Welcome to Missouri, the “Show Me State”

Missouri, nicknamed the Show Me State, is located in the Midwestern part of the United States.  Missouri is bordered by the states of Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Kansas, Arkansas, Tennessee, Oklahoma and Nebraska.  Missouri has 114 counties and four large urban areas that include St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield and Columbia.  The capital of Missouri is Jefferson City.  Missouri became the 24th state in the union on August 10, 1821.

Missouri’s Nick Name:

The Show Me State is not really an official nickname but it is used often throughout the state.  It is also used on the Missouri license plates.  The most common legend about how the state got its nickname has to do with Missouri’s United States Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver.  He served in the United States House of Representatives from 1897 to 1903.  He attended a 1989 naval banquet in the state of Philadelphia because he was a member of the United States House Committee on Naval Affairs. At the banquet, he gave a speech where he said,” I come from a state that raises corn and cotton and cockleburs and Democrats and frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me.  I am from Missouri.  You have got to show me.”

Missouri Facts:

The state bird of Missouri is the bluebird.

Missouri agriculture consists of cattle, soybeans, pigs, dairy products, corn, poultry and eggs.

Missouri’s industry mostly consists of transportation equipment, food processing, chemical products, electrical equipment and fabricated metal products.

The state flower of Missouri is the Hawthorne.

The highest point in the state is Taum Sauk Mountainwhich is 1772 feet and the lowest point is Saint Francis Riverat 230 feet.

The state song of Missouri is called the Missouri Waltz.

 The Missouri state animal is the mule.

 The state insect of Missouri is the Honeybee.

 Show Me State Demographics: 

On July 1, 2011, the United States Census Bureau stated that Missouri had a population of 6,010,688.  This was an increase of .36% from the 2010 United States Census.  WhenMissouri first became a state, the population was 19,783.

There are five major ancestry groups.  German makes up the majority at 27.4%.  The other four are Irish, English, American and French.

In 2000, there were 2,194,594 households in Missouri with an estimate of 2.48 people in each household.  70.3% owned their own homes with an average home value of $89,900.  The average household income was $37,934 and 11.7% were living below the poverty line.

In 2004, 51.4% of those living in Missouriwere female. 81.3% of all Missourians graduated from high school and 21.6% had a bachelors degree or higher.

Most Missourians speak English with a little over 5% speaking a language other than English.  Those 5% mostly speak Spanish with small Latino neighborhoods in the St. Louisand Kansas City Metro areas.

As far as religion, 3 out of 5 people that live in Missouri are Protestant and one out of five is Roman Catholics.  St. Louis and Kansas City Metro areas have some Jewish communities.

Famous People from Missouri: 

Maya Angelou – she was born in 1928 inSt. Louis. She is an author and a poet most famous for her work,” I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.”

Stone Phillips – Stone was born inTexas City,Texasin 1954 but was raised in St. Louis. He is a TV reporter and correspondent most famous for his works on Dateline NBC.

Mark Twain – he was born in 1835 in Hannibal and died in 1910.  His birth name was Samuel Langhorne Clemens.  He is a famous author and humorist most known for his works,” The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” and “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.”

Laura Ingles Wilder – she was born in 1867 and died in 1957.  She was born in Pepin County,Wisconsin and spent most of her life in Mansfield where she died.  She is most famous for being the author of the Little House on the Prairie book series.

Carl Edwards – Carl was born in 1979 and is most famous for being a driver on the NASCAR circuit.  He was born in Columbia.  Carl was the 2007 NASCAR Busch Series Champion as well as the Busch Series Most Popular Driver that same year.

Jamie McMurray – Jamie was born in Joplin 1976 and is also a NASCAR driver.  Jamie is most recognized for winning the Daytona 500 and the Brickyard 400 in 2010.

Yogi Berra – Yogi was born in 1925 in St. Louis.  He is a former catcher, outfielder and manager in the American Major League Baseball.  He played for 19 years with the New York Yankees and was voted Most Valuable Player three times.

Sam Walton – Sam was born in King Fisher,Oklahomain 1918 and died in Little Rock,Arkansasin 1992.  He is the founder of Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club.  His Alma Mater was at the University of Missouri.  He grew up in Columbia during the Great Depression.

Ray and Faye Copeland – Ray was born in 1914 and died in 1993 and Faye was born in 1921 and died in 2003.  They were both born in Harrison, Arkansas and died of natural causes.  They were most famous for being the oldest couple that was ever sentenced to death in the United States.  They were convicted in Missouri of killing five drifters and accused of killing seven more although no bodies were ever found.  They were both apprehended on October 17, 1989.

Linda Blair- Linda was born in St. Louis in 1959 and was raised in Westport,Connecticut.  She is an actress that is most famous for her role as a possessed girl, Regan, in the 1973 film “The Exorcist.” She won a Golden Globe award for that role.

Bob Barker- Bob was born in 1923 in Darrington, Washington.  He and his family moved to Springfield in 1931.  He is best known as a TV game show host most famous for Host of “The Price is Right from 1972-2007.”

 Ulysses S. Grant- President Grant was President of the United States from 1869-1877.  He was born in Point Pleasant,Ohio in 1822 and died inWilton, New Yorkin 1885.