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On January 4, National Missouri Day recognizes the 24th state to join the union.

Known as the gateway to the West and nicknamed the Show Me State, Missouri is bordered by two great rivers: Mississippi on its eastern border and Missouri River for a portion of its western border. As a result, Missouri is ideally located as a hub of transportation and trade.

Some of the largest companies based in the state include CernerExpress ScriptsMonsantoEmerson ElectricEdward JonesH&R BlockWells Fargo AdvisorsCentene Corporation, and O’Reilly Auto Parts.

Well known universities in Missouri include the University of MissouriSt. Louis University, and Washington University in St. Louis.  Missouri has been called the “Mother of the West” and the “Cave State”, but its most famous nickname is the “Show Me State”.

Official Missouri

State Capital – Jefferson City
State Nickname – Show Me State
State Motto – Salus Populi Suprema Lex Esto
State Bird – Eastern Bluebird
State Amphibian – American Bullfrog
State Flower – White Hawthorn Blossom
State Animal – Mule
State Folk Dance – Square Dance
State Musical Instrument – Fiddle
State Fish – Channel Catfish
State Reptile – Three Toed Box Turtle
State Dessert – Ice Cream Cone
State Fossil – Crinoid
State Mineral – Galena
State Tree – Flowering Dogwood
State Song – Missouri Waltz
State Gemstone – Beryl

Statehood came 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 and sent men to fight for both the north and the south.

My dads side of the family came from here. I still have great relatives and friends there. Some just outside of St Louis, others in small towns like Joplin and Carthage. While a historic family home was sold it still stands with it’s corner stone, carriage drive, and other features from 1916. I was fortunate to visit and have fun before my stroke made that so difficult.

Duenwag, Missouri
I can remember my dad telling me about his time here as a little boy.  Located in Duenweg, Missouri.

The views around the state are spectacular. I visited Kansas City, Missouri, Branson, Lake of the Ozarks is breathtaking. St Louis, Springfield, Neosho, Joplin, Columbia, Carthage, part of historic Route 66, Moscow Mills, Jefferson City, and numerous others. It was so worth the trip just for the views. The extra time I spent with my family there was priceless.

Hidden Treasures

Ha Ha Tonka Castle Ruins – Camdenton

Grant’s Farm – St. Louis

Elephant Rocks State Park – Iron Township

National Cookie Cutter Historical Museum – Joplin

The state boasts many cultural attractions from riverboat cruises to music festivals and 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 stayed, others moved on, some returned east.

Some of those names you might recognize. Daniel Boone, Laura Ingles Wilder, Kit Carson, William Clark, Walt Disney, Scott Joplin, and Joseph Pulitzer all made Missouri their home for a time.

Notable People

Mark Twain – Author – (November 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910)

Calamity Jane – Folk Hero – (May 1, 1852 – August 1, 1903)

John Pershing – Military Officer – (September 13, 1860 – July 15, 1948)

George Washington Carver – Botanist – (1860s – January 5, 1943)

Nellie Tayloe Ross – Governor – (November 29, 1876 – December 19, 1977)

George Coleman Poage – Athlete/Educator (November 6, 1880 – April 11, 1962)

Harry S. Truman – President – (May 8, 1884 – December 26, 1972)

T.S. Eliot – Poet – (September 26, 1888 – January 4, 1965)

August Anheuser Busch Jr – Brewer – (March 28, 1899 – September 29, 1989)

Martha Gellhorn – Journalist – (November 8, 1908 – February 15, 1998)

Dorothy Johnson Vaughan – Mathematician – (September 20, 1910 – November 10, 2008)

Maya Angelou – Poet – (April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014)

Steven Chu – Physicist – (February 28, 1948 – )

Jack Dorsey – Entrepreneur – (November 19, 1976 -)

Titanic Museum Branson, Missouri
Be sure to check out some of the fun in Branson, Missouri!
The Titanic Grand staircase, Branson, Missouri.
Inside Titanic’s Grand staircase. Branson, Missouri with my mom and sister!

HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalMissouriDay

Whether you’re passing through or planning to stay a while, join National Day Calendar as we recognize Missouri’s history and pioneering spirit. Uncover hidden treasures and explore all Missouri’s hills and valleys! Use #NationalMissouriDay to share on social media.

Missouri wild scenic calendar
Wild and Scenic Missouri calendar

For a complete list of Missouri State and National Parks & Historic Sites visit and  Check out a few of the featured sites around the state below.

Gov. Daniel Dunklin’s Grave State Historic Site – Herculaneum

Bothwell Lodge State Historic Site – Sedalia

Lake of the Ozarks State Park – Kaiser

Arrow Rock State Historic Site – Arrow Rock

Battle of Island Mountain – Butler

George Washington Carver National Monument – Diamond

Harry S Truman National Historic Site – Independence and Grandview

Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail


Missouri History Museum – St. Louis

Missouri State Museum – Jefferson City

National World War I Museum and Memorial – Kansas City

Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art – Kansas City

Missouri Civil War Museum – St. Louis

Pony Express Museum – Saint Joseph

Negro Leagues Baseball Museum – Kansas City

Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum – Hannibal

Missouri Flavors

Beans & Ham Hocks on cornbread
Gooey butter cake
Fried Morel Mushrooms
St Louis Pizza
Kansas City BBQ