On January 4, National Missouri Day recognizes the 24th state to join the union.
Also known as the gateway to the West, Missouri is bordered by two great rivers. The Mississippi River is on its eastern border, while a portion of the Missouri River is on the western border. As a result, Missouri is ideally located as a hub of transportation and trade. Interestingly, the state of Missouri has the nickname Show Me State. Historically, Missouri’s U.S. Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver receives credit for coining the nickname. However, Missourian’s today refer to the phrase as a description of their character.
Statehood came to the state as part of the Missouri Compromise, allowing Maine to enter the union as a free state and Missouri to enter with no restrictions on slavery. During the Civil War, Missouri was divided between the North and South. Because of this, half the state was serving the Confederacy and the other half was serving the Union.
The state boasts many cultural attractions from riverboat cruises to music festivals to tours of the largest brewing company in the nation. With a rich history and interesting people, Missouri became a stopping point for many migrating west. Some people stayed, while others moved on. Unfortunately, some returned east. A few names you might recognize are Daniel Boone, Laura Ingles Wilder, Kit Carson, William Clark, Walt Disney, Scott Joplin, and Joseph Pulitzer. For a short time, all of these famous people made Missouri their home.