Missourians have so many reasons to be proud of their state. Beautiful scenery, amazing history, and exceptional natives are just some of them. Here are a few more…
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
Aunt Jemima pancake flour was invented in St. Louis in 1889. It was the first ready-mix food to ever be sold commercially.
2. Lake of the Ozarks
The Lake of the Ozarks has more miles of shoreline (1,150+) than the coast of California.
Missouri is the home of the best barbeque, especially in Kansas City.
4. The George Washington Carver National Monument
The National Park Service dedicated the birthplace of George Washington Carver as a national monument in 1943, making it the first national monument dedicated in honor of a black person.
5. The Gateway Arch, Jefferson National Expansion Memorial
Perhaps one of the world’s most impressive man-made wonders, The Gateway Arch is a 630-foot monument in St. Louis. It is the world’s tallest arch, the tallest man-made monument in the Western Hemisphere, and Missouri’s tallest accessible building.
6. Kansas City
Kansas City has more miles of boulevards than Paris and more fountains than any city except Rome. It also has more miles of freeway per capita than any metro area with more than one million residents.
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.
8. 1904 World’s Fair foods like the ice cream cone.
The ice cream cone was invented during the St. Louis World Fair in Missouri in 1904, when an ice cream vendor ran out of cups and asked a waffle vendor to roll up waffles for him to hold ice cream. He subsequently sold his ice cream in these waffle cones and a classic American dessert invention was born.
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.
9. 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.
10. Sliced bread!
The first bread-slicing machine was invented in Chillicothe, paving the way for sandwich-makers everywhere!
11. Hallmark Greeting Cards
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.
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.
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.
14. The Floating Freedom School
Prior to 1866, it was illegal to educate blacks in the state of Missouri. The Reverend John Berry Meachum, who had run a school for free and enslaved black students, moved his classes to a steamboat on the Mississippi River, beyond the reach of Missouri law. He personally provided the school with a library, desks, and chairs, and called it the “Floating Freedom School.”