The contributions of the state of Missouri to U.S. culture, commerce, history, and the arts are immeasurable. Here are just a few reasons why everyone should be grateful for Missouri, and be glad it is part of this great country.
1. Our farmers.
In 2004, Missouri had 106,000 farms (second in the United States) covering 30.1 million acres and with about 12.4 million acres harvested that year. Missouri's agricultural income reached $5.57 billion in 2005, 15th among the 50 states. Missouri is fourth in the country in grain sorghum production, fifth in soybeans and sixth in rice. Other major crops include corn, wheat, hay, cotton, tobacco, oats, rye, apples, peaches, grapes, watermelons, and various seed crops.
2. 1904 World’s Fair foods like the ice cream cone.
Besides ice cream cones, other foods attributed to be introduced at the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis include hot dogs, hamburgers, banana splits, iced tea, Dr Pepper, cotton candy and peanut butter.
3. Quaint, adorable, friendly, historic small towns.
In spite of its proximity to Kansas City and the presence of a small university, Parkville is just one town in Missouri that has managed to maintain its small town image and feel. It is among the best day-trip destinations from Kansas City.
4. Amazing cities brimming with culture.
Pictured is Kansas City's Country Club Plaza, a well known hub for food, history and downtown Missouri culture.
5. Missouri has produced many talented, smart and inventive people.
Missouri's most popular author by far is Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens, 1835–1910), well-known for his classics including the Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884), written based on his boyhood in Hannibal.
Harry S. Truman has been the only native-born Missourian to serve as US president or vice president. He was elected as a US senator in 1932, and became Franklin D. Roosevelt's vice-presidential running mate in 1944 succeeding to the presidency upon Roosevelt's death on April 12, 1945. He was elected in his own right in 1948.
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6. Sliced bread!
The first bread-slicing machine was invented in Chillicothe, paving the way for sandwich-makers everywhere!
7. Easy to make pancakes!
The first ready-mix food to be sold commercially was Aunt Jemima pancake flour. It was invented in St. Joseph, Missouri and introduced in 1899.
8. The greeting card.
Hall brothers, Joyce, Rollie, and William, took their growing book and postcard business to Kansas City in 1910 and there they founded the Hallmark Cards gift card company, soon dominating the market nationally.
9. Missouri is a major transportation hub in the U.S.
Centrally located, Missouri is the leading US transportation center. Both St. Louis and Kansas City are hubs of rail, truck, and airline transportation.
10. Lumber production.
According to the Forestry Division of the Department of Conservation, Missouri leads the United States in the production of charcoal, red cedar novelties, gunstocks, walnut bowls and nutmeats as well as railroad ties, hardwood veneer and lumber, wine and bourbon casks, and other forest-related items. 97% of lumber production was in hardwoods.
11. Lead production.
Missouri is the top lead-producing state in the United States, accounting for over 50% of the nation's output. The state was also ranked (by value) in 2003 as first in the production of lime and in fire clay, third in zinc and fuller's earth, fifth in crushed stone and portland cement, and sixth in silver.
12. An abundance of museums and historical sites.
Missouri has well over 162 museums and historic sites.
13. The St. Louis Gateway Arch.
At 630 feet, it is the tallest man-made national monument in the United States. Designed by Eero Saarinen in 1948 but not constructed until three years after his death in 1964, the arch and the Museum of Westward Expansion form part of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial on the western shore of the Mississippi River.
14. The Lake of the Ozarks.
With 1,375 miles of shoreline, the Lake of the Ozarks is one of the most popular vacation spots in mid-America.
What are some other Missouri contributions you can think of? What do you appreciate most about the state? Share in the comments below.