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Missouri Back to Missouri
 
Missouri is a state in the American Midwest and it is known as the "Show Me State". What that means is a person from Missouri will not believe unless they are shown. The slogan is not an official one, but it does appear on the license plates. It is an endearing statement that people from Missouri say, "I'm from Missouri, you have to Show Me!". The state is bordered by eight states Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. It is a state with both Midwestern and Southern cultural influences, reflecting its history as a border state between the two regions. The state is named after the Missouri Siouan Indian tribe whose Illinois name, ouemessourita meaning "those who have dugout canoes". The confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers is located in Missouri.

According to William Least Heat Moon, in Blue Highways, St. Louis is the last Eastern city and Kansas City is the first Western city. St. Louis, a large city in Missouri is known as the "Gateway to the West" because it served as a departure point for settlers heading to the west as well as the starting point and the return destination of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

Missouri was originally purchased from France as part of the Louisiana Purchase and was admitted as a state in 1821 as part of the Missouri Compromise. Originally the state's western border was a straight line, defined as the meridian passing through the mouth of the Kansas River. In 1835 the Platte Purchase was added to the northwest corner of the state, making the Missouri River the border.

Get Around

Numerous interstates and highways cross the state. Missouri Map features a detailed scrollable road map which be viewed and printed in sections.

  Interstate 70 connects St. Louis and Kansas City via Columbia.
  Interstate 55 runs from St. Louis along the Mississippi River south towards Memphis.
  Interstate 44 runs from St. Louis to Springfield, Joplin, and on into Oklahoma. Most of the route parallels Historic Route 66.
  Interstate 35 runs from Kansas City to the northeast towards Des Moines and to the southwest towards the Kansas suburbs of the Kansas City Metropolitan Area and later on into Wichita, Kansas.
  Interstate 29 runs from Kansas City to the northwest towards Omaha/Council Bluffs. The route begins in Downtown Kansas City and parallels US Highway 71 to the north.
  US Highway 71 runs north-along the western part of the state from Iowa to Arkansas, and connects Kansas City and Joplin.
  US Highway 60 runs along the southern portion of the state running from Kentucky to Oklahoma. Between Cape Girardeau and Springfield, all but 60 miles is divided highway. West of Springfield, a short connector route (Missouri Highway 360) connects the road with Interstate 44.

Attractions

  Mastodon State Historic Site Imperial, MO (636) 464-2976
  Ste. Genevieve -- first settlement and oldest brick building still intact today west of the Mississippi River.
  Lake of the Ozarks
  Visit over 700 species of animals at the St. Louis Zoo which is the third largest zoo in the U.S.
  Also in St. Louis, visit the World Aquarium
  Missouri Botanical Garden
  Take a trip back in time at Silver Dollar City in Branson where you can meet a variety of artisans who create their materials by hand. There are also attraction rides for all ages.
  World's of Fun, located in Kansas City is a family attraction with over 175 acres of rides and entertainment.
  Grant's Farm is home to a variety of exotic and endangered animals. In the 1850s, Ulysses S. Grant began farming this land and it's now a popular tourist attraction.
  Visit St. Louis Arch, standing at 630 feet in height and designed to last 1,000 years.


Day of the high water mark, flood of 1993, Missouri, U.S.A.

Regions

  Northeast Missouri
  Northwest Missouri
  St. Louis Area
  Kansas City Area
  Central Missouri
  Southeast Missouri
  Southwest Missouri


Many of the early settlers in western Missouri came from the southern states, and along with them came the institution of slavery. In the area of Independence and areas just north of there, Mormon settlers began arriving in the early 1830s. It wasn't long before conflict arose between the 'old' settlers (mainly from the south originally) and the Mormons. The 'Mormon War' erupted and by 1839 the Mormons had been expelled from Missouri. In 1838-1839 a border dispute with Iowa over the so-called Honey Lands resulted in both states calling up militias along the border.

During the Civil War, Missouri, a slave state, did not secede from the Union. Missouri, a border state, was a hotbed for confrontations between Union and Confederate forces.


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