 20 that fled south with Jackson's forces. The convention declared all offices vacant, and installed Hamilton Gamble as the new governor of Missouri. President Lincoln's administration immediately recognized Gamble's government as the legal Missouri government. The federal government's decision enabled raising pro-Union militia forces for service within the state as well as volunteer regiments for the Union Army.

Fighting 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. After winning victories at the battle of Wilson's Creek and the siege of Lexington, Missouri and suffering losses elsewhere, the Confederate forces retreated to Arkansas and later Marshall, Texas, in the face of a largely reinforced Union Army.

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 warfare. "Citizen soldiers" or insurgents such as Captain William Quantrill, Frank and Jesse James, 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 portions of the Confederacy occupied by the Union during the Civil War. Historians have portrayed stories of the James brothers' outlaw years as an American "Robin Hood" myth.[34] The vigilante activities of the Bald Knobbers of the Ozarks in the 1880s were an unofficial continuation of insurgent mentality long after the official end of the war, and they are a favorite theme in Branson's self-image.[35]

PASSENGERS JAM THE INTERIOR OF THE ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI, UNION STATION IN A COPYRIGHTED PICTURE TAKEN BY B.A. ATWATER... - NARA - 556056
Union Station in St. Louis was the largest and busiest train station in the world when it opened in 1894.
Child workers in Kirksville, MO
Child shoe workers in Kirksville, Missouri, 1910. Photographed by Lewis Hine as part of the Progressive Era fight against child labor.

Twentieth century

The Progressive Era (1890s to 1920s) saw numerous prominent leaders from Missouri trying to end corruption and modernize politics, government and society. Joseph "Holy Joe" Folk was a key leader who made a strong appeal to middle class and rural evangelical Protestants. Folk was elected governor as a progressive reformer and Democrat in the 1904 election. He promoted what he called "the Missouri Idea", the concept of Missouri as a leader in public morality through popular control of law and strict enforcement. He successfully conducted antitrust prosecutions, ended free railroad passes for state officials, extended bribery statutes, improved election laws, required formal registration for lobbyists, made racetrack gambling illegal, and enforced the Sunday-closing law. He helped enact Progressive legislation, including an initiative and referendum provision, regulation of elections, education, employment and child labor, railroads, food, business, and public utilities. A number of efficiency-oriented examiner boards and commissions were established during Folk's administration, including many agricultural boards and the Missouri library commission.[36]

Between the Civil War and the end of World War II, Missouri transitioned from a rural economy to a hybrid industrial-service-agricultural economy as the Midwest rapidly industrialized. The expansion of railroads to the West transformed Kansas City into a major transportation hub within the nation. The growth of the Texas cattle industry along with this increased rail infrastructure and the invention of the refrigerated boxcar also made Kansas City a major meatpacking center, as large cattle drives from Texas brought herds of cattle to Dodge City and other Kansas towns. There, the cattle were loaded onto trains destined for Kansas City, where they were butchered and distributed to the eastern markets. The first half of the twentieth century was the height of Kansas City's prominence and its downtown became a showcase for stylish Art Deco skyscrapers as construction boomed.

In 1930, there was a diphtheria epidemic in the area around Springfield, which killed approximately 100 people. Serum was rushed to the area, and medical personnel stopped the epidemic.

During the mid-1950s and 1960s, St. Louis and Kansas City suffered deindustrialization and loss of jobs in railroads and manufacturing, as did other Midwestern industrial cities. In 1956 St. Charles claims to be the site of the first interstate highway project.[37] Such highway construction made it easy for middle-class residents to leave the city for newer housing developed in the suburbs, often former farmland where land was available at lower prices. These major cities have gone through decades of readjustment to develop different economies and adjust to demographic changes. Suburban areas have developed separate job markets, both in knowledge industries and services, such as major retail malls.

Twenty-first century

In 2014, Missouri received national attention for the protests and riots that followed the shooting of Michael Brown by a police officer of Ferguson,[38][39][40] which led Governor Jay Nixon to call out the Missouri National Guard.[41][42] A grand jury declined to indict the officer, and the U.S. Department of Justice concluded, after careful investigation, that the police officer legitimately feared for his safety.[43] However, in a separate investigation, the Department of Justice also found that the Ferguson Police Department and the City of Ferguson relied on unconstitutional practices in order to balance the city's budget through racially motivated excessive fines and punishments,[44] that the Ferguson police "had used excessive and dangerous force and had disproportionately targeted blacks,"[45] and that the municipal court "emphasized revenue over public safety, leading to routine breaches of citizens' constitutional guarantees of due process and equal protection under the law."[46]

A series of student protests at the University of Missouri against what the protesters viewed as poor response by the administration to racist incidents on campus began in September 2015.[47][48]

On June 7, 2017, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People issued a warning to prospective African-American travelers to Missouri. This is the first NAACP warning ever covering an entire state.[49][50] According to a 2018 report by the Missouri Attorney General's office, for the past 18 years, "African Americans, Hispanics and other people of color are disproportionately affected by stops, searches and arrests."[51] The same report found that the biggest discrepancy was in 2017, when "black motorists were 85% more likely to be pulled over in traffic stops".[52]

Demographics

Missouri population map (2000)
Missouri population density map.
Historical population
Census Pop.
181019,783
182066,586236.6%
1830140,455110.9%
1840383,702173.2%
1850682,04477.8%
18601,182,01273.3%
18701,721,29545.6%
18802,168,38026.0%
18902,679,18523.6%
19003,106,66516.0%
19103,293,3356.0%
19203,404,0553.4%
19303,629,3676.6%
19403,784,6644.3%
19503,954,6534.5%
19604,319,8139.2%
19704,676,5018.3%
19804,916,6865.1%
19905,117,0734.1%
20005,595,2119.3%
20105,988,9277.0%
Est. 20186,126,4522.3%
Source: 1910–2010[53]
2018 estimate[54]

The United States Census Bureau estimates that the population of Missouri was 6,126,452 on July 1, 2018, a 2.30% increase since the 2010 United States Census.[54]

Missouri had a population of 5,988,927, according to the 2010 Census; an increase of 137,525 (2.3 percent) since the year 2010. From 2010 to 2018, 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 into the state. Immigration 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 (3,294,936 people, or 55.0%) live within the state's two largest metropolitan areas–St. Louis and Kansas City. The state's population density 86.9 in 2009, is also closer to the national average (86.8 in 2009) than any other state.

In 2011, the racial composition of the state was:

In 2011, 3.7% of the total population was of Hispanic or Latino origin (they may be of any race).[55]

The U.S. Census of 2010 found that the population center of the United States is in Texas County, while the 2000 Census found the mean population center to be in Phelps County. The center of population of Missouri is in Osage County, in the city of Westphalia.[59]

In 2004, the population included 194,000 foreign-born (3.4 percent of the state population).

The five largest ancestry groups in Missouri are: German (27.4 percent), Irish (14.8 percent), English (10.2 percent), American (8.5 percent) and French (3.7 percent).

German Americans are an ancestry group present throughout Missouri. African Americans are a substantial part of the population in St. Louis (56.6% of African Americans in the state lived in St. Louis or St. Louis County as of the 2010 census), Kansas City, Boone County and in the southeastern Bootheel and some parts of the Missouri River Valley, where plantation agriculture was once important. Missouri Creoles of French ancestry are concentrated in the Mississippi River Valley south of St. Louis (see Missouri French). Kansas City is home to large and growing immigrant communities from Latin America esp. Mexico and Colombia, Africa (i.e. Sudan, Somalia and Nigeria), and Southeast Asia including China and the Philippines; and Europe like the former Yugoslavia (see Bosnian American). A notable Cherokee Indian population exists in Missouri.

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 2010, there were 2,349,955 households in Missouri, with 2.45 people per household. The home ownership rate was 70.0 percent, and the median value of an owner-occupied housing unit was $137,700. The median household income for 2010 was $46,262, or $24,724 per capita. There were 14.0 percent (1,018,118) of Missourians living below the poverty line in 2010.

The mean commute time to work was 23.8 minutes.

Birth data

In 2011, 28.1% of Missouri's population younger than age 1 were minorities.[60]

Note: Births in table don't add up, because Hispanics are counted both by their ethnicity and by their race, giving a higher overall number.

Live Births by Single Race/Ethnicity of Mother
Race 2013[61] 2014[62] 2015[63] 2016[64] 2017[65]
White: 61,097 (81.1%) 60,968 (80.9%) 60,913 (81.1%) ... ...
> Non-Hispanic White 57,361 (76.2%) 57,150 (75.8%) 57,092 (76.1%) 55,455 (74.2%) 53,800 (73.7%)
Black 11,722 (15.6%) 11,783 (15.6%) 11,660 (15.5%) 10,445 (14.0%) 10,495 (14.4%)
Asian 2,075 (2.8%) 2,186 (2.9%) 2,129 (2.8%) 1,852 (2.5%) 1,773 (2.4%)
Pacific Islander ... ... ... 199 (0.3%) 183 (0.3%)
American Indian 402 (0.5%) 423 (0.6%) 359 (0.5%) 156 (0.2%) 167 (0.2%)
Hispanic (of any race) 3,931 (5.2%) 3,959 (5.3%) 4,042 (5.4%) 4,136 (5.5%) 4,156 (5.7%)
Total Missouri 75,296 (100%) 75,360 (100%) 75,061 (100%) 74,705 (100%) 73,034 (100%)
  • Since 2016, data for births of White Hispanic origin are not collected, but included in one Hispanic group; persons of Hispanic origin may be of any race.

Language

The vast majority of people in Missouri speak English. Approximately 5.1% of the population reported speaking a language other than English at home. The Spanish language is spoken in small Latino communities in the St. Louis and Kansas City Metro areas.[66]

Missouri is home to an endangered dialect of the French language known as Missouri French. Speakers of the dialect, who call themselves Créoles, are descendants of the French pioneers who settled the area then known as the Illinois Country beginning in the late 17th century. It developed in isolation from French speakers in Canada and Louisiana, becoming quite distinct from the varieties of Canadian French and Louisiana Creole French. Once widely spoken throughout the area, Missouri French is now nearly extinct, with only a few elderly speakers able to use it.[67][68]

Religion

According to a Pew Research study[69] conducted in 2014, 80% of Missourians identify with a religion. 77% affiliate with Christianity and its various denominations, and the other 3% are adherents of non-Christian religions. The remaining 20% have no religion, with 2% specifically identifying as atheists and 3% identifying as agnostics (the other 15% do not identify as "anything in particular").

Broken down, the religious demographics of Missouri are as follows:

  • Christian – 77%
    • Protestant - 58%
      • Evangelical Protestant – 36%
      • Mainline Protestant – 16%
      • Historically Black Protestant – 6%
    • Catholic – 16%
    • Mormon – 1%
    • Orthodox Christian – <1%
    • Jehovah's Witness – <1%
    • Other Christian – <1%
  • Non-Christian Religions – 3%
    • Jewish – <1%
    • Muslim – <1%
    • Buddhist – 1%
    • Hindu – <1%
    • Other World Religions – <1%
  • Unaffiliated (No religion) – 20%
    • Atheist – 2%
    • Agnostic – 3%
    • Nothing in particular – 15%
  • Don't know – <1%

The largest denominations by number of adherents in 2010 were the Southern Baptist Convention with 749,685; the Roman Catholic Church with 724,315; and the United Methodist Church with 226,409.[70]

Among the other denominations there are approximately 93,000 Mormons in 253 congregations, 25,000 Jewish adherents in 21 synagogues, 12,000 Muslims in 39 masjids, 7,000 Buddhists in 34 temples, 20,000 Hindus in 17 temples, 2,500 Unitarians in 9 congregations, 2,000 Baha'i in 17 temples, 5 Sikh temples, a Zoroastrian temple, a Jain temple and an uncounted number of neopagans.[71]

Several religious organizations have headquarters in Missouri, including the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod, which has its headquarters in Kirkwood, as well as the United Pentecostal Church International in Hazelwood, both outside St. Louis.

Independence, near Kansas City, is the headquarters for the Community of Christ (formerly the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints), the Church of Christ (Temple Lot) and the group Remnant 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 (LDS Church), which maintains several sites and visitors centers.

Springfield is the headquarters of the Assemblies of God USA and the Baptist Bible Fellowship International. The General Association of General Baptists has its headquarters in Poplar Bluff. The Unity Church is headquartered in Unity Village.

Hindu Temple of St. Louis is the largest Hindu Temple in Missouri, serving over 14,000 Hindus.

Economy

Missouri quarter, reverse side, 2003
Commemorative US quarter featuring the Lewis and Clark expedition

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis estimated Missouri's 2016 gross state product at $299.1 billion, ranking 22nd among U.S. states.[72] Per capita personal income in 2006 was $32,705,[24] ranking 26th in the nation. Major industries include aerospace, transportation equipment, food processing, chemicals, printing/publishing, electrical equipment, light manufacturing, financial services and beer.

The agriculture products of the state are beef, soybeans, pork, dairy products, hay, corn, poultry, sorghum, cotton, 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, and it is ranked fourth in the nation for the production of rice. In 2001, there were 108,000 farms, the second-largest number in any state after Texas. Missouri actively promotes its rapidly growing wine industry. According to the Missouri Partnership, Missouri's agriculture industry contributes $33 billion in GDP to Missouri's economy, and generates $88 billion in sales and more than 378,000 jobs.[73]

Missouri has vast quantities of limestone. Other resources mined are lead, coal, and crushed stone. Missouri produces the most lead of all of the states. Most of the lead mines are in the central eastern portion of the state. Missouri also ranks first or near first in the production of lime, a key ingredient in Portland cement.

Missouri also has a growing science, agricultural technology and biotechnology field. Monsanto, one of the largest biotech companies in America, is based in St. Louis.

America-the-Beautiful-Quarters-Ozark-Riverways-Missouri
America the Beautiful US Quarter featuring the Ozark Scenic Riverways

Tourism, services and wholesale/retail trade follow manufacturing in importance. Tourism benefits from the many rivers, lakes, caves, parks, etc. throughout the state. In addition to a network of state parks, Missouri is home to the Gateway Arch National Park in St. Louis and the Ozark National Scenic Riverways National Park. A much-visited show cave is Meramec Caverns in Stanton, Missouri.

Greatestshowunderearth
Meramec Caverns

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 Arkansas).[74]

New Federal Reserve Bank Kansas City MO
The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City services the western portion of Missouri, as well as all of Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado, and northern New Mexico

The state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in April 2017 was 3.9 percent.[75] In 2017, Missouri became a right-to-work state,[76] but in August 2018, Missouri voters rejected a right-to-work law with 67% to 33%.[77][78][79]

Taxation

Personal income is taxed in ten different earning brackets, ranging from 1.5% to 6.0%. Missouri's sales tax rate for most items is 4.225% with some additional local levies. More than 2,500 Missouri local governments rely on property taxes levied on real property (real estate) 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 and limited Missouri estate tax related to federal estate tax collection.

In 2017, the Tax Foundation rated Missouri as having the 5th-best corporate tax index,[80] and the 15th-best overall tax climate.[80] Missouri's corporate income tax rate is 6.25%; however, 50% of federal income tax payments may be deducted before computing taxable income, leading to an effective rate of 5.2%.[81]

Energy

In 2012, Missouri had roughly 22,000 MW of installed electricity generation capacity.[82] In 2011, 82% of Missouri's electricity was generated by coal.[83] Ten percent was generated from the state's only nuclear power plant,[83] the Callaway Plant in Callaway County, northeast of Jefferson City. Five percent was generated by natural gas.[83] One percent was generated by hydroelectric sources,[83] such as the dams for Truman Lake and Lake of the Ozarks. Missouri has a small but growing amount of wind and solar power—wind capacity increased from 309 MW in 2009 to 459 MW in 2011, while photovoltaics have increased from 0.2 MW to 1.3 MW over the same period.[84][85] As of 2016, Missouri's solar installations had reached 141 MW.[86]

Oil wells in Missouri produced 120,000 barrels of crude oil in fiscal 2012.[87] There are no oil refineries in Missouri.[85][88]

Transportation

Airports

Missouri has two major airport hubs: Lambert–St. Louis International Airport and Kansas City International Airport. Southern Missouri has the Springfield–Branson National Airport (SGF) with multiple non-stop destinations.[89] Residents of Mid-Missouri use Columbia Regional Airport (COU) to fly to Chicago (ORD), Dallas (DFW) or Denver (DEN).[90]

Rail

Kirkwood Train Station
Amtrak station in Kirkwood.

Two of the nation's three busiest rail centers are in Missouri. Kansas City is a major railroad hub for BNSF Railway, Norfolk Southern Railway, Kansas City Southern Railway, and Union Pacific Railroad, and every class 1 railroad serves Missouri. Kansas City is the second largest freight rail center in the US (but is first in the amount of tonnage handled). Like Kansas City, St. Louis is a major destination for train freight. Springfield remains an operational hub for BNSF Railway.

KC Streetcar (26813012241)
Kansas City Streetcar crossing Main Street near Union Station

Amtrak passenger trains serve Kansas City, La Plata, Jefferson City, St. Louis, Lee's Summit, Independence, Warrensburg, Hermann, Washington, Kirkwood, Sedalia, and Poplar Bluff. A proposed high-speed rail route in Missouri as part of the Chicago Hub Network has received $31 million in funding.[91]

The only urban light rail/subway system operating in Missouri is MetroLink, which connects the city of St. Louis with suburbs in Illinois and St. Louis County. It is one of the largest systems (by track mileage) in the United States. The KC Streetcar in downtown Kansas City opened in May 2016.[92]

The Gateway Multimodal Transportation Center in St. Louis is the largest active multi-use transportation center in the state. It is in downtown St. Louis, next to the historic Union Station complex. It serves as a hub center/station for MetroLink, the MetroBus regional bus system, Greyhound, Amtrak, and taxi services.

Bus

Many cities have regular fixed-route systems, and many rural counties have rural public transit services. Greyhound and Trailways provide inter-city bus service in Missouri. Megabus serves St. Louis, but discontinued service to Columbia and Kansas City in 2015.[93]

Rivers

The 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 locks and dams to avoid rocks and deepen the river. St. Louis is a major destination for barge traffic on the Mississippi.

Roads

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 2,200 miles (3,500 km) of highways up to good condition by December 2007. From 2006 to 2010 traffic deaths have decreased annually from 1,257 in 2005, to 1,096 in 2006, to 992 for 2007, to 960 for 2008, to 878 in 2009, to 821 in 2010.[94]

Law and government

Missouri Government
Governor of Missouri Mike Parson (R)
Lieutenant Governor of Missouri: Mike Kehoe (R)
Missouri Secretary of State: Jay Ashcroft (R)
Missouri State Auditor: Nicole Galloway (D)
Missouri State Treasurer: Scott Fitzpatrick (R)
Missouri Attorney General: Eric Schmitt (R)
United States Senator: Josh Hawley (R)
United States Senator: Roy Blunt (R)

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. The legislative branch consists of two bodies: the House of Representatives and the Senate. These bodies comprise the Missouri General Assembly.

The House of Representatives has 163 members who are apportioned based on the last decennial census. 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 trial courts. The executive branch is headed by the Governor of Missouri and includes five other statewide elected offices. Following the death of Tom Schweich in 2015, only one of Missouri's statewide elected offices are held by Democrats.

Harry S Truman (1884–1972), the 33rd President of the United States (Democrat, 1945–1953), was born in Lamar. He was a judge in Jackson County and then represented the state in the United States Senate for ten years, before being elected Vice-President in 1944. He lived in Independence after retiring.

Former status as a political bellwether

Missouri was widely regarded as a bellwether in American politics, often making it a swing state. The state had a longer stretch of supporting the winning presidential candidate than any other state, having voted with the nation in every election from 1904 to 2004 with a single exception: 1956, when Democratic candidate Adlai Stevenson of neighboring Illinois lost the election despite carrying Missouri. However, in recent years, areas of the state outside Kansas City, St. Louis, and Columbia have shifted heavily to the right, and so the state is no longer considered a bellwether by most analysts. Missouri twice voted against Democrat Barack Obama, who won in 2008 and 2012. Missouri voted for Romney by nearly 10% in 2012.

On October 24, 2012, there were 4,190,936 registered voters.[95] At the state level, both Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill and Democratic Governor Jay Nixon were re-elected. On November 8, 2016, there were 4,223,787 registered voters, with 2,811,549 voting (66.6%).[96]

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".[97] As a result, and combined with the fact that Missouri is one of America's leading alcohol states, regulation of alcohol and tobacco in Missouri is among the most laissez-faire in America. For 2013, the annual "Freedom in the 50 States" study prepared by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University ranked Missouri as #3 in America for alcohol freedom and #1 for tobacco freedom (#7 for freedom overall).[98] The study notes that Missouri's "alcohol regime is one of the least restrictive in the United States, with no blue laws and taxes well below average", and that "Missouri ranks best in the nation on tobacco freedom".[98]

Missouri law makes it "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.[99]

With a large German immigrant population and the development of a brewing industry, Missouri always has had among the most permissive alcohol laws in the United States. It never enacted statewide prohibition. Missouri 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 or prohibition on drinking in public, no alcohol-related blue laws, no local option, no precise locations for selling liquor by the package (allowing even drug stores and gas stations to sell any kind of liquor), and no differentiation of laws based on alcohol percentage. State law protects persons from arrest or criminal penalty for public intoxication.[100]

Missouri law expressly prohibits any jurisdiction from going dry.[101] Missouri law also expressly allows parents and guardians to serve alcohol to their children.[102] 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).[103]

As for tobacco (as of July 2016), Missouri has the lowest cigarette excise taxes in the United States, at 17 cents per pack,[104] and the state electorate voted in 2002, 2006, 2012, and twice in 2016 to keep it that way.[105][106] In 2007, Forbes named Missouri's largest metropolitan area, St. Louis, America's "best city for smokers".[107][108]

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%.[109] 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.[110]

No statewide smoking ban 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.[111] Missouri state law permits restaurants seating less than 50 people, bars, bowling alleys, and billiard parlors to decide their own smoking policies, without limitation.[112]

United States presidential election in Missouri, 2016
Treemap of the popular vote by county, 2016 presidential election.

Counties

Missouri-governor-mansion
Missouri Governor's Mansion in Jefferson City is on the US National Register of Historic Places

Missouri has 114 counties and one independent city (St. Louis).

The largest county by size is Texas County (1,179 sq. miles) and Shannon County is second (1,004 sq. miles). Worth County is the smallest (266 sq. miles). The independent city of St. Louis has only 62 square miles (160 km2) of area. St. Louis City is the most densely populated area (5,140.1 per sq. mi.) in Missouri.

The largest county by population (2017 estimate) is St. Louis County (996,726 residents), with Jackson County second (698,895 residents), St. Charles third (395,504), and St. Louis fourth (308,626). Worth County is the least populous with 2,057 (2017 estimate) residents.

Cities and towns

Jefferson City is the capital of Missouri.

The five largest cities in Missouri are Kansas City, St. Louis, Springfield, Columbia, and Independence.[113]

St. Louis is the principal city of the largest metropolitan area in Missouri, composed of 17 counties and the independent city of St. Louis; eight of those counties lie in Illinois. As of 2017 St. Louis was the 21st-largest metropolitan area in the nation with 2.81 million people. However, if ranked using Combined Statistical Area, it is 19th-largest with 2.91 million people in 2017. Some of the major cities making up the St. Louis Metro area in Missouri are O'Fallon, St. Charles, St. Peters, Florissant, Chesterfield, Wentzville, Wildwood, University City, and Ballwin.

Kansas 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. As of 2017, it was the 30th-largest metropolitan area in the nation, with 2.13 million people. In the Combined Statistical Area in 2017, it ranked 25th with 2.47 million. Some of the other major cities comprising the Kansas City metro area in Missouri include Independence, Lee's Summit, Blue Springs, Liberty, Raytown, Gladstone, and Grandview.

Springfield is Missouri's third-largest city and the principal city of the Springfield-Branson Metropolitan Area, which has a population of 549,423 and includes seven counties in southwestern Missouri. Branson is a major tourist attraction in the Ozarks of southwestern Missouri. Some of the other major cities comprising the Springfield-Branson metro area include Nixa, Ozark, and Republic.

Education

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 Senate.

Primary and secondary schools

Education is compulsory from ages seven to seventeen, and it is required that any parent, guardian or other person with custody of a child between the ages of seven and seventeen the compulsory attendance age for the district, must ensure that the child is enrolled in and regularly attends public, private, parochial school, home school or a combination of schools for the full term of the school year. Compulsory attendance also ends when children complete sixteen credits in high school.

Children in Missouri between the ages of five and seven are not required to be enrolled in school. However, if they are enrolled in a public school their parent, guardian or custodian must ensure that they regularly attend.

Missouri schools are 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 (MSHSAA).

Homeschooling 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[114]

Another gifted school is the Missouri Academy of Science, Mathematics and Computing, which is at the Northwest Missouri State University.

Colleges and universities

The University of Missouri System is Missouri's statewide public university system. The flagship institution and largest university in the state is the University 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 in Rolla.

During the late nineteenth and early twentieth century the state established a series of normal schools in each region of the state, originally named after the geographic districts: Northeast Missouri State University (now Truman State University) (1867), Central Missouri State University (now the University of Central Missouri) (1871), Southeast Missouri State University (1873), Southwest Missouri State University (now Missouri State University) (1905), Northwest Missouri State University (1905), Missouri Western State University (1915), Maryville University (1872) and Missouri Southern State University (1937). Lincoln University and Harris–Stowe State University were established in the mid-nineteenth century and are historically black colleges and universities.

Among private institutions Washington University in St. Louis and Saint Louis University are two top ranked schools in the US.[115] There are numerous junior colleges, trade schools, church universities and other private universities in the state. A.T. Still University was the first osteopathic medical school in the world. Hannibal–LaGrange University in Hannibal, Missouri, was one of the first colleges west of the Mississippi (founded 1858 in LaGrange, Missouri, and moved to Hannibal in 1928[116]).

The state funds a $2000, renewable merit-based scholarship, Bright Flight, given to the top three percent of Missouri high school graduates who attend a university in-state.

The 19th century border wars between Missouri and Kansas have continued as a sports rivalry between the University of Missouri and University of Kansas. The rivalry was chiefly expressed through football and basketball games between the two universities, but since Missouri left the Big 12 Conference in 2012, the teams no longer regularly play one another. It was the oldest college rivalry west of the Mississippi River and the second-oldest in the nation. Each year when the universities met to play, the game was coined the "Border War." An exchange occurred following the game where the winner took a historic Indian War Drum, which had been passed back and forth for decades. Though Missouri and Kansas no longer have an annual game after the University of Missouri moved to the Southeastern Conference, tension still exists between the two schools.

Tree Map of Universities in Missouri
Tree Map of Universities in Missouri

Culture

Music

The Gem Theatre
The historic Gem Theatre, located in Kansas City's renowned 18th and Vine Jazz District.

Many well-known musicians were born or have lived in Missouri. These include guitarist and rock pioneer Chuck Berry, singer and actress Josephine Baker, "Queen of Rock" Tina Turner, pop singer-songwriter Sheryl Crow, Michael McDonald of the Doobie Brothers, and rappers Nelly, Chingy and Akon, all of whom are either current or former residents of St. Louis.

Country singers from Missouri include New Franklin native Sara Evans, Cantwell native Ferlin Husky, West Plains native Porter Wagoner, Tyler Farr of Garden City, and Mora native Leroy Van Dyke, along with bluegrass musician Rhonda Vincent, a native of Greentop. Rapper Eminem was born in St. Joseph and also lived in Savannah and Kansas City. Ragtime composer Scott Joplin lived in St. Louis and Sedalia. Jazz saxophonist Charlie Parker lived in Kansas City. Rock and Roll singer Steve Walsh of the group Kansas was born in St. Louis and grew up in St. Joseph.

The Kansas City Symphony and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra are the state's major orchestras. The latter is the nation's second-oldest symphony orchestra and achieved prominence in recent years under conductor Leonard Slatkin. Branson is well known for its music theaters, most of which bear the name of a star performer or musical group.

Literature

Missouri is the native state of Mark Twain. His novels The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn are set in his boyhood hometown of Hannibal. Authors Kate Chopin, T. S. Eliot and Tennessee Williams were from St. Louis. Kansas City-born writer William Least Heat-Moon resides in Rocheport. He is best known for Blue Highways, a chronicle of his travels to small towns across America, which was on The New York Times Bestseller list for 42 weeks in 1982–1983.

Film

Filmmaker, animator, and businessman Walt Disney spent part of his childhood in the Linn County town of Marceline before settling in Kansas City. Disney began his artistic career in Kansas City, where he founded the Laugh-O-Gram Studio.

Several film versions of Mark Twain's novels The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn have been made. Meet Me in St. Louis, a musical involving the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair, starred Judy Garland. Part of the 1983 road movie National Lampoon's Vacation was shot on location in Missouri, for the Griswolds' trip from Chicago to Los Angeles. The Thanksgiving holiday film Planes, Trains, and Automobiles was partially shot at Lambert–St. Louis International Airport. White Palace was filmed in St. Louis. The award-winning 2010 film Winter's Bone was shot in the Ozarks of Missouri. Up in the Air starring George Clooney was filmed in St. Louis. John Carpenter's Escape from New York was filmed in St. Louis during the early 1980s due to the large number of abandoned buildings in the city. The 1973 movie Paper Moon, which starred Ryan and Tatum O'Neal, was partly filmed in St. Joseph. Most of HBO's film Truman (1995) was filmed in Kansas City, Independence, and the surrounding area; Gary Sinise won an Emmy for his portrayal of Harry Truman in the film. Ride With the Devil (1999), starring Jewel and Tobey Maguire, was filmed in the countryside of Jackson County (where the historic events of the film actually took place). Gone Girl, a 2014 film starring Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, and Tyler Perry, was filmed in Cape Girardeau.

Sports

Missouri hosted the 1904 Summer Olympics at St. Louis, the first time the games were hosted in the United States.

Major sports by state
Missouri has four major sports teams: the Royals and Cardinals of MLB, the Chiefs of the NFL, and the Blues of the NHL.

Professional major league teams

Former professional major league teams

See also

References

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  15. ^ Lance, Donald M. (September 17, 2003). "The Pronunciation of Missouri : Variation and Change in American English". American Speech. 78 (3): 255–284. doi:10.1215/00031283-78-3-255 – via Project MUSE.
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External links

Preceded by
Maine
List of U.S. states by date of admission to the Union
Admitted on August 10, 1821 (24th)
Succeeded by
Arkansas

Coordinates: 38°30′N 92°30′W / 38.5°N 92.5°W

Brad Pitt

William Bradley Pitt (born December 18, 1963) is an American actor and film producer. He has received multiple awards and nominations including an Academy Award as producer under his own company Plan B Entertainment.

Pitt first gained recognition as a cowboy hitchhiker in the road movie Thelma & Louise (1991). His first leading roles in big-budget productions came with the drama films A River Runs Through It (1992) and Legends of the Fall (1994), and horror film Interview with the Vampire (1994). He gave critically acclaimed performances in the crime thriller Seven and the science fiction film 12 Monkeys (both 1995), the latter earning him a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor and an Academy Award nomination.

Pitt starred in the cult film Fight Club (1999) and the heist film Ocean's Eleven (2001) and its sequels, Ocean's Twelve (2004) and Ocean's Thirteen (2007). His greatest commercial successes have been Troy (2004), Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005), and World War Z (2013). Pitt received his second and third Academy Award nominations for his leading performances in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008) and Moneyball (2011). He produced The Departed (2006) and 12 Years a Slave (2013), both of which won the Academy Award for Best Picture, and also The Tree of Life, Moneyball, and The Big Short (2015), all of which garnered Best Picture nominations.

As a public figure, Pitt has been cited as one of the most influential and powerful people in the American entertainment industry. For a number of years, he was cited as the world's most attractive man by various media outlets, and his personal life is the subject of wide publicity. In 2000, he married actress Jennifer Aniston; they divorced in 2005. In 2014, Pitt married actress Angelina Jolie. They have six children together, three of whom were adopted internationally. In 2016, Jolie filed for a divorce from Pitt, which is currently pending.

Dick Van Dyke

Richard Wayne Van Dyke (born December 13, 1925) is an American actor, comedian, singer, and dancer, whose entertainment career has spanned seven decades.

He first gained recognition on radio and Broadway, then he became known for his role as Rob Petrie on the CBS television sitcom The Dick Van Dyke Show, which ran from 1961 to 1966. He also gained significant popularity for roles in the musical films Bye Bye Birdie (1963), Mary Poppins (1964), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968), and Mary Poppins Returns (2018). His other prominent film appearances include roles in The Comic (1969), Dick Tracy (1990), Curious George (2006), Night at the Museum (2006), and Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (2014). Other prominent TV roles include the leads in The New Dick Van Dyke Show (1971–74), Diagnosis: Murder (1993–2001), and Murder 101 (2006–08) which both co-starred his son Barry.

Van Dyke is the recipient of five Primetime Emmys, a Tony, and a Grammy Award, and was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame in 1995. He received the Screen Actors Guild's highest honor, the SAG Life Achievement Award, in 2013. He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7021 Hollywood Boulevard and has also been recognized as a Disney Legend.

Don Cheadle

Donald Frank Cheadle Jr. (; born November 29, 1964) is an American actor. Following early roles in Hamburger Hill (1987), and as the gangster "Rocket" in the film Colors (1988), Cheadle built his career in the 1990s with roles in Devil in a Blue Dress (1995), Rosewood (1997) and Boogie Nights (1997). His collaboration with director Steven Soderbergh resulted in the films Out of Sight (1998), Traffic (2000) and Ocean's Eleven (2001).

Cheadle was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor for his lead role as Rwandan hotel manager Paul Rusesabagina in the historical genocide drama film Hotel Rwanda (2004). From 2012 to 2016, he starred as Marty Kaan on the Showtime comedy series House of Lies; he won a Golden Globe Award in 2013 for the role.

Cheadle extended his global recognition with his role of War Machine in the Marvel Cinematic Universe films Iron Man 2 (2010), Iron Man 3 (2013), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), Captain America: Civil War (2016), and Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and appears in the mid-credits scene of Captain Marvel (2019). He will reprise his role in Avengers: Endgame (2019).

Harry S. Truman

Harry S. Truman (May 8, 1884 – December 26, 1972) was the 33rd president of the United States from 1945 to 1953, succeeding upon the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt after serving as vice president. He implemented the Marshall Plan to rebuild the economy of Western Europe, and established the Truman Doctrine and NATO.

Truman was elected to the United States Senate in 1934 and gained national prominence as chairman of the Truman Committee aimed at waste and inefficiency in wartime contracts. Soon after succeeding to the presidency he became the only world leader to have used nuclear weapons in war. Truman's administration engaged in an internationalist foreign policy and renounced isolationism. He rallied his New Deal coalition during the 1948 presidential election and won a surprise victory that secured his own presidential term.

Truman oversaw the Berlin Airlift of 1948. When Communist North Korea invaded South Korea in 1950, he gained United Nations approval for the very large policy action known as the Korean War. It saved South Korea but the Chinese intervened, driving back the UN/US forces and preventing a rollback of Communism in North Korea. On domestic issues, bills endorsed by Truman faced opposition from a conservative Congress, but his administration successfully guided the U.S. economy through the post-war economic challenges. In 1948 he submitted the first comprehensive civil rights legislation and issued Executive Orders to start racial integration in the military and federal agencies.

Allegations of corruption in the Truman administration became a central campaign issue in the 1952 presidential election and accounted for Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower's electoral victory against Democrat Adlai Stevenson II. Truman's financially difficult retirement was marked by the founding of his presidential library and the publication of his memoirs. When he left office, Truman's presidency was criticized, but scholars rehabilitated his image in the 1960s and he is ranked as one of the best presidents.

Jesse James

Jesse Woodson James (September 5, 1847 – April 3, 1882) was an American outlaw, bank and train robber, guerrilla, and leader of the James–Younger Gang. Raised in the "Little Dixie" area of western Missouri, James and his family maintained strong Southern sympathies. He and his brother Frank James joined pro-Confederate guerrillas known as "bushwhackers" operating in Missouri and Kansas during the American Civil War. As followers of William Quantrill and "Bloody Bill" Anderson, they were accused of participating in atrocities against Union soldiers and civilian abolitionists, including the Centralia Massacre in 1864.

After the war, as members of various gangs of outlaws, Jesse and Frank robbed banks, stagecoaches, and trains across the Midwest, gaining national fame and often popular sympathy despite the brutality of their crimes. The James brothers were most active as members of their own gang from about 1866 until 1876, when as a result of their attempted robbery of a bank in Northfield, Minnesota, several members of the gang were captured or killed. They continued in crime for several years afterward, recruiting new members, but came under increasing pressure from law enforcement seeking to bring them to justice. On April 3, 1882, Jesse James was shot and killed by Robert Ford, a new recruit to the gang who hoped to collect a reward on James' head and a promised amnesty for his previous crimes. Already a celebrity in life, James became a legendary figure of the Wild West after his death.

Despite popular portrayals of James as an embodiment of Robin Hood, robbing from the rich and giving to the poor, there is no evidence that he and his gang shared any loot from their robberies with anyone outside their close kinship network. Scholars and historians have characterized James as one of many criminals inspired by the regional insurgencies of ex-Confederates following the Civil War, rather than as a manifestation of alleged economic justice or of frontier lawlessness. James continues to be one of the most iconic figures from the era, and his life has been dramatized and memorialized numerous times.

John Goodman

John Stephen Goodman (born June 20, 1952) is an American actor. Early in his career, he was known for playing Dan Conner on the ABC TV series Roseanne (1988–1997; 2018), for which he won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in 1993. He is also a regular collaborator with the Coen brothers on such films as Raising Arizona (1987), Barton Fink (1991), The Big Lebowski (1998), O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000), and Inside Llewyn Davis (2013). Goodman's voice roles in animated films include Pacha in Disney's The Emperor's New Groove (2000) and Sulley in Pixar's Monsters, Inc. (2001), and Monsters University (2013).

His other film performances include lead roles in Always (1989), The Babe (1992), The Flintstones (1994) and 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016) and supporting roles in Coyote Ugly (2000), The Artist (2011), Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (2011), Argo (2012), Flight (2012), The Hangover Part III (2013), Patriots Day (2016), and Kong: Skull Island (2017). On television, he has had regular roles on Amazon Studios's Alpha House and on the first season of HBO's Treme and has been a frequent host of Saturday Night Live, as well as playing guest roles on series such as Community. John Heilpern of Vanity Fair has called him "among our very finest actors".

Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City is the largest city in the U.S. state of Missouri. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city had an estimated population of 488,943 in 2017, making it the 37th most-populous city in the United States. It is the central city of the Kansas City metropolitan area, which straddles the Kansas–Missouri state line. Kansas City was founded in the 1830s as a Missouri River port at its confluence with the Kansas River coming in from the west. On June 1, 1850 the town of Kansas was incorporated; shortly after came the establishment of the Kansas Territory. Confusion between the two ensued and the name Kansas City was assigned to distinguish them soon after.

Sitting on Missouri's western boundary, with Downtown near the confluence of the Kansas and Missouri Rivers, the modern city encompasses some 319.03 square miles (826.3 km2), making it the 23rd largest city by total area in the United States. Most of the city lies within Jackson County, but portions spill into Clay, Cass, and Platte counties. Along with Independence, one of its major suburbs, it serves as one of the two county seats of Jackson County. Other major suburbs include the Missouri cities of Blue Springs and Lee's Summit and the Kansas cities of Overland Park, Olathe, and Kansas City.

The city is composed of several neighborhoods, including the River Market District in the north, the 18th and Vine District in the east, and the Country Club Plaza in the south. Kansas City is known for its long tradition of jazz music and culture, for its cuisine (including its distinctive style of barbecue), and its craft breweries.

Kansas City metropolitan area

The Kansas City metropolitan area is a 14 county metropolitan area anchored by Kansas City, Missouri, and straddling the border between the U.S. states of Missouri and Kansas. With a population of 2,104,509, it ranks as the second largest metropolitan area centered in Missouri (after Greater St. Louis). Alongside Kansas City, the area includes a number of other cities and suburbs, the largest being Overland Park, Kansas; Kansas City, Kansas; Olathe, Kansas; and Independence, Missouri; each over 100,000 in population. The Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) serves as the Council of Governments and the Metropolitan Planning Organization for the area.

Mississippi River

The Mississippi River is the second-longest river and chief river of the second-largest drainage system on the North American continent, second only to the Hudson Bay drainage system. Its source is Lake Itasca in northern Minnesota and it flows generally south for 2,320 miles (3,730 km) to the Mississippi River Delta in the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains all or parts of 32 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces between the Rocky and Appalachian mountains. The main stem is entirely within the United States; the total drainage basin is 1,151,000 sq mi (2,980,000 km2), of which only about one percent is in Canada. The Mississippi ranks as the fourth-longest and fifteenth-largest river by discharge in the world. The river either borders or passes through the states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana.Native Americans have lived along the Mississippi River and its tributaries for thousands of years. Most were hunter-gatherers, but some, such as the Mound Builders, formed prolific agricultural societies. The arrival of Europeans in the 16th century changed the native way of life as first explorers, then settlers, ventured into the basin in increasing numbers. The river served first as a barrier, forming borders for New Spain, New France, and the early United States, and then as a vital transportation artery and communications link. In the 19th century, during the height of the ideology of manifest destiny, the Mississippi and several western tributaries, most notably the Missouri, formed pathways for the western expansion of the United States.

Formed from thick layers of the river's silt deposits, the Mississippi embayment is one of the most fertile regions of the United States; steamboats were widely used in the 19th and early 20th centuries to ship agricultural and industrial goods. During the American Civil War, the Mississippi's capture by Union forces marked a turning point towards victory, due to the river's strategic importance to the Confederate war effort. Because of substantial growth of cities and the larger ships and barges that replaced steamboats, the first decades of the 20th century saw the construction of massive engineering works such as levees, locks and dams, often built in combination. A major focus of this work has been to prevent the lower Mississippi from shifting into the channel of the Atchafalaya River and bypassing New Orleans.

Since the 20th century, the Mississippi River has also experienced major pollution and environmental problems – most notably elevated nutrient and chemical levels from agricultural runoff, the primary contributor to the Gulf of Mexico dead zone.

Missouri Compromise

The Missouri Compromise was the legislation that provided for the admission of Maine to the United States as a free state along with Missouri as a slave state, thus maintaining the balance of power between North and South in the United States Senate. As part of the compromise, slavery was prohibited north of the 36°30′ parallel, excluding Missouri. The 16th United States Congress passed the legislation on March 3, 1820, and President James Monroe signed it on March 6, 1820.Earlier, on February 4, 1820, Representative James Tallmadge Jr., a Jeffersonian Republican from New York, submitted two amendments to Missouri's request for statehood, which included restrictions on slavery. Southerners objected to any bill which imposed federal restrictions on slavery, believing that slavery was a state issue settled by the Constitution. However, with the Senate evenly split at the opening of the debates, both sections possessing 11 states, the admission of Missouri as a slave state would give the South an advantage. Northern critics including Federalists and Democratic-Republicans objected to the expansion of slavery into the Louisiana Purchase territory on the Constitutional inequalities of the three-fifths rule, which conferred Southern representation in the federal government derived from a states' slave population. Jeffersonian Republicans in the North ardently maintained that a strict interpretation of the Constitution required that Congress act to limit the spread of slavery on egalitarian grounds. "[Northern] Republicans rooted their antislavery arguments, not on expediency, but in egalitarian morality"; and "The Constitution, [said northern Jeffersonians] strictly interpreted, gave the sons of the founding generation the legal tools to hasten [the] removal [of slavery], including the refusal to admit additional slave states.".When free-soil Maine offered its petition for statehood, the Senate quickly linked the Maine and Missouri bills, making Maine admission a condition for Missouri entering the Union with slavery unrestricted. Senator Jesse B. Thomas of Illinois added a compromise proviso, excluding slavery from all remaining lands of the Louisiana Purchase north of the 36° 30' parallel. The combined measures passed the Senate, only to be voted down in the House by those Northern representatives who held out for a free Missouri. Speaker of the House Henry Clay of Kentucky, in a desperate bid to break the deadlock, divided the Senate bills. Clay and his pro-compromise allies succeeded in pressuring half the anti-restrictionist House Southerners to submit to the passage of the Thomas proviso, while maneuvering a number of restrictionist House northerners to acquiesce in supporting Missouri as a slave state. The Missouri question in the 15th Congress ended in stalemate on March 4, 1819, the House sustaining its northern antislavery position, and the Senate blocking a slavery restricted statehood.

The Missouri Compromise was controversial at the time, as many worried that the country had become lawfully divided along sectional lines. The bill was effectively repealed in the Kansas–Nebraska Act of 1854, and declared unconstitutional in Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857). This increased tensions over slavery and eventually led to the Civil War.

Missouri River

The Missouri River is the longest river in North America. Rising in the Rocky Mountains of western Montana, the Missouri flows east and south for 2,341 miles (3,767 km) before entering the Mississippi River north of St. Louis, Missouri. The river takes drainage from a sparsely populated, semi-arid watershed of more than half a million square miles (1,300,000 km2), which includes parts of ten U.S. states and two Canadian provinces. When combined with the lower Mississippi River, it forms the world's fourth longest river system.For over 12,000 years, people have depended on the Missouri River and its tributaries as a source of sustenance and transportation. More than ten major groups of Native Americans populated the watershed, most leading a nomadic lifestyle and dependent on enormous bison herds that roamed through the Great Plains. The first Europeans encountered the river in the late seventeenth century, and the region passed through Spanish and French hands before becoming part of the United States through the Louisiana Purchase. The Missouri was long believed to be part of the Northwest Passage – a water route from the Atlantic to the Pacific – but when Lewis and Clark became the first to travel the river's entire length, they confirmed the mythical pathway was no more than a legend.

The Missouri River was one of the main routes for the westward expansion of the United States during the 19th century. The growth of the fur trade in the early 19th century laid much of the groundwork as trappers explored the region and blazed trails. Pioneers headed west en masse beginning in the 1830s, first by covered wagon, then by the growing numbers of steamboats that entered service on the river. Settlers took over former Native American lands in the watershed, leading to some of the most longstanding and violent wars against indigenous peoples in American history.

During the 20th century, the Missouri River basin was extensively developed for irrigation, flood control and the generation of hydroelectric power. Fifteen dams impound the main stem of the river, with hundreds more on tributaries. Meanders have been cut and the river channelized to improve navigation, reducing its length by almost 200 miles (320 km) from pre-development times. Although the lower Missouri valley is now a populous and highly productive agricultural and industrial region, heavy development has taken its toll on wildlife and fish populations as well as water quality.

Missouri Valley Conference

The Missouri Valley Conference (also called MVC or simply "The Valley") is the second-oldest collegiate athletic conference in the United States. Currently, its members are located in the midwestern United States.

Ozarks

The Ozarks, also called the Ozark Mountains or Ozark Plateau, is a physiographic region in the U.S. states of Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and extreme southeastern Kansas. The Ozarks cover a significant portion of northern Arkansas and most of the southern half of Missouri, extending from Interstate 40 in Arkansas to the Interstate 70 in central Missouri.

There are two mountain ranges within the Ozarks: the Boston Mountains of Arkansas and the St. Francois Mountains of Missouri. Buffalo Lookout, the highest point in the Ozarks, is located in the Boston Mountains. Geologically, the area is a broad dome with the exposed core in the ancient St. Francois Mountains, some of the oldest rocks in North America. The Ozarks cover nearly 47,000 square miles (120,000 km2), making it the most extensive highland region between the Appalachians and Rockies. Together with the Ouachita Mountains, the area is known as the U.S. Interior Highlands.

The Salem Plateau, named after Salem, Missouri, makes up the largest geologic area of the Ozarks. The second largest is the Springfield Plateau, named after Springfield, Missouri, nicknamed the “Queen City of the Ozarks”. On the northern Ozark border are the cities of St. Louis and Columbia, Missouri. Significant cities in Arkansas include Fayetteville. Near the Missouri-Arkansas border is Branson, Missouri, a tourist destination and popularizer of Ozark culture.

St. Louis

St. Louis () is an independent city and major inland port in the U.S. state of Missouri. It is situated along the western bank of the Mississippi River, which marks Missouri's border with Illinois. The city had an estimated 2017 population of 308,626 and is the cultural and economic center of the St. Louis metropolitan area (home to nearly 3,000,000 people), which is the largest metropolitan area in Missouri, the second-largest in Illinois (after Chicago), and the 22nd-largest in the United States.

Prior to European settlement, the area was a major regional center of Native American Mississippian culture. The city of St. Louis was founded in 1764 by French fur traders Pierre Laclède and Auguste Chouteau, and named after Louis IX of France. In 1764, following France's defeat in the Seven Years' War, the area was ceded to Spain and retroceded back to France in 1800. In 1803, the United States acquired the territory as part of the Louisiana Purchase. During the 19th century, St. Louis developed as a major port on the Mississippi River; at the time of the 1870 Census it was the fourth-largest city in the U.S. It separated from St. Louis County in 1877, becoming an independent city and limiting its own political boundaries. In 1904, it hosted the Louisiana Purchase Exposition and the Summer Olympics.

The economy of metropolitan St. Louis relies on service, manufacturing, trade, transportation of goods, and tourism. Its metro area is home to major corporations, including Anheuser-Busch, Express Scripts, Centene, Boeing Defense, Emerson, Energizer, Panera, Enterprise, Peabody Energy, Ameren, Post Holdings, Monsanto, Edward Jones, Go Jet, Purina and Sigma-Aldrich. Nine of the ten Fortune 500 companies based in Missouri are located within the St. Louis metropolitan area. This city has also become known for its growing medical, pharmaceutical and research presence due to institutions such as Washington University in St. Louis and Barnes-Jewish Hospital. St. Louis has two professional sports teams: the St. Louis Cardinals of Major League Baseball and the St. Louis Blues of the National Hockey League. One of the city's iconic sights is the 630-foot (192 m) tall Gateway Arch in the downtown area.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is a 2017 dark comedy crime-drama film written, directed, and produced by Martin McDonagh and starring Frances McDormand as a woman who rents three billboards to call attention to her daughter's unsolved rape and murder. Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell, Abbie Cornish, John Hawkes, and Peter Dinklage appear in supporting roles. It was released in the United States in November 2017 and in the United Kingdom in January 2018 by Fox Searchlight Pictures and grossed $159 million worldwide.

At the 90th Academy Awards, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri was nominated for seven awards and won Best Actress (McDormand) and Best Supporting Actor (Rockwell). At the 75th Golden Globe Awards, it won Best Motion Picture – Drama, Best Actress – Drama (McDormand), Best Supporting Actor (Rockwell), and Best Screenplay. It won three SAG Awards, including Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture, and five BAFTA Film Awards, including Best Film and Outstanding British Film.

U.S. Route 66

U.S. Route 66 (US 66 or Route 66), also known as the Will Rogers Highway, the Main Street of America or the Mother Road, was one of the original highways in the U.S. Highway System. US 66 was established on November 11, 1926, with road signs erected the following year. The highway, which became one of the most famous roads in the United States, originally ran from Chicago, Illinois, through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona before ending in Santa Monica in Los Angeles County, California, covering a total of 2,448 miles (3,940 km). It was recognized in popular culture by both the hit song "(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66" and the Route 66 television show in the 1960s. In John Steinbeck's classic American novel, The Grapes of Wrath (1939), the road, "Highway 66", was turned into a powerful symbol of escape and loss.

US 66 served as a primary route for those who migrated west, especially during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, and the road supported the economies of the communities through which it passed. People doing business along the route became prosperous due to the growing popularity of the highway, and those same people later fought to keep the highway alive in the face of the growing threat of being bypassed by the new Interstate Highway System.

US 66 underwent many improvements and realignments over its lifetime, but was officially removed from the United States Highway System in 1985 after it had been replaced in its entirety by segments of the Interstate Highway System. Portions of the road that passed through Illinois, Missouri, New Mexico, and Arizona have been communally designated a National Scenic Byway of the name "Historic Route 66", returning the name to some maps. Several states have adopted significant bypassed sections of the former US 66 into their state road networks as State Route 66. The corridor is also being redeveloped into U.S. Bicycle Route 66, a part of the United States Bicycle Route System that was developed in the 2010s.

USS Missouri (BB-63)

USS Missouri (BB-63) ("Mighty Mo" or "Big Mo") is an Iowa-class battleship and was the third ship of the United States Navy to be named after the U.S. state of Missouri. Missouri was the last battleship commissioned by the United States and is best remembered as the site of the surrender of the Empire of Japan which ended World War II.

Missouri was ordered in 1940 and commissioned in June 1944. In the Pacific Theater of World War II she fought in the battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa and shelled the Japanese home islands, and she fought in the Korean War from 1950 to 1953. She was decommissioned in 1955 into the United States Navy reserve fleets (the "Mothball Fleet"), but reactivated and modernized in 1984 as part of the 600-ship Navy plan, and provided fire support during Operation Desert Storm in January/February 1991.

Missouri received a total of 11 battle stars for service in World War II, Korea, and the Persian Gulf, and was finally decommissioned on 31 March 1992 after serving a total of 16 years of active service, but remained on the Naval Vessel Register until her name was struck in January 1995. In 1998, she was donated to the USS Missouri Memorial Association and became a museum ship at Pearl Harbor.

University of Missouri

The University of Missouri (also, Mizzou, or MU) is a public, land-grant research university in Columbia, Missouri. It was founded in 1839 as the first public institution of higher education west of the Mississippi River. The state's largest university, it enrolled 30,870 students in 2017 and offered over 300 degree programs in 21 academic divisions. It is the flagship campus of the University of Missouri System, which also has campuses in Kansas City, Rolla, and St. Louis. There are more than 300,000 MU alumni living worldwide with over one half residing in Missouri.In 1908, one of the first schools of journalism was founded by Walter Williams as the Missouri School of Journalism. Forty-five years later, in 1953, the school began operating the country's only university-owned TV network (NBC) affiliate (KOMU).It is one of the 34 public universities that are members of the Association of American Universities. The University of Missouri Research Reactor Center is the world's most powerful university research reactor. The university also operates the University of Missouri Health Care system, which operates four hospitals in Mid-Missouri.

The athletics teams compete in NCAA Division I and are known as the Missouri Tigers. The FBS football team in Missouri is the only FBS program in Missouri and it competes as a member of the Southeastern Conference. The school's mascot, Truman the Tiger, is named after Missourian and former U.S. president Harry S. Truman. MU claims that the university held the first American football homecoming in 1911.

Walt Disney

Walter Elias Disney (; December 5, 1901 – December 15, 1966) was an American entrepreneur, animator, voice actor and film producer. A pioneer of the American animation industry, he introduced several developments in the production of cartoons. As a film producer, Disney holds the record for most Academy Awards earned by an individual, having won 22 Oscars from 59 nominations. He was presented with two Golden Globe Special Achievement Awards and an Emmy Award, among other honors. Several of his films are included in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress.

Born in Chicago in 1901, Disney developed an early interest in drawing. He took art classes as a boy and got a job as a commercial illustrator at the age of 18. He moved to California in the early 1920s and set up the Disney Brothers Studio with his brother Roy. With Ub Iwerks, Walt developed the character Mickey Mouse in 1928, his first highly popular success; he also provided the voice for his creation in the early years. As the studio grew, Disney became more adventurous, introducing synchronized sound, full-color three-strip Technicolor, feature-length cartoons and technical developments in cameras. The results, seen in features such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), Pinocchio, Fantasia (both 1940), Dumbo (1941), and Bambi (1942), furthered the development of animated film. New animated and live-action films followed after World War II, including the critically successful Cinderella (1950) and Mary Poppins (1964), the latter of which received five Academy Awards.

In the 1950s, Disney expanded into the amusement park industry, and in 1955 he opened Disneyland. To fund the project he diversified into television programs, such as Walt Disney's Disneyland and The Mickey Mouse Club; he was also involved in planning the 1959 Moscow Fair, the 1960 Winter Olympics, and the 1964 New York World's Fair. In 1965, he began development of another theme park, Disney World, the heart of which was to be a new type of city, the "Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow" (EPCOT). Disney was a heavy smoker throughout his life, and died of lung cancer in December 1966 before either the park or the EPCOT project were completed.

Disney was a shy, self-deprecating and insecure man in private but adopted a warm and outgoing public persona. He had high standards and high expectations of those with whom he worked. Although there have been accusations that he was racist or anti-Semitic, they have been contradicted by many who knew him. His reputation changed in the years after his death, from a purveyor of homely patriotic values to a representative of American imperialism. He nevertheless remains an important figure in the history of animation and in the cultural history of the United States, where he is considered a national cultural icon. His film work continues to be shown and adapted; his namesake studio and company maintains high standards in its production of popular entertainment, and the Disney amusement parks have grown in size and number to attract visitors in several countries.

Missouri state symbols
Flag of Missouri
Seal of Missouri
Living insignia
AmphibianAmerican bullfrog
BirdEastern bluebird
FishChannel catfish
FlowerWhite hawthorn
GrassBig bluestem
Horse breedMissouri Fox Trotter
InsectWestern honey bee
MammalMissouri Mule
TreeFlowering Dogwood
Inanimate insignia
DanceSquare dance
DinosaurHypsibema missouriensis[3]
FoodDessert: Ice cream
FossilCrinoid
GemstoneBeryl
InstrumentFiddle
MineralGalena
RockMozarkite
SoilMenfro
State route marker
Missouri state route marker
State quarter
Missouri quarter dollar coin
Released in 2003
Lists of United States state symbols
Missouri racial breakdown of population
Racial composition 1990[56] 2000[57] 2010[58]
White 87.7% 84.9% 82.8%
Black 10.7% 11.3% 11.6%
Asian 0.8% 1.1% 1.6%
Native 0.4% 0.4% 0.5%
Native Hawaiian and
other Pacific Islander
0.1% 0.1%
Other race 0.4% 0.8% 1.3%
Two or more races 1.5% 2.1%

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