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Missouri is a state in the Midwestern region of the United States[1] bordered by Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. Missouri is the 18th most populous state. It comprises 114 counties and one independent city. Missouri's capital is Jefferson City. The four largest urban areas are, in descending order, St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield, and Columbia.[2] Missouri was originally acquired from France as part of the Louisiana Purchase and became defined as the Missouri Territory. Part of the Missouri Territory was admitted into the union as the 24th state in 1821.

Missouri mirrors demographic, economic and political makeup of the nation with a mixture of urban and rural culture. It has long been considered a political bellwether state.[3] With the exception of the 1956 and 2008 presidential elections, Missouri's election results have accurately predicted the next President of the United States since 1904. It has both Midwestern and Southern cultural influences, reflecting its history as a border state. It is also a transition between the eastern and western United States, as St. Louis is often called the "western-most eastern city" and Kansas City the "eastern-most western city." Missouri's geography is highly varied. The northern part of the state lies in dissected till plains while the southern part lies in the Ozark Mountains, with the Missouri River dividing the two. The confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers is located near St. Louis.[4]

Etymology and pronunciationEdit

The state is named after the Missouri River which in turn is named after the Siouan Indian tribe whose Illinois name, ouemessourita (wimihsoorita[5]), means "those who have dugout canoes".[6] The etymology lies behind Bob Dyer's tribute song, "River of the Big Canoes".

The pronunciation of the final syllable of "Missouri" is a matter of some controversy, with some insisting on a relatively tense vowel (as in "meet"), while others prefer a lax vowel ("mitt" or "mutt"). The most thorough study of the question was done by dialectologist Donald Max Lance. From a linguistic point of view, there is no correct pronunciation, but rather, there are simply patterns of variation, diachronic as well as synchronic, according to such divisions as geography, age, education, and/or rural vs. urban location. In general, the schwa vowel correlates with proximity to Kansas City, with older speakers (born before 1945), with lower levels of formal education and rural location. Lance notes less controversial but also systematic variations in pronunciation: the second consonant is most often voiced ("misery") but unvoiced by some speakers ("missive"), and the medial vowel is variously raised and unrounded ("lurk") or rounded ("lure").


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Missouri borders eight different states, as does its neighbor, Tennessee. No state in the U.S. touches more than eight states. Missouri is bounded on the north by Iowa; on the east, across the Mississippi River, by Illinois, Kentucky, and Tennessee; on the south by Arkansas; and on the west by Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska (the last across the Missouri River). The two largest Missouri rivers are the Mississippi, which defines the eastern boundary of the state, and the Missouri, which flows from west to east through the state, practically connecting the two largest cities, Kansas City and St. Louis.

Although today the state is usually considered part of the Midwest,[7][8] historically Missouri was sometimes considered a Southern state,[9] chiefly because of the settlement of migrants from the South and its status as a slave state before the Civil War. The counties that made up "Little Dixie" were those along the Missouri River in the center of the state, settled by Southern migrants who held the greatest concentration of slaves.

Residents of cities farther north and of the state's large metropolitan areas, including those where most of the state's population resides (Kansas City, St. Louis, and Columbia), typically consider themselves Midwestern. In rural areas and cities farther south, such as (Cape Girardeau, Poplar Bluff, Springfield, and Sikeston), residents typically self-identify as more Southern.


File:US mo physiographic map.jpg

North of the Missouri River lie the Northern Plains that stretch into Iowa, Nebraska, and Kansas. Here, gentle rolling hills remain behind from the glaciation that once extended from the north to the Missouri River. Missouri has many large river bluffs along the Mississippi, Missouri, and Meramec Rivers. The Ozark foothills begin around Rolla. The Ozark plateau begins around Springfield and extends into northwestern Arkansas, southeast Kansas, and northeast Oklahoma. Springfield in southwestern Missouri lies on the most northwestern part of the Ozark plateau. Southern Missouri rises to the Ozark Mountains, a dissected plateau surrounding the Precambrian igneous St. Francois Mountains.

The southeastern part of the state is the Bootheel region, part of the Mississippi Alluvial Plain or Mississippi embayment. This region is the lowest, flattest, and wettest part of the state, and among the poorest, as the economy is mostly agricultural.[10] It is also the most fertile, with cotton and rice crops predominant. The Bootheel was the epicenter of the New Madrid Earthquake of 1811–1812.


Template:Main article Missouri generally has a humid continental climate (Koppen climate classification Dfa), with cold winters and hot and humid summers. In the southern part of the state, particularly in the Bootheel, the climate borders on a humid subtropical climate (Koppen Cfa). Located in the interior United States, Missouri often experiences extremes in temperatures. Without high mountains or oceans nearby to moderate temperature, its climate is alternately influenced by air from the cold Arctic and the hot and humid Gulf of Mexico.

Monthly Normal High and Low Temperatures For Various Missouri Cities
City Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Columbia 37/18 44/23 55/33 66/43 75/53 84/62 89/66 87/64 79/55 68/44 53/33 42/22
Kansas City 36/18 43/23 54/33 65/44 75/54 84/63 89/68 87/66 79/57 68/46 52/33 40/22
Springfield 42/22 48/26 58/35 68/44 76/53 85/62 90/67 90/66 81/57 71/46 56/35 46/26
St. Louis 38/21 44/26 55/36 67/46 76/57 85/66 90/71 88/69 80/60 68/48 54/37 42/26

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Main article: History of Missouri

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Originally part of the 1803 Louisiana Purchase, Missouri was admitted as a slave state in 1821 as part of the Missouri Compromise. It earned the nickname "Gateway to the West" because it served as a departure point for settlers heading to the west. It was the starting point and the return destination of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. River traffic and trade along the Mississippi was integral to the state's economy. To try to control flooding, by 1860 the state had completed construction of Template:Convert of levees on the Mississippi.[11]

The state was site of the epicenter of the 1812 New Madrid earthquake, possibly the most massive earthquake in the United States since the founding of the country. Casualties were light due to the sparse population.

Originally the state's western border was a straight line, defined as the meridian passing through the Kawsmouth,[12] the point where the Kansas River enters the Missouri River. The river has moved since this designation. This line is known as the Osage Boundary.[13] In 1835 the Platte Purchase was added to the northwest corner of the state after purchasing the land from the native tribes, making the Missouri River the border north of the Kansas River. This addition made what was already the largest state in the Union at the time (about Template:Convert to Virginia's 65,000 square miles (which included West Virginia at the time) even larger.[14]

As many of the early settlers in western Missouri migrated from the Upper South, they brought along enslaved African Americans and a desire to continue their culture and the institution of slavery. They settled predominately in 17 counties along the Missouri River, in an area of flatlands that enabled plantation agriculture and became known as "Little Dixie." In the early 1830s, Mormon migrants from northern states and Canada began settling near Independence and areas just north of there. Conflicts over slavery and religion arose between the 'old settlers' (mainly from the South) and the Mormons (mainly from the North and Canada). The 'Mormon War' erupted. By 1839 settlers expelled the Mormons from Missouri.

Conflicts over slavery exacerbated border tensions among the states and territories. In 1838–1839 a border dispute with Iowa over the so-called Honey Lands resulted in both states' calling up militias along the border. After many incidents with Kansans crossing the western border for attacks (including setting a fire in the historic Westport area of Kansas City), a border war erupted between Missouri and Kansas.

From the 1830s to the 1860s, Missouri's population almost doubled with every decade. Most of the newcomers were Americans, but many Irish and German immigrants arrived in the late 1840s and 1850s. Having fled famine, oppression and revolutionary upheaval, they were not sympathetic to slavery.

Most Missouri farmers practiced subsistence farming. The majority of those who held slaves had fewer than 5 each. Planters, defined by historians as those holding 20 or more slaves, were concentrated in the counties known as "Little Dixie", in the central part of the state along the Missouri River. The tensions over slavery had chiefly to do with the future of the state and nation. In 1860 enslaved African Americans made up less than 10% of the state's population of 1,182,012.[15]

After the secession of Southern states began, the Missouri legislature called for the election of a special convention on secession. The convention voted decisively to remain within the Union. Pro-Southern Governor Claiborne F. Jackson ordered the mobilization of several hundred members of the state militia who had gathered in a camp in St. Louis for training. Alarmed at this action, Union General Nathaniel Lyon struck first, encircling the peaceful camp and forcing the state troops to surrender. Lyon then directed his soldiers, largely non-English-speaking German immigrants, to march the prisoners through the streets, and opened fire on the largely hostile crowds of civilians who gathered around them. Soldiers killed unarmed prisoners as well as men, women and children of St. Louis in the incident that became known as the "St. Louis Massacre."

These events heightened Confederate support within the state. Governor Jackson appointed Sterling Price, president of the convention on secession, as head of the new Missouri State Guard. In the face of General Lyon's rapid advance in the state, Jackson and Price were forced to flee the capital of Jefferson City on June 14, 1861. In the town of Neosho, Missouri, Jackson called the state legislature into session. They enacted a secession ordinance, recognized by the Confederacy on October 30, 1861.

With the elected governor absent from his capital and the legislators largely dispersed, Union forces installed an unelected pro-Union provisional government with Hamilton Gamble as provisional governor. President Lincoln's Administration immediately recognized Gamble's government as the legal government. This decision provided both pro-Union militia forces for service within the state and volunteer regiments for the Union Army.

Fighting ensued between Union forces and a combined army of General Price's Missouri State Guard and Confederate troops from Arkansas and Texas under General Ben McCulloch. After winning victories at the battle of Wilson's Creek and the siege of Lexington, Missouri and suffering losses elsewhere, the Confederate forces had little choice but to retreat to Arkansas and later Marshall, Texas, in the face of a largely reinforced Union Army.

Though regular Confederate troops staged some large-scale raids into Missouri, the fighting in the state for the next three years consisted chiefly of guerrilla warfare. "Citizen soldiers" such as Colonel William Quantrill, Frank and Jesse James, the Younger brothers, and William T. Anderson made use of quick, small-unit tactics. Pioneered by the Missouri Partisan Rangers, such insurgencies also arose in other portions of the Confederacy occupied during the Civil War. Recently historians have assessed the James brothers' outlaw years as continuing guerrilla warfare after the official war was over.

In 1930, there was a diphtheria epidemic in the area around Springfield which killed approximately 100 people. Serum was rushed to the area and stopped the epidemic.

During the mid-1950s and 1960s, St. Louis suffered deindustrialization and loss of jobs in railroads and manufacturing as did other major industrial cities. At the same time highway construction made it easy for middle-class residents to leave the city for newer housing in the suburbs. The city has gone through decades of readjustment to developing a different economy. Suburban areas have developed separate job markets, both in knowledge industries and services, such as major retail malls.


File:Missouri population map.png


In 2007, Missouri had an estimated population of 5,878,415; an increase of 283,204 (5.1 percent) since the year 2000. This includes a natural increase of 137,564 people since the last census (480,763 births less 343,199 deaths), and an increase of 88,088 people due to net migration into the state. Immigration from outside the United States resulted in a net increase of 50,450 people, and migration within the country produced a net increase of 37,638 people. Over half of Missourians (3,145,584 people, or 56.2%) live within the state's two largest metropolitan areas–St. Louis and Kansas City. The state's population density 81.2 in 2000, is also closer to the national average (79.6 in 2000) than any other state.

The U.S. Census of 2000 found that the population center of the United States is in Phelps County, Missouri. The center of population of Missouri itself is located in Osage County, in the city of Westphalia.[16]

As of 2004, the population included 194,000 foreign-born (3.4 percent of the state population). Template:US Demographics The five largest ancestry groups in Missouri are: German (23.5 percent), Irish (12.7 percent), American (10.5 percent), English (9.5 percent) and French (3.5 percent). "American" includes some of those reported as Native American or African American, but also European Americans whose ancestors have lived in the United States for a considerable time.

German Americans are an ancestry group present throughout Missouri. African Americans are a substantial part of the population in St. Louis, Kansas City, and in the southeastern Bootheel and some parts of the Missouri River Valley, where plantation agriculture was once important. Missouri Creoles of French ancestry are concentrated in the Mississippi River Valley south of St. Louis. A relatively small number (40,000-50,000) of recent Bosniak immigrants live mostly in the St. Louis area.Template:Fact

In 2004, 6.6 percent of the state's population was reported as younger than 5 years old, 25.5 percent younger than 18, and 13.5 percent was 65 or older. Females were approximately 51.4 percent of the population. 81.3 percent of Missouri residents were high school graduates (more than the national average), and 21.6 percent had a bachelor's degree or higher. 3.4 percent of Missourians were foreign-born, and 5.1 percent reported speaking a language other than English at home.

In 2000, there were 2,194,594 households in Missouri, with 2.48 people per household. The homeownership rate was 70.3 percent, and the mean value of an owner-occupied dwelling was $89,900. The median household income for 1999 was $37,934, or $19,936 per capita. There were 11.7 percent (637,891) Missourians living below the poverty line in 1999.

The mean commute time to work was 23.8 minutes.


Of those Missourians who identify with a religion, three out of five are Protestants. There is also a moderate-sized Roman Catholic community in some parts of the state; approximately one out of five Missourians are Roman Catholic. Areas with more numerous Catholics include St. Louis and the Missouri Rhineland, particularly that south of the Missouri River.[17]

The religious affiliations of the people of Missouri according to the American Religious Identification Survey:[18]

The largest denominations by number of adherents in 2000 were the Roman Catholic Church with 856,964; the Southern Baptist Convention with 797,732; and the United Methodist Church with 226,578.[19]

Several religious organizations have headquarters in Missouri, including the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, which has its headquarters in Kirkwood, as well as the United Pentecostal Church International in Hazelwood, both outside St. Louis. Kansas City is the headquarters of the Church of the Nazarene. Independence, outside of Kansas City, is the headquarters for the Community of Christ (formerly the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints), and the Latter Day Saints group Remnant Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. This area and other parts of Missouri are also of significant religious and historical importance to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), which maintains several sites/visitors centers, and whose members make up about 1 percent of Missouri's population. Springfield is the headquarters of the Assemblies of God and the Baptist Bible Fellowship International. The General Association of General Baptists has its headquarters in Poplar Bluff. The Pentecostal Church of God is headquartered in Joplin. The Unity Church is headquartered in Unity Village.


The Bureau of Economic Analysis estimates that Missouri's total state product in 2006 was $225.9 billion. Per capita personal income in 2006 was $32,707, ranking 26th in the nation. Major industries include aerospace, transportation equipment, food processing, chemicals, printing/publishing, electrical equipment, light manufacturing, and beer.

The agriculture products of the state are beef, soybeans, pork, dairy products, hay, corn, poultry, sorghum, and eggs. Missouri is ranked 6th in the nation for the production of hogs and 7th for cattle. Missouri is ranked in the top five states in the nation for production of soy beans. As of 2001, there were 108,000 farms, the second largest number in any state after Texas. Missouri actively promotes its rapidly growing wine industry.

Missouri has vast quantities of limestone. Other resources mined are lead, coal, Portland cement, and crushed stone. Missouri produces the most lead of all of the states. Most of the lead mines are in the central eastern portion of the state. Missouri also ranks first or near first in the production of lime.

Tourism, services and wholesale/retail trade follow manufacturing in importance.

Personal income is taxed in 10 different earning brackets, ranging from 1.5 percent to 6.0 percent. Missouri's sales tax rate for most items is 4.225 percent. Additional local levies may apply. More than 2,500 Missouri local governments rely on property taxes levied on real property (real estate) and personal property. Most personal property is exempt, except for motorized vehicles. Exempt real estate includes property owned by governments and property used as nonprofit cemeteries, exclusively for religious worship, for schools and colleges and for purely charitable purposes. There is no inheritance tax and limited Missouri estate tax related to federal estate tax collection.

Missouri is the only state in the Union to have two Federal Reserve Banks: one in Kansas City (serving western Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Colorado, northern New Mexico, and Wyoming) and one in St. Louis (serving eastern Missouri, southern Illinois, southern Indiana, western Kentucky, western Tennessee, northern Mississippi, and all of Arkansas).[20]



The state of Missouri has two major airport hubs: Lambert-St. Louis International Airport and Kansas City International Airport.

Lambert-St. Louis International Airport is the fourth largest worldwide hub for American Airlines. It is the largest and busiest airport in Missouri.


Two of the nation's three busiest rail centers are located in Missouri. Kansas City is a major railroad hub for BNSF Railway, Norfolk Southern Railway, Kansas City Southern Railway, and Union Pacific Railroad. Kansas City is the second largest freight rail center in the US. Like Kansas City, St. Louis is a major destination for train freight. Amtrak passenger trains serve Kansas City, Jefferson City, St. Louis, Lee's Summit, Independence, Warrensburg, Hermann, Kirkwood, Sedalia, and Poplar Bluff. The only urban light rail/subway system in Missouri is the St. Louis MetroLink which connects the City of St. Louis with suburbs in Illinois and St. Louis County. It is one of the largest (track mileage) systems in the USA. In 2007 preliminary planning was being performed for a light rail system in the Kansas City area, but was defeated by voters in November 2008.

The Gateway Multimodal Transportation Center in St. Louis is the largest active multi-use transportation center in the state. It is located in Downtown St. Louis next to the historic St. Louis Union Station complex. It serves as a hub center/station for the city's rail system St. Louis MetroLink and regional bus system MetroBus, Greyhound, Amtrak and city taxi services.

Springfield remains an operational hub for BNSF Railway.



The Mississippi River and Missouri River are commercially navigable over their entire lengths in Missouri. The Missouri was channelized through dredging and jettys and the Mississippi was given a series of locks and dams to avoid rocks and deepen the river. St. Louis is a major destination for barge traffic on the Mississippi River.



Several highways, detailed below, traverse the state.

Following the passage of Amendment 3 in late 2004, the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) began its Smoother, Safer, Sooner road-building program with a goal of bringing Template:Convert of highways up to good condition by December 2007. In 2005 the number of traffic deaths in the state increased by 10 percent to 1,241.

Interstate FreewaysEdit

United States RoutesEdit

North-south routesEast-west routes

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Law and governmentEdit


Main article: Law and government of Missouri

Template:Missouri Government The current Constitution of Missouri, the fourth constitution for the state, was adopted in 1945. It provides for three branches of government: the legislative, judicial, and executive branches. The legislative branch consists of two bodies: the House of Representatives and the Senate. These bodies comprise the Missouri General Assembly.

The House of Representatives has 163 members who are apportioned based on the last decennial census. The Senate consists of 34 members from districts of approximately equal populations. The judicial department comprises the Supreme Court of Missouri, which has seven judges, the Missouri Court of Appeals (an intermediate appellate court divided into three districts, sitting in Kansas City, St. Louis, and Springfield), and 45 Circuit Courts which function as local trial courts. The executive branch is headed by the Governor of Missouri and includes five other statewide elected offices. Following the Election of 2008, all but one of Missouri's statewide elected offices are held by Democrats.

Past Presidential Elections Results
Year Republican Democratic Third Parties
2008 49.39% 1,445,814 49.25% 1,441,911 1.36% 39,889
2004 53.30% 1,455,713 46.10% 1,259,171 0.60% 16,480
2000 50.42% 1,189,924 47.08% 1,111,138 2.50% 58,830
1996 41.24% 890,016 47.54% 1,025,935 11.22% 242,114
1992 33.92% 811,159 44.07% 1,053,873 22.00% 526,238
1988 51.83% 1,084,953 47.85% 1,001,619 0.32% 6,656
1984 60.02% 1,274,188 39.98% 848,583 0.00% None
1980 51.16% 1,074,181 44.35% 931,182 4.49% 94,461
1976 47.47% 927,443 51.10% 998,387 1.42% 27,770
1972 62.29% 1,154,058 37.71% 698,531 0.00% None
1968 44.87% 811,932 43.74% 791,444 11.39% 206,126
1964 35.95% 653,535 50.92% 1,164,344 0.00% None
1960 49.74% 962,221 50.26% 972,201 0.00% None
1956 49.89% 914,289 50.11% 918,273 0.00% None
1952 50.71% 959,429 49.14% 929,830 0.15% 2,803
1948 41.49% 655,039 58.11% 917,315 0.39% 6,274
1944 48.43% 761,524 51.37% 807,804 0.20% 3,146
1940 47.50% 871,009 52.27% 958,476 0.23% 4,244
1936 38.16% 697,891 60.76% 1,111,043 1.08% 19,701
1932 35.08% 564,713 63.69% 1,025,406 1.22% 19,775
1928 55.58% 834,080 44.15% 662,562 0.27% 4,079
1924 49.58% 648,486 43.79% 572,753 6.63% 86,719
1920 54.56% 727,162 43.13% 574,799 2.32% 30,839
1916 46.94% 369,339 50.59% 398,032 2.46% 19,398
1912 29.75% 207,821 47.35% 330,746 22.89% 159,999
1908 48.50% 347,203 48.41% 346,574 3.08% 22,150
1904 49.93% 321,449 46.02% 296,312 4.05% 26,100
1900 45.94% 314,092 51.48% 351,922 2.58% 17,642

Missouri GovernmentEdit

Office Incumbent Party Residence
Governor Jay Nixon Democratic De Soto
Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder Republican Cape Girardeau
Secretary of State Robin Carnahan Democratic Rolla
Attorney General Chris Koster Democratic Harrisonville
State Auditor Susan Montee Democratic St. Joseph
State Treasurer Clint Zweifel Democratic St. Louis

Status as a political bellwetherEdit

Main article: Missouri bellwether

Missouri is widely regarded as a state bellwether in American politics. The state has a longer stretch of supporting the winning presidential candidate than any other state, having voted with the nation in every election since 1904 with two exceptions: in 1956 when they voted for Governor Adlai Stevenson of Illinois over the winner, incumbent President Dwight Eisenhower of Kansas, and in 2008 when they voted for Senator John McCain of Arizona over national winner Senator Barack Obama of Illinois.


Laissez-faire alcohol and tobacco lawsEdit

File:StLouisABPackaging Plant.JPG
Main article: Alcohol laws of Missouri

Missouri has been known for its population's generally "stalwart, conservative, noncredulous" attitude toward regulatory regimes, which is one of the origins of the state's official nickname, the "Show-Me State."[21] As a result, and combined with the fact that Missouri is one of America's leading alcohol and tobacco-producing states, regulation of alcohol and tobacco in Missouri is among the most laissez-faire in America.

With a large German immigrant population and the development of a brewing industry, Missouri always has had among the most permissive alcohol laws in the United States. It never enacted statewide prohibition. Missouri voters rejected prohibition in three separate referenda in 1910, 1912, and 1918. Alcohol regulation did not begin in Missouri until 1934. Today, alcohol laws are controlled by the state government, and local jurisdictions are prohibited from going beyond those state laws. Missouri has no statewide open container law or prohibition on drinking in public, no alcohol-related blue laws, no local option, no precise locations for selling liquor by the package (thus allowing even drug stores and gas stations to sell any kind of liquor), no differentiation of laws based on alcohol percentage, no prohibition on consumption by minors (as opposed to possession), and no prohibition on absinthe. State law protects persons from arrest or criminal penalty for public intoxication[22] and also expressly prohibits any jurisdiction from going dry.[23] Missouri law also expressly allows parents and guardians to serve alcohol to their children.[24] The Power & Light District in Kansas City is one of the few places in the United States where a state law explicitly allows persons over the age of 21 to possess and consume open containers of alcohol in the street (as long as the beverage is in a plastic cup).[25]

See also: List of smoking bans in Missouri

As for tobacco, as of December 2008 Missouri has the second-lowest cigarette excise taxes in the United States (behind only South Carolina) at 17 cents per pack,[26][27] and the electorate voted in 2002 and 2006 to keep it that way.[28] In 2007, Forbes named Missouri's largest metropolitan area, St. Louis, America's "best city for smokers." [29] Missouri has the third highest percentage of adult smokers of any U.S. state.[30] No statewide smoking ban ever has been seriously entertained before the Missouri General Assembly, and in October 2008, a statewide survey by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services found that only 27.5% of Missourians support a statewide ban on smoking in all bars and restaurants.[31] Missouri state law permits bars, restaurants which seat less than 50 people, bowling alleys, and billiard parlors to decide their own smoking policies, without limitation.[32]

Additionally, in Missouri, it is "an improper employment practice" for an employer to refuse to hire, to fire, or otherwise to disadvantage any person because that person lawfully uses alcohol and/or tobacco products when he or she is not at work.[33]


Template:See also Missouri has 114 counties and one independent city (St. Louis).

The largest county by size is Texas County (1,179 sq. miles) and Shannon County is second (1,004 sq. miles). Worth County is the smallest (266 sq. miles). The independent city of St. Louis City has only Template:Convert of area. St. Louis City is the most densely populated area in Missouri.

The largest county by population (2000 U.S. Census) is St. Louis County (1,016,315 residents), with Jackson County the second (654,880 residents). Worth County is the least populous, with 2,382 residents.

Important cities and townsEdit

Template:See also The seven largest cities in Missouri are Kansas City, St. Louis, Springfield, Independence, Columbia, Lee's Summit, and O'Fallon[34].

St. Louis is the principal city of the largest metropolitan area in Missouri, comprising seventeen counties and the independent city of St. Louis; eight of those counties lie in the state of Illinois. As of 2007, Greater St. Louis was the 18th largest urban area in the nation with 2.80 million people. Some of the major cities making up the St. Louis Metro area in Missouri include St. Charles, St. Peters, Florissant, Chesterfield, Creve Coeur, Maryland Heights, O'Fallon, Clayton, Ballwin, and University City.

Kansas City is Missouri's largest city and the principal city of the fifteen-county Kansas City Metropolitan Statistical Area, including six counties in the state of Kansas. As of 2007, it was the 29th largest metropolitan area in the nation, with 1.985 mil. people. Some of the other major cities comprising the Kansas City metro area in Missouri include Independence, Lee's Summit, Blue Springs, Raytown, Liberty, and Gladstone.

Branson is a major tourist attraction in the Ozarks of southwestern Missouri.


Main article: Education in Missouri

Missouri State Board of EducationEdit

The Missouri State Board of Education has general authority over all public education in the state of Missouri. It is made up of eight citizens appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Missouri Senate.

File:Mizzou Jesse Thumb.jpg

Primary and secondary schoolsEdit

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Education is compulsory from ages seven to sixteen in Missouri, commonly but not exclusively divided into three tiers of primary and secondary education: elementary school, middle school or junior high school and high school. The public schools system includes kindergarten to 12th grade. District territories are often complex in structure. In some cases, elementary, middle and junior high schools of a single district feed into high schools in another district. High school athletics and competitions are governed by the Missouri State High School Activities Association or MSHSAA.

Colleges and universitiesEdit

Template:See also The University of Missouri System is Missouri's statewide public university system, the flagship institution and largest university in the state is the University of Missouri in Columbia. The others in the system are University of Missouri–Kansas City, University of Missouri–St. Louis, and Missouri University of Science and Technology.


Notable highly rated[35] private institutions include Washington University in St. Louis and Saint Louis University.

Lincoln University in Jefferson City is one of a number of historically black colleges and universities. Founded in 1866, it was created by members of the 62nd and 65th United States Colored Troops as "Lincoln Institute", to provide education to freedmen. It was created on a model of combining academics and labor. In 1921, the state officially recognized the growth of Lincoln's undergraduate and graduate programs by classifying it as a university. The institution changed its name to "Lincoln University of Missouri." In 1954, the university began to accept applicants of all races.

To develop new teachers for needed public schools, in 1905 the state established a series of normal schools at colleges in each region of the state. This was based on the widely admired German model of public education. Normal schools were for the training of teachers of students in primary/elementary schools. The initial network consisted of Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, Missouri State University (formerly Southwest Missouri State University) in Springfield, Truman State University (formerly Northeast Missouri State University) in Kirksville, Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, and University of Central Missouri (formerly Central Missouri State University) in Warrensburg. Within several years, the normal school curriculum expanded to a full four years of academic subjects.

There are numerous junior colleges, trade schools, church universities and private universities in the state.

The state also funds a $2000, renewable merit-based scholarship, Bright Flight, given to the top 3 percent of Missouri High School graduates who attend a university in-state.

The 19th c. border wars between Missouri and Kansas have continued as a sports rivalry between the University of Missouri and University of Kansas. The rivalry is chiefly expressed through football games between the two colleges. It is the oldest college rivalry west of the Mississippi River and the second oldest in the nation. Each year when the universities meet to play, the game is coined "Border Showdown." An exchange occurs following the game where the winner gets to take a historic marching band drum, which has been passed back and forth for decades.


Minor leaguesEdit

Former professional sports teamsEdit

Teams in Kansas City and St. Louis.

Miscellaneous topicsEdit

  • USS Missouri, a U.S. Navy Iowa class battleship, was named in honor of the state.
  • The phrase "I'm from Missouri" means I'm skeptical of the matter and not easily convinced. This is related to the state's motto of "Show Me," whose origin is popularly ascribed to an 1899 speech by Congressman Willard Vandiver, who declared that "I come from a country that raises corn and cotton, cockleburs and Democrats, and frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. I'm from Missouri, and you have got to show me." However, according to researchers, the phrase was in circulation earlier in the 1890s.[36] According to another story, the phrase was originally a reference to Missouri laborers being brought to Colorado to quell a miner's strike and requiring frequent instruction.[37]
  • Missouri is known as "The Cave State" with over 6000 recorded caves (second to Kentucky). Perry County has both the largest number of caves and the single longest cave in the state.[38]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ Topic Galleries -
  4. ^ Introduction to Missouri - The Show Me State Capital Jefferson City
  5. ^ McCafferty, Michael. 2004. Correction: Etymology of Missouri (restricted access). American Speech, 79.1:32
  6. ^ American Heritage Dictionary: Missouri
  7. ^
  8. ^ Midwest Region Economy at a Glance
  9. ^ UNC-CH surveys reveal where the ‘real' South lies
  10. ^ Income Inequality in Missouri
  11. ^ New York Times, "Louisiana: The Levee System of the State", 10/8/1874; accessed 11/15/2007
  12. ^ Hoffhaus. (1984). Chez Les Canses: Three Centuries at Kawsmouth. Kansas City: Lowell Press. ISBN 0-913504-91-2.
  13. ^ MISSOURI V. IOWA, 48 U. S. 660 (1849) - US Supreme Court Cases from Justia & Oyez
  14. ^ Meinig, D.W. (1993). The Shaping of America: A Geographical Perspective on 500 Years of History, Volume 2: Continental America, 1800–1867. New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-05658-3; pg. 437
  15. ^ Historical Census Browser, 1860 Federal Census, University of Virginia Library, accessed 21 Mar 2008
  16. ^ Template:Cite web
  17. ^ Valparaiso University
  18. ^ 2001 American Religious Identification Survey, City University of New York
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^ Missouri Secretary of State - State Archives - Origin of "Show Me" slogan
  22. ^ Section 67.305, Revised Statutes of Missouri
  23. ^ Section 311.170, Revised Statutes of Missouri
  24. ^ Section 311.310, Revised Statutes of Missouri
  25. ^ Section 311.086, Revised Statutes of Missouri
  26. ^ Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, State Excise Tax Rates and Rankings, October 2008
  27. ^ "State Tax Rates on Cigarettes," Federation of Tax Administrators, January 1, 2008
  28. ^ "A burning issue," St. Louis Post-Dispatch, November 12, 2006
  29. ^ "Best Cities for Smokers," Forbes Magazine, November 1, 2007
  30. ^ Rob Roberts, "Critics: Don't expect smoking ban for years, if ever," Kansas City Business Journal, November 24, 2004
  31. ^ Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, County Level Survey 2007: Secondhand Smoke for Missouri Adults, October 1, 2008
  32. ^ Section 191.769, Revised Statutes of Missouri
  33. ^ Section 290.145, Revised Statutes of Missouri
  34. ^ Template:Cite web
  35. ^ America's Best Colleges 2008: National Universities: Top Schools.” . January 18, 2008.
  36. ^ "I'm from Missouri -- Show Me."
  37. ^ Origin of "Show Me" Slogan. Secretary of State, Missouri.
  38. ^ Template:Cite web

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