MISSOURI FROM A-Z
"United we Stand, Divided we Fall"
Information about Missouri for each letter of the alphabet.
Click on highlighted word for more information.
A IS FOR AGRICULTURE, AMISH, ARCHAEOLOGY, & ART
The Amish way of life largely revolves around working and socializing together as a family and community. Over the past several decades, the Amish population in Missouri has been among the fastest growing in the country. Jamesport is the heart of the Amish in the state.
Missouri celebrates ARCHAEOLOGY Month in September, and there are archaeology and paleontology events. The state has many archaeologtical sites and some are on the National Register of Historic Places in Missouri. The Campbell Site includes a mound and cemetery. The Graham Cave protects a Pre-Columbian site. The Stephens Museum focuses on archaeology, cultural anthropology, biology, geology, and paleontology.
Missouri has many ART Museums and Art Centers. There are also many Art Galleries. Many of the caves in the state have Rock Art. The Missouri Arts Council promotes art in the state. The Missosuri Art Education Association promotes visual arts education by supporting creative teaching, providing opportunities for professional development and encouraging the study and implementation of art. The State Historical Society has information about famous Missourian artists.
Missouri has many BRIDGES including Railroad Bridges and Covered Bridges. It also has Pedestrian Bridges and Road Bridges. Some of the bridges are on the National Register of Historic Places in Missouri. The state has a Safe and Sound Bridge Improvement Program.
Missouri elected to remain with the Union during the CIVIL WAR. Though regular Confederate troops staged some large-scale raids into Missouri, the fighting in the state consisted chiefly of guerrilla warfare. In 1865 Missouri became the first slave state to free its slaves. Several museums are devoted to the Civil war. The Lone Jack Museum houses a variety of displays including artifacts from the Battle of Lone Jack. The Battle of Athens State Historic Site has interpretation and tours of the battlefield as well as a number of historic buildings. The Battle of Lexington State Historic site has a visitor center that provides a comprehensive view of the battle. Fort Davidson State Historic Site has a visitor center with a narrated story of the battle and its context within the Civil War.
Missouri has all forms of COMMUNICATION including newspapers, magazine, radio, and television. The state has several telephone Area Codes and Internet Service Providers. Webcams are located throughout the state.
Missouri has 114 counties and 1 independent city. The term "county" is used in 48 of the 50 states for the level of government below the state government. Franklin is the largest county. St. Louis has the largest population. Worth is both the smallest county and has the smallest population. Saint Genevieve is the oldest community in the state and was founded as early as 1735.
There is evidence that DINOSAURS roamed what is now Missouri. The Chronister Site has yielded many bones. A variety of other fossils have also been found in the state and the State Fossil is the Crinoid. The Mastodon State Historic Site has a full size replica of a mastodon skeleton. The Hypsibema missouriensis is the State Dinosaur. CLICK HERE for dinosaur coloring pages.
Missouri provides free public EDUCATION and it is between the ages of 7 and 16. There are also private schools and Homeschooling is popular. Information about public schools in the state is provided by Schoolbug and Great Schools.
A variety of EVENTS are held in Missouri including County Fairs and Festivals. The State Fair in Sedalia has operated since 1901. Charleston holds a Dogwood-Azalea Festival every year on the 3rd weekend of April. Clark County is the “Missouri Mule Capital” so a Mule Festival is almost mandatory. Laura Ingalls Wilder Day is held the 3rd week in September.
The Food Timeline dates back to the Hopwell culture. The Missouri tribe developed were excellent hunters and fishing, gardening, and gathering were essential. Acorns were used in stews or ground them into meal. Jerky originated with Native American hunters. To preserve meat, Native Americans fried and smoked game and made pemmican. Wild plants and berries were not only food but also for soaps, dyes, and medicines. Early settlers from the Upper South, French traders and family from Canada, and German immigrants brought their food traditions. Chuckwagons were used to feed cowboys on the trail. Each region of the state has special dishes. The ice cream cone was first served at the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904 and the popularity of Iced tea increased after it was served there. The State Grape is the Norton Cynthaiana (Baitis). Missouri is the largest producer of black walnuts in the world and he State Nut is the Eastern Black Walnut. Missouri has Food Festivals Events & Shows. The Missouri Food Bank Association provides food to every county.
Missouri has had many FORTS. Most of the forts have been destroyed but a few have monuments or been made into parks. Jefferson Barracks Military Post is now the site of 2 St. Louis County Parks, a National Guard Base (Army and Air), the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, and a Veterans Administration hospital. Fort Leonard Wood is the U.S. Army Maneuver Support Center of Excellence. Fort Osage has been reconstructed to portray the fort as it was in 1812 and has an Eduation Center. Living history demonstrations are given about early 19th century military and civilian life. Fort Zumwalt is being reconstructed in timing with the Bicentennial of the War of 1812.
Missouri has GHOST TOWNS. Garber has many foundations and an old post office. Lucerne has some houses. Oscar has an old store building that is now an Amish home and old sawmill operated by Amish. Reedville has some residents and a church. Mississippi claims to have many Haunted Places
The GLOBAL POSTION of Missouri is approximately 38 degrees latitude north and 92 degrees longitude west. The geographic center is located in Miller County. The topography of the state ranges from 150 ft to 1,800 ft. The highest point is Taum Sauk Mountain and the lowest point is the Saint Francis River. Geocaching is a high-tech sport using a Global Positioning System and the state has many Geocaches.
The HISTORY of Missouri dates back to the Pre-Clovis Period. Exploration of the area began in 1673 and in 1682 was claimed by France. In 1700 a mission was established on the west bank of the Mississippi River. The first Spanish governor arrived in 1768. The Spanish returned the area to France in 1800. The Louisiana Purchase transferred the area to the U.S. Missouri was at the western Frontier during the War of 1812. In 1821 it became a state. The History Museum offers classes for youth groups. World War II was brought to a close in 1945 by signing of the Surrender of Japan that took place aboard the Battleship Missouri. The state participates in National History Day.
The state celebrates. public holidays and has several special holidays. Missouri Day is the 3rd Wednesday in October. On Sucker Day in Nixa, schools close and people enjoy the much aligned bottom fish - the Sucker Fish.
Missouri has a variety of INSECTS including many species of butterflies. There is a Butterfly House in Chesterfield. Missouri also has grasshoppers and crickets and a variety of other bugs. The state is home to over 3 dozen species of spiders including 2 potentially harmful spiders, the brown recluse and the black widow. Missouri has a variety of bees and wasps and the State Insect is the Honey Bee. The Missouri State Beekeepers Association provides information for beekeepers.
Missouri has many ISLANDS in lakes and rivers. Cora Island is a Wildlife Refuge. Bangert Island is a premier spot for bikers. McLean Island is a considered one of the best spots in Missouri for deer and duck hunting. Pelican Island is considered one of the best remaining islands of the Missouri River in Missouri and a perfect example of a mature floodplain forest. Howell Island Conservation Area is mostly forest surrounded by the Missouri River and Centaur Chute.
JUDICIAL The JUDICIAL System is the system of courts that interprets and applies the law in the name of the state. The judicial system of Missouri consists of 3 level of courts: Circuit Court, Court of Appeals, and Supreme Court.
Many aspects of life in Missouri focus on KIDS. The Office of the Secretary of State has a Kids Page. Information is available about special places in the state for kids. Agriculture in the Classroom has information for teachers and students. NOAA has a special page for kids. More fun places for kids can be found at Family Days Out. The U.S. Mint has a special Kids Page. L IS FOR LAKES, LIBRARIES, & LIGHTHOUSES
img alt="Picture of Library materials" src="http://statesaz4.webs.com/az4g/libraries.jpg"> Public LIBRARIES are located throughout Missouri. The State Library is in Jefferson City. The Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum was the 1st presidential library to be created under the provisions of the 1955 Presidential Libraries Act, and is one of 12 presidential libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration. The Laura Ingalls Wilder Home is where the author did her writing. The Kansas City Library Community Bookshelf has book spines approximately 25 feet by 9 feet showcasing 22 titles. Missouri has a State Poet Laureate and celebrates National Poetry Month.
Although it is landlocked, Missouri has 3 LIGHTHOUSES. The Duck Club Marina Lighthouse marks the entrance to the marina located on the Mississippi River. The Mark Twain Lighthouse was built in 1935 not as an aid to navigation but to shine light over the year-long festivities surrounding celebration of Mark Twain's birthday. The first Lighthouse Pointe lighthouse was built as part of the Lighthouse Lodge and is now a condo located at the end of Lighthouse Road in Lake Ozark. A lighthouse is an important aspect to the mariner.
Missouri has several Mountain ranges and tall mountains. The highest mountain is Taum Sauk. The Ozark Mountains consists of the Springfield Plateau, Salem Plateau, Saint Francois Mountains, and Boston Mountains. The St. Francois Mountains rise over the Ozark Plateau. Pilot Knob is said to be the oldest mountain range in the country. Mountain Climbing is a popular activity.
Many MUSEUMS are located throughout Missouri including 8 Childrens Museums. The Museum of Transportation has antique cars, boats, planes, and a sizable collection of locomotives and railroad equipment from around the country.
The first to inhabit Missouri were Paleo Indians. Next came the Archaic Period followed by the Woodland Period and ending with the Mississipian Period. Many Indian Tribes have lived in the state, but it does not have any Federally recognized tribes today. The American Indian Cultural Center in Miami(MO) has both permanent and temporary displays that interpret the cultural history of the 9 tribes that called Missouri home in the early 19th century and a variety of interpretive programs. The state has several Pow Wows.
Missouri was part of the OLD WEST with cowboys and cowgirls. The state has had its share of Criminals and outlaws. The Missouri Ranch Horse Association preserves and celebrates the heritage, horses. and people who have made famous the way of life known as Ranching. Missouri Fox Trotter is the State Horse. Rodeos are held throughout the year. There are several active Shooting Clubs. P IS FOR PARKS, PEOPLE, & PONY EXPRESS
Over 6 million PEOPLE live in Missouri and they and are called Missourians. Many famous people have called the state their home including Harry S. Truman,33rd President of the United States; Yogi Berra, Baseball Player; Omar Bradley, 5 Star General; Dale Carnegie, Teacher of Public Speaking; Edwin Hubble, astronomer; and Mark Twain, author.
The PONY EXPRESS began in St. Joseph. Pony Express Riders had to be tough and lightweight. The Pony Express Museum in St. Joseph documents the Pony Express. In 1869, the U.S. Post Office issued a stamp honoring the Pony Express. It was the first U.S. postage stamp to depict a historical event, as opposed to a person. Since then the image of a Pony Express Rider has been used on many U.S.Postage Stamps
Missouri has a variety of Amphibians and REPTILES including 43 amphibians, 63 reptiles, and 13 lizards. The State Amphibian is the American Bullfrog and the State Reptile is the 3-toed box turtle. The state has many non-venomous snake and a few venomous snake. The state is part of the Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Program.
Missouri has many RIVERS. The major rivers are the Mississippi and Missouri with the Missouri being the longest in the state. Eleven Point River is designated a Wild and Scenic River. The state has many White Water Paddling Rivers.
Missouri has all forms of TRANSPORTATION and an Adopt-a-Highway Program. The Department of Transportation is involved in many projects and provides transportation information. A variety of personalized and special License Plates are available. In celebration of its 50th birthday in 2002, Matchbox cars issued a vehicle for each state. The vehicle for Missouri was the TV News Van. The Federal Highway Administration provides information about traffic and road closures in the state.
Missouri has many species of TREES and many State Champion Trees. The state tree is the Flowering Dogwood. The River of Life Farm is one of the only few place in the world you can stay in a tree house offering modern amenities.
Four ships have been named USS Missouri. The 1st ship the USS Missouri (1841) was a sidewheel frigate. The 2nd ship USS Missouri (BB-11) was a Main class battleship. The 3rd ship USS (BB-63) was an Iowa class battleship and is now a floating war memorial at Naval Base, Pearl Harbor. The 4th ship USS Missouri (SSN_780) is a Virginia class attack submarine. Six Steamships have been named SS Missouri.
There is evidence that at one time Missouri had active VOLCANOES. The Johnson Shut-ins were created by a volcano and is a State Park. The Ozark Mountains and the Saint Francios Mountains have some of the oldest volcanoes in the world.
The WEATHER in Missouri is cold in the winter and hot and humid in the summer alternately influenced by air from the cold Arctic and the hot and humid Gulf of Mexico. The southern part of the state is subtropical. The state receives extreme weather in the form of thunderstorms and powerful tornadoes. The most recent EF5 tornado was the 2011 Joplin tornado. Warsaw holds the record for the highest temperature – 118 degrees, and the lowest temperature – 10 degrees. The current weather is provided by Weather Underground and NOAA. Information is available about Global Warming in the state.
Missouri has a variety of WILDLIFE. The Mule is the State Animal. Some animals are threatened or endangered. The state has several Wildlife Refuges and a Wildlife Action Plan. The Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium in Springfield has over 200 species of live animals, fresh and saltwater aquariums, interactive displays and educational programs.
Missouri has several ZOOS. The Dickerson Park Zoo is home to more than 500 animals and has education programs. The St. Louis Zoo has 655 species of animals. The Kansas City Zoo has an indoor rainforest.