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State of Missouri

ORIGIN OF STATE NAME: Probably derived from the Iliniwek Indian word missouri, meaning "owners of big canoes."

NICKNAME: The Show Me State.

CAPITAL: Jefferson City.

ENTERED UNION: 10 August 1821 (24th).

SONG: "Missouri Waltz."

MOTTO: Salus populi suprema lex esto (The welfare of the people shall be the supreme law).

COAT OF ARMS: Two grizzly bears stand on a scroll inscribed with the state motto and support a shield portraying an American eagle and a constellation of stars, a grizzly bear on all fours, and a crescent moon, all encircled by the words "United We Stand, Divided We Fall." Above are a six-barred helmet and 24 stars; below is the roman numeral MDCCCXX (1820), when Missouri's first constitution was adopted.

FLAG: Three horizontal stripes of red, white, and blue, with the coat of arms encircled by 24 white stars on a blue band in the center.

OFFICIAL SEAL: The coat of arms is surrounded by the words "The Great Seal of the State of Missouri."

BIRD: Bluebird.

FLOWER: White Hawthorn blossom.

TREE: Flowering dogwood.

LEGAL HOLIDAYS: New Year's Day, 1 January; Birthday of Martin Luther King Jr., 3rd Monday in January; Lincoln's Birthday, 12 February; Washington's Birthday, 3rd Monday in February; Harry S. Truman's Birthday, 8 May; Memorial Day, last Monday in May; Independence Day, 4 July; Labor Day, 1st Monday in September; Columbus Day, 2nd Monday in October; Veterans' Day, 11 November; Thanksgiving Day, 4th Thursday in November; Christmas Day, 25 December. Though not a legal holiday, Missouri Day, the 3rd Wednesday in October, is commemorated in schools each year.

TIME: 6 AM CST = noon GMT.


Located in the western north-central United States, Missouri ranks 19th in size among the 50 states.

The total area of Missouri is 69,697 sq mi (180,516 sq km), of which land takes up 68,945 sq mi (178,568 sq km) and inland water 752 sq mi (1,948 sq km). Missouri extends 284 mi (457 km) e-w; its greatest n-s extension is 308 mi (496 km).

Missouri is bounded on the n by Iowa (with the line in the extreme ne defined by the Des Moines River); on the e by Illinois, Kentucky, and Tennessee (with the line passing through the Mississippi River); on the s by Arkansas (with a "boot heel" in the se bounded by the Mississippi and St. Francis rivers); and on the w by Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska (the line in the nw being formed by the Missouri River).

The total boundary length of Missouri is 1,438 mi (2,314 km). The state's geographic center is in Miller County, 20 mi (32 km) sw of Jefferson City.


Missouri is divided into four major land regions. The Dissected Till Plains, lying north of the Missouri River and forming part of the Central Plains region of the United States, comprise rolling hills, open fertile flatlands, and well-watered prairie. The Osage Plains cover the western part of the state, their flat prairie monotony broken by low rounded hills. The Mississippi Alluvial Plain, in the southeastern corner, is made up of fertile black lowlands whose floodplain belts represent both the present and former courses of the Mississippi River. The Ozark Plateau, which comprises most of southern Missouri and extends into northern Arkansas and northeastern Oklahoma, constitutes the state's largest single region. The Ozarks contain Taum Sauk Mountain, at 1,772 ft (540 m) the highest elevation in the state. Along the St. Francis River, near Cardwell, is the state's lowest point, 230 ft (70 m). The mean elevation is approximately 800 ft (244 m).

Including a frontage of at least 500 mi (800 km) along the Mississippi River, Missouri has more than 1,000 mi (1,600 km) of navigable waterways. The Mississippi and Missouri rivers, the two largest in the United States, respectively form the state's eastern border and part of its western border; Kansas City is located at the point where the Missouri bends eastward to cross the state, while St. Louis developed below the junction of the two great waterways. The White, Grand, Chariton, St. Francis, Current, and Osage are among the state's other major rivers. The largest lake is the artificial Lake of the Ozarks, covering a total of 93 sq mi (241 sq km).

Missouri's exceptional number of caves and caverns were formed during the last 50 million years through the erosion of limestone and dolomite by melting snows bearing vegetable acids. Coal, lead, and zinc deposits date from the Pennsylvanian era, beginning some 250 million years ago. The Mississippi Valley area is geologically active: massive earthquakes during 1811 and 1812 devastated the New Madrid area of the southeast.


Missouri has a continental climate, but with considerable local and regional variation. The average annual temperature is 50°f (10°c) in the northwest, but about 60°f (16°c) in the southeast. Kansas City has an average temperature of 56°f (13°c), ranging from 30°f (1°c) in January to 80°f (26°c) in July; St. Louis has an annual average of 56°f (13°c) with 30°f (1°c) in January and 79°f (26°c) in July.

The coldest temperature ever recorded in Missouri was 40°f (40°c), set at Warsaw on 13 February 1905; the hottest, 118°f (48°c), at Warsaw and Union on 14 July 1954. A 1980 heat wave caused 311 heat-related deaths in Missouri, the highest toll in the country; most were elderly residents of St. Louis and Kansas City. Fifty-one more heat-related deaths occurred in St. Louis during a 1983 heat wave.

The average annual precipitation for Kansas City is about 36 in (100 cm), with some rain or snow falling about 110 days a year. The heaviest precipitation is in the southeast, averaging 48 in (122 cm); the northwest usually receives 35 in (89 cm) yearly. Snowfall averages 20 in (51 cm) in the north, 10 in (25 cm) in the southeast. During the winter, northwest winds prevail; the air movement is largely from the south and southeast during the rest of the year. Springtime is the peak tornado season.


Representative trees of Missouri include the shortleaf pine, scarlet oak, smoke tree, pecan (Carya illinoensis), and peachleaf willow, along with species of tupelo, cottonwood, cypress, cedar, and dogwood (the state tree). American holly, which once flourished in the southeastern woodlands, is now considered rare; various types of wild grasses proliferate in the northern plains region. Missouri's state flower is the hawthorn blossom; other wild flowers include Queen Anne's lace, meadow rose, and white snakeroot. Showy and small white lady's slipper, green adder's-mouth, purslane, corn salad, dotted monardo, and prairie white-fringed orchid are rare in Missouri. Among the eight threatened or endangered plants listed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service in 2006 were the decurrent false aster, running buffalo clover, pondberry, Missouri bladderpod, and western prairie fringed orchid.

Indigenous mammals are the common cottontail, muskrat, white-tailed deer, and gray and red foxes. The state bird is the bluebird; other common birds are the cardinal, solitary vireo, and the prothonotary warbler. Wetlands covering about 1.4% of the state are important wintering grounds for hundreds of thousands of migratory birds and waterfowl, including the endangered bald eagle. A characteristic amphibian is the plains leopard frog; native snakes include garter, ribbon, and copperhead. Bass, carp, perch, jack salmon (walleye), and crayfish abound in Missouri's waters. The chigger, a minute insect, is a notorious pest.

In 2006, 17 species of animals (vertebrates and invertebrates) were listed as threatened or endangered in Missouri, including three species of bat (Ozark big-eared, gray, and Indiana), pallid sturgeon, gray wolf, and three varieties of mussel.


Missouri's first conservation law, enacted in 1874, provided for a closed hunting season on deer and certain game birds. In 1936, the state established a Conservation Commission to protect the state's wildlife and forest resources. Missouri's Department of Conservation manages the state forests and fish hatcheries and maintains wildlife refuges and the Department of Natural Resources is responsible for state parks, energy conservation, and environmental quality programs, including air pollution control, water purification, land reclamation, soil and water conservation, and solid and hazardous waste management. The State Environmental Improvement and Energy Resources Authority, within the Department of Natural Resources, is empowered to offer financial aid to any individual, business, institution, or governmental unit seeking to meet pollution control responsibilities.

An important environmental problem is soil erosion; the state loses 71 million tons of topsoil each year. Residents approved a 0.1% sales tax in 1984 and 1988 to create a fund to address this problem. As of 1982, 42 sites in Missouri were found to have unsafe concentrations of dioxin, a highly toxic by-product of hexachlorophene, manufactured in a Verona chemical plant; in that year, an evacuation was begun (completed in 1985) of the 2,000 residents of Times Beach, a community 30 mi (48 km) west of St. Louis that was declared a federal disaster area. St. Louis ranked high among US cities for the quantities of lead and suspended particles found in the atmosphere, but conditions improved between the mid-1970s and early 1980s. In 2003, 102.5 million lb of toxic chemicals were released in the state.

In 2003, Missouri had 503 hazardous waste sites listed in the US Environment Protection Agency (EPA) database, 26 of which were on the National Priorities List as of 2006. In 1996, it had 643,000 acres (260,000 hectares) of wetlands, or about 1.4% of the state's lands. In 2005, the EPA spent over $11.9 million through the Superfund program for the cleanup of hazardous waste sites in the state. The same year, federal EPA grants awarded to the state included $12 million for the drinking water state revolving fund, plus an addition $12 million grant for other safe drinking water projects.


Missouri ranked 18th in population in the United States with an estimated total of 5,800,310 in 2005, an increase of 3.6% since 2000. Between 1990 and 2000, Missouri's population grew from 5,117,073 to 5,595,211, an increase of 9%. The population is projected to reach 6 million by 2015 and 6.3 million by 2025. The population density in 2004 was 83.5 persons per sq mi.

In 1830, the first year in which Missouri was enumerated as a state, the population was 140,455. Missouri's population just about doubled each decade until 1860, when the growth rate subsided; the population surpassed the 2 million mark at the 1880 census, 3 million in 1900 (when it ranked fifth in the United States), and 4 million during the early 1950s.

In 2004, the median age for Missourians was 37.3. In the same year, 24.1% of the on under age 18 while 13.3% was age 65 or older.

More than half of all Missourians live in urban areas. The largest cities and their estimated 2004 populations are Kansas City, 444,387, and St. Louis, 343,279both well below the 1980 figures. The St. Louis metropolitan area, embracing parts of Missouri and Illinois, comprised an estimated 2,764,054 people in 2004 while metropolitan Kansas City, in Missouri and Kansas, had a population of 1,925,319.


After the flatboat and French traders and settlers had made possible the earliest development of Missouri and its Mississippi shore, the river steamer, the Civil War, the Homestead Act (1862), and the railroad changed the character of the state ethnically as well as economically. Germans came in large numbers, developing small diversified industries, and they were followed by Czechs and Italians. The foreign-born numbered 151,196 in 2000, up from 83,633 in 1990.

Black Americans have represented a rising proportion of Missouri's population in recent decades: 9% in 1960, 10.3% in 1970, 10.5% in 1980, 10.7% in 1990, 11.2% in 2000, and 11.5% in 2004. Kansas City's black community supported a flourishing jazz and urban blues culture between the two world wars, while St. Louis was the home of Scott Joplin and W. C. Handy in the early years of the 20th century. Of the 629,391 black residents of Missouri in 2000, 178,266 lived in St. Louis, which was 51.2% black. In 2000 Missouri also had 118,592 Hispanics and Latinos, nearly double the 1990 figure of 62,000, and including 77,887 of Mexican ancestry. In 2004, 2.6% of the population was of Hispanic or Latino origin. The total Asian population as of 2000 was 61,595; in that year there were 13,667 Chinese, 7,735 Filipinos, 6,767 Koreans, 3,337 Japanese, and 12,169 Vietnamese (triple the 1990 figure of 4,030). Pacific Islanders numbered 3,178. In 2004, 1.3% of the population was Asian, and 0.1% of Pacific Island origin.

Only a few American Indians remained in Missouri after 1836. The 2000 census showed an Indian population of 25,076. The state has no Indian reservations. In 2004, 0.5% of the population was American Indian.

Of those claiming descent from at least one specific ancestry group in 2000, 1,313,951 named German, 528,935 English, and 711,995 Irish.


White pioneers found Missouri Indians in the northern part of what is now Missouri Osage in the central portion, and Quapaw in the south. Long after these tribes' removal to Indian Territory, only a few place-names echo their heritage: Missouri itself, Kahoka, Wappapello.

Four westward-flowing language streams met and partly merged in Missouri. Northern and North Midland speakers settled north of the Missouri River and in the western border counties, bringing their Northern pail and sick to the stomach and their North Midland fishworm (earthworm), gunnysack (burlap bag), and sick at the stomach. But sick in the stomach occurs along the Missouri River from St. Louis to Kansas City and along the Mississippi south of St. Louis. South of the Missouri River, and notably in the Ozark Highlands, South Midland dominates, though with a few Southern forms, especially in the cotton-growing floodplain of the extreme southeast. Wait on (wait for), light bread (white bread), and pullybone (wishbone) are critical dialect markers for this area, as are redworm (earthworm), towsack (burlap bag), snap beans (string beans), how and now sounding like /haow/ and /naow/, and Missouri ending with the vowel of me rather than the final vowel of /uh/ heard north of the Missouri. In the extreme southeast are Southern loaf bread, grass sack (burlap bag), and cold drink as a term for a soft drink. In the eastern half of the state, a soft drink is generally soda or sody ; in the western half, pop.

In 2000. 94.9% of state residents five years old or older spoke only English at home, down from 96% in 1990.

The following table gives selected statistics from the 2000 Census for language spoken at home by persons five years old and over. The category "African languages" includes Amharic, Ibo, Twi, Yoruba, Bantu, Swahili, and Somali. The category "Other West Germanic languages" includes Dutch, Pennsylvania Dutch, and Afrikaans.

Population 5 years and over 5,226,022 100.0
  Speak only English 4,961,741 94.9
  Speak a language other than English 264,281 5.1
Speak a language other than English 264,281 5.1
  Spanish or Spanish Creole 110,752 2.1
  German 30,680 0.6
  French (incl. Patois, Cajun) 30,680 0.4
  Chinese 11,631 0.2
  Vietnamese 9,420 0.2
  Serbo-Croatian 8,350 0.2
  Italian 6,710 0.1
  Russian 5,469 0.1
  Arabic 5,137 0.1
  African languages 5,117 0.1
  Other West Germanic languages 4,822 0.1
  Korean 4,753 0.1
  Tagalog 4,645 0.1


Beginning in the late 17th century, French missionaries brought Roman Catholicism to what is now Missouri; the first permanent Roman Catholic church was built about 1755 at St. Genevieve. Immigration from Germany, Ireland, Italy, and Eastern Europe swelled the Catholic population during the 19th century and Roman Catholicism remains the largest single Christian denomination, though the Evangelical Protestants collectively outnumber Catholics. Baptist preachers crossed the Mississippi River into Missouri in the late 1790s, and the state's first Methodist church was organized about 1806. Immigrants from Germany included not only Roman Catholics, but also many Lutherans, the most conservative of whom organized the Lutheran ChurchMissouri Synod in 1847.

In 2004, Missouri had 844,102 Roman Catholics; with 550,000 belonging to the archdiocese of St. Louis. The next largest religious group is the Southern Baptist Convention, with 797,732 adherents in 2000 and 13,646 newly baptized members reported in 2002. The United Methodist Church had 176,022 members in 2004. In 2000, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod had 140,315 members and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) had 105,583. The same year, the estimated number of Jews was 62,315 and Muslims numbered about 19,359. About 2.7 million people (48.3% of the population) were not counted as members of any religious organization.

The administrative offices of the Baptist Bible Fellowship International, along with its affiliated Baptist Bible College and Baptist Bible School of Theology, are located in Springfield. The world headquarters for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the international headquarters of the Church of the Nazarene are located in Kansas City.


Centrally located, Missouri is the leading US transportation center. Both St. Louis and Kansas City are hubs of rail, truck, and airline transportation.

In 1836, delegates from 11 counties met in St. Louis to recommend construction of two railroad lines and to petition Congress for a grant of 800,000 acres (324,000 hectares) of public land on which to build them. More than a dozen companies were incorporated by the legislature, but they all collapsed with the financial panic of 1837. Interest in railroad construction revived during the following decade, and in 1849 a national railroad convention was held in St. Louis at which nearly 1,000 delegates from 13 states recommended the construction of a transcontinental railroad. By 1851, three railroad lines had been chartered, and construction by the Pacific Railroad at St. Louis was under way. The Pacific line reached Kansas City in 1865, and a bridge built over the Missouri River four years later enabled Kansas City to link up with the Hannibal and St. Joseph Railroad, providing a freight route to Chicago that did not pass through St. Louis. In 2003, there were 4,791 rail mi (7,713 km) of track within the state, including 4,087 rail mi (6,580 km) of Class I track. In 2006, Amtrak provided passenger train service running directly from Chicago to St. Louis and to Kansas City, en route to San Antonio and Los Angeles, to 11 stations in Missouri.

The first road developed in colonial Missouri was probably a trail between the lead mines and Ste. Genevieve in the early 1700s. A two-level cantilever bridgethe first in the world to have a steel superstructurespanning the Mississippi at St. Louis was dedicated on 4 July 1874. By 1940, no place in Missouri was more than 10 mi (16 km) from a highway. In 2004, there were 125,923 mi (202,736 km) of public roads in Missouri. The main interstate highways were: I-70, linking St. Louis with Kansas City; I-44, connecting St. Louis with Springfield and Joplin; I-55, linking St. Louis with Chicago, Illinois, to the north and paralleling the course of the Mississippi between St. Louis and Memphis, Tennessee; I-35, connecting Kansas City with Des Moines, Iowa; and I-29, paralleling the Missouri River north of Kansas City. Motor vehicle registration for the state in 2004 totaled some 4.855 million vehicles of all types, including 2.690 million passenger cars, 2.084 million trucks of all types, and 4,000 buses. In that same year, there were 4,047,652 licensed drivers in the state.

The Mississippi and Missouri rivers have long been important transportation routes. Pirogues, keelboats, and flatboats plied these waterways for more than a century before the first steamboat, the New Orleans, traveled down the Mississippi in 1811. The Mississippi still serves considerable barge traffic, making metropolitan St. Louis an active inland port area, with 33.386 million tons of cargo handled in 2004. For that same year, Missouri had 1,033 mi (1,663 km) of navigable inland waterways. In 2003, waterborne shipments totaled 34.050 million tons.

Pioneering aviators in Missouri organized the first international balloon races in 1907 and the first US-sponsored international aviation meet in 1910. Five St. Louis pilots made up the earliest US Army air corps, and a barnstorming pilot named Charles A. Lindbergh, having spent a few years in the St. Louis area, had the backing of businessmen from that city when he flew his Spirit of St. Louis across the Atlantic in 1927. In 2005, Missouri had a total of 539 public and private-use aviation-related facilities. This included 404 airports, 129 heliports, 2 STOLports (Short Take-Off and Landing), and four seaplane bases. Kansas City International Airport and Lambert-St. Louis International Airport are the state's most important airports. In 2004, Kansas City International had 5,040,595 enplanements, while Lambert-St. Louis International had 6,377,628 enplanements that same year, making them the 39th- and 34th-busiest airports in the United States, respectively.


The region we now call Missouri has been inhabited for at least 4,000 years. The prehistoric Woodland peoples left low burial mounds, rudimentary pottery, arrowheads, and grooved axes; remains of the later Mississippian Culture include more sophisticated pottery and finely chipped arrowheads. When the first Europeans arrived in the late 17th century, most of the few thousand Indians living in Missouri were relatively recent immigrants, pushed westward across the Mississippi River because of pressures from eastern tribes and European settlers along the Atlantic coast. Indians then occupying Missouri belonged to two main linguistic groups: Algonkian-speakers, mainly the Sauk, Fox, and Iliniwek (Illinois) in the northeast; and a Siouan group, including the Osage, Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, and other tribes, to the south and west. Of greatest interest to the Europeans were the Osage, among whom were warriors and runners of extraordinary ability. The flood of white settlers into Missouri after 1803 forced the Indians to move into Kansas and into what became known as Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma). During the 1820s, the US government negotiated treaties with the Osage, Sauk, Fox, and Iowa tribes whereby they surrendered, for the most part peaceably, all their lands in Missouri. By 1836, few Indians remained.

The first white men to pass through land eventually included within Missouri's boundaries apparently were Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet, who in 1673 passed the mouth of the Missouri River on their journey down the Mississippi; so did Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle, who claimed the entire Mississippi Valley for France in 1682. Probably the first Frenchman to explore the Missouri River was Louis Armand de Lom d'Arce, Baron de Lahontan, who in 1688 claimed to have reached the junction of the Missouri and Osage rivers. The French did little to develop the Missouri region during the first half of the 18th century, although a few fur traders and priests established posts and missions among the Indians. A false report that silver had been discovered set off a brief mining boom in which no silver but some leadavailable in abundancewas extracted. Missouri passed into Spanish hands with the rest of the Louisiana Territory in 1762, but development was still guided by French settlers; in 1764, the French fur trader Pierre Laclède established a trading post on the present site of St. Louis.

Although Spain fortified St. Louis and a few other outposts during the American Revolution and beat back a British-Indian attack on St. Louis in 1780, the Spanish did not attempt to settle Missouri. However, they did allow Americans to migrate freely into the territory. Spanish authorities granted free land to the new settlers, relaxed their restrictions against Protestants, and welcomed slaveholding families from southern statesespecially important after 1787, when slavery was banned in the Northwest Territory. Pioneers such as Daniel Boone arrived from Kentucky, and the Chouteau fur-trading family gained a lucrative monopoly among the Osage. Spanish rule ended abruptly in 1800 when Napoleon forced Spain to return Louisiana to France. Included in the Louisiana Purchase, Missouri then became part of the United States in 1803. After the Lewis and Clark expedition (180406) had successfully explored the Missouri River, Missouri in generaland St. Louis in particularbecame the gateway to the West.

Missouri was part of the Louisiana Territory (with headquarters at St. Louis) until 1 October 1812, when the Missouri Territory (including present-day Arkansas, organized separately in 1819) was established. A flood of settlers between 1810 and 1820 more than tripled Missouri's population from 19,783 to 66,586, leading Missourians to petition the US Congress for statehood as early as 1818. But Congress, divided over the slavery issue, withheld permission for three years, finally approving statehood for Maine and Missouri under the terms of the Missouri Compromise (1820), which sanctioned slavery in the new state but banned it in the rest of the former Louisiana Territory north of Arkansas. Congress further required that Missouri make no effort to enforce a state constitutional ban on the immigration of free Negroes and mulattos; once the legislature complied, Missouri became the 24th state on 10 August 1821. Alexander McNair became the state's first governor and Thomas Hart Benton was one of the state's first two US senators; Benton remained an important political leader for more than three decades.

Aided by the advent of steamboat travel on the Mississippi and Missouri rivers, settlers continued to arrive in the new state, whose population surpassed 1 million by 1860. The site for a new capital, Jefferson City, was selected in 1821, and five years later the legislature met there for the first time. French fur traders settled the present site of Kansas City in 1821 and established a trading post at St. Joseph in 1827. Mormons came to Independence during the early 1830s but were expelled from the state and crossed the Mississippi back into Illinois. For much of the antebellum period, the state's economy flourished, with an emphasis on cotton, cattle, minerals (especially lead and zinc), and commercenotably the outfitting of wagon trains for the Santa Fe and Oregon trails. On the eve of the Civil War, more than half the population consisted of Missouri natives; 15% of the white population was foreign-born, chiefly German and Irish. Black slaves represented only 9% of the total populationthe lowest proportion of any slave state except Delawarewhile only about 25,000 Missourians were slave holders. Nevertheless, there was a great deal of proslavery sentiment in the state, and thousands of Missourians crossed into neighboring Kansas in the mid-1850s to help elect a proslavery government in that territory. State residents were also active in the guerrilla warfare between proslavery forces and Free Staters that erupted along the border with "bleeding Kansas." The slavery controversy was exacerbated by the US Supreme Court's 1857 decision in the case of Dred Scott, a slave formerly owned by a Missourian who had temporarily brought him to what is now Minnesota, where slavery was prohibited; Scott's suit to obtain his freedom was denied by the Court on the grounds that it was unconstitutional to restrict the property rights of slave holders, in a decision that voided the Missouri Compromise reached 37 years earlier.

During the Civil War, Missouri remained loyal to the Union, though not without difficulty. When the conflict began, Governor Claiborne Fox Jackson called out the state militia "to repel the invasion" of federal forces, but pro-Union leaders such as Francis P. Blair deposed Jackson on 30 July 1861. Missouri supplied some 110,000 soldiers to the Union and 40,000 to the Confederacy. As devastating as the 1,162 battles or skirmishes fought on Missouri soilmore than in any other state except Virginia and Tennesseewas the general lawlessness that prevailed throughout the state; pro-Confederate guerrilla bands led by William Quantrill and Cole Younger, as well as Unionist freebooters, murdered and looted without hindrance. In October 1864, a Confederate army under Maj. Gen. Sterling Price was defeated at the Battle of West-port, on the outskirts of Kansas City, ending the main military action. Some 27,000 Missourians were killed during the war. At a constitutional convention held in January 1865, Missouri became the first slave state to free all blacks.

During Reconstruction, the Radical Republicans sought to disfranchise all citizens who failed to swear that they had never aided or sympathized with the Confederacy. But the harshness of this and other measures caused a backlash, and Liberal Republicans such as Benjamin Gratz Brown and Carl Schurz, allied with the Democrats, succeeded in ousting the Radicals by 1872. The subsequent decline of the Liberal Republicans inaugurated a period during which Democrats occupied the governorship uninterruptedly for more than three decades.

The 1870s saw a period of renewed lawlessness, typified by the exploits of Jesse and Frank James, which earned Missouri the epithet of the "robber state." Of more lasting importance were the closing of the frontier in Missouri, the decline of the fur trade and steamboat traffic, and the rise of the railroads, shifting the market economy from St. Louis to Kansas City, whose population tripled during the 1880s, while St. Louis was eclipsed by Chicago as a center of finance, commerce, transportation, and population. Missouri farmers generally supported the movement for free silver coinage, along with other Populist policies such as railroad regulation. Reform Governor Joseph W. Folk (190509) and his immediate successors in the statehouse, Herbert S. Hadley (190913) and Elliott W. Major (191317), introduced progressive policies to Missouri. However, the ideal of honest government was soon subverted by Kansas City's corrupt political machine, under Thomas J. Pendergast, the most powerful Democrat in the state between the two world wars. Machine politics did not prevent capable politicians from rising to prominenceamong them Harry S. Truman, Missouri's first and only (as of 2006) native son to serve in the nation's highest office.

The state's economy increasingly shifted from agriculture to industry, and Missouri's rural population declined from about three-fourths of the total in 1880 to less than one-third by 1970. Although the overall importance of mining declined, Missouri remained the world's top lead producer, and the state ranked as second only to Michigan in US automobile manufacturing. Postwar prosperity was threatened beginning in the 1960s by the deterioration of several cities, notably St. Louis, which lost 47% of its population between 1950 and 1980; both St. Louis and Kansas City subsequently undertook urban renewal programs to cope with the serious problems of air pollution, traffic congestion, crime, and substandard housing. During the early 1980s, millions of dollars in federal, state, and private funds were used to rehabilitate abandoned and dilapidated apartment buildings and houses.

Missouri was affected by the farm crisis of the 1980s, and many farms in the state failed. With the weakening of trade restric-tions, the state's industries also suffered during this period. However, Missouri's economy improved in the 1990s, initially at a rate that outpaced much of the country. By 1999 the state's jobless rate had fallen below the national average to 3.4%. Due largely to the weak US economy in the early 2000s, Missouri's unemployment rate rose to 5.8% by July 2003, albeit below the national average of 6.2%. However, from September 2004 to September 2005, the state's unemployment rate declined from 5.9% to 4.8%, when it stood below the national average of 5.1%.

Times Beach and other parts of the state were found to be contaminated by high levels of dioxin in the early 1980s. The federal government purchased the homes and businesses that had to be abandoned by community residents and in 1991 began a several-year cleanup program; in 1999 a state park opened there.

In the spring and summer of 1993, Missouri was hit by devastating floods. The Illinois, Mississippi, and Missouri rivers reached record crests, rising in some areas to twice the height considered to be flood level. Over half the state was declared a disaster area, and 19,000 people were evacuated from their homes. Damage to the state was estimated at $3 billion.

In 2000, the state's popular governor, Mel Carnahan, died in a plane crash while running for the US Senate. He was replaced by Democrat Bob Holden, who became the first governor to appoint a state head of homeland security following the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States. In 2003, Missouri legislators adopted a measure requiring women seeking abortions to consult a doctor and comply with a 24-hour waiting period. Holden vetoed the measure, but both houses of the Missouri legislature voted to override his veto, making the measure law. Twenty-two states as of 2006 had enacted 24-hour waiting periods for abortions. (Indiana's waiting period is 18 hours.)

Republican Matt Blunt was elected governor in November 2004. He campaigned on a platform pledging to make education the state's top priority, to reform the state's social welfare programs, to address the state's health care crisis, to improve the entrepreneurial climate, and to hold the line on taxes.

Missouri Presidential Vote by Political Parties, 19482004
*Won US presidential election.
1948 15 *Truman (D) 917,315 655,039 3,998 2,222
1952 13 *Eisenhower (R) 929,830 959,429
1956 13 Stevenson (D) 918,273 914,289
1960 13 *Kennedy (D) 972,201 962,218
1964 12 *Johnson (D) 1,164,344 653,535
1968 12 *Nixon (R) 791,444 811,932 206,126
1972 12 *Nixon (R) 698,531 1,154,058
1976 12 *Carter(D) 998,387 927,443
1980 12 *Reagan (R) 931,182 1,074,181 14,422 1,515
1984 11 *Reagan(R) 848,583 1,274,188
1988 11 *Bush(R) 1,001,619 1,084,953 434 6,656
IND. (Perot)
1992 11 *Clinton(D) 1,053,873 811,159 7,497 518,741
1996 11 *Clinton(D) 1,025,935 890,016 10,522 217,188
2000 11 *Bush, G. W. (R) 1,111,138 1,189,016 7,436 38,515
2004 11 *Bush, G. W. (R) 1,259,171 1,455,713 9,831 5,355


Missouri's first constitutional convention met in St. Louis on 12 May 1820, and on 19 July a constitution was adopted. The constitution was rewritten in 1865 and again in 1875, the latter document remaining in effect until 1945, when another new constitution was enacted and the state government reorganized. A subsequent reorganization, effective 1 July 1974, replaced some 90 independent agencies with 13 cabinet departments and the Office of Administration. The 1945 constitution is still in effect today, with a total of 105 amendments through January 2005.

The legislative branch, or General Assembly, consists of a 34-member Senate and a 163-seat House of Representatives. Annual sessions begin in early January and must conclude by 30 May. Special sessions may be called by petition of three-quarters of the members of each house; such sessions are limited to 30 calendar days. Senators are elected to staggered four-year terms, representatives for two; the minimum age for a senator is 30, for a representative 24. Legislators must have been residents of their districts for one year prior to election; senators must have been qualified voters for a minimum of three years, representatives a minimum of two years. The legislative salary was $31,351 in 2004.

The state's elected executives are the governor and lieutenant governor (who run separately), secretary of state, auditor, treasurer, and attorney general; all serve four-year terms. The governor is limited to two terms in office, consecutive or not. The governor must be at least 30 years old and must have been a US citizen for 15 years and a Missouri resident for 10 years prior to election. As of December 2004, the governor's salary was $120,087.

A bill becomes law when signed or not vetoed by the governor within 15 days of legislative passage. A two-thirds vote by the elected members of both houses is required to override a gu-bernatorial veto. The governor has 45 days to act on a bill if the House adjourns. If he fails to do so, the bill becomes law. Except for appropriations or emergency measures, laws may not take effect until 90 days after the end of the legislative session at which they were enacted. Constitutional amendments require a majority vote of both houses or may be proposed by 8% of the legal voters for all candidates at the last election. Ratification by the voters is required.

To vote in Missouri, one must be a US citizen, at least 18 years old, and a state resident. Restrictions apply to convicted felons and those declared mentally incompetent by the court.


The major political groups in Missouri are the Democratic Party and the Republican Party, each affiliated with the national party organization. Before 1825, the state had no organized political parties, and candidates ran as independents; however, each of Missouri's first four governors called himself a Jeffersonian Republican, allying himself with the national group from which the modern Democratic Party traces its origins. Except for the Civil War and Reconstruction periods, the Democratic Party held the governorship from the late 1820s to the early 1900s. Ten Democrats and seven Republicans served in the statehouse from 1908 through 1985. The outstanding figures of 20th century Missouri politics were both Democrats: Thomas Pendergast, the Kansas City machine boss whose commitment to construction projects bore no small relation to his involvement with a concrete manufacturing firm, and Harry S. Truman, who began his political career as a Jackson County judge in the Kansas City area and in 1945 became 33rd president of the United States.

After voting consistently for Republican presidential candidates in the 1980s, Missouri was carried by Democrat Bill Clinton in 1996. In the 2000 presidential election, Missourians once again voted Republican, with George W. Bush receiving 51% of the vote to Democrat Al Gore's 47%. Green Party candidate Ralph Nader won 2% of the vote. In 2004, Bush garnered 53.4% to Democratic challenger John Kerry's 46.1%. In 2004 there were 4,194,000 registered voters; there is no party registration in the state. The state had 11 electoral votes in the 2004 presidential election.

Democrat Mel Carnahan was reelected to the governorship in 1996. In October 2000, Carnahan was running for the US Senate against Republican John Ashcroft when he died in a plane crash with his son and a political aide. Carnahan was elected posthumously to the Senate in November, and his wife Jean accepted an appointment to his seat. She served until 2002, when she was defeated by former US Representative and Republican Jim Talent in an extremely close race. As of 2005, Missouri's US senators were both RepublicansTalent, and Christopher Bond, reelected in 2004. In 2004, Republican Matt Blunt was elected governor. Following the 2004 elections, four of the state's US representatives were Democrats and five were Republicans. In the state Senate in mid-2005, there were 11 Democrats and 23 Republicans; in the state House, there were 66 Democrats and 97 Republicans.


As of 2005, Missouri had 115 counties, 946 municipalities, 524 public school districts, and 1,514 special districts. In 2002 there were also 312 townships. Elected county officials generally include commissioners, a public administrator, a prosecuting attorney, a sheriff, a collector of revenue, an assessor, a treasurer, and a coroner. The city of St. Louis, which is administratively independent of any county, has an elected mayor, a comptroller, and a board of aldermen; the circuit attorney, city treasurer, sheriff, and collector of revenue, also elected, perform functions analogous to county officers. Most other cities are governed by an elected mayor and council. The state was the first in the union to grant home rule to cities.

In 2005, local government accounted for about 226,571 full-time (or equivalent) employment positions.


To address the continuing threat of terrorism and to work with the federal Department of Homeland Security, homeland security in Missouri operates under executive order; a homeland security director is appointed to oversee the state's homeland security activities.

Under the 1974 reorganization plan, educational services are provided through the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Department of Higher Education. Within the former's jurisdiction are the state schools for the deaf, the blind, and the severely handicapped; adult education programs; teacher certification; and the general supervision of instruction in the state. The department is headed by a board of education whose eight members are appointed by the governor to eight-year terms; the board, in turn, appoints the commissioner of education, the department's chief executive officer. The Department of Higher Educationgoverned by a nine-member appointive board that selects the commissioner of higher educationsets financial guidelines for state colleges and universities, authorizes the establishment of new senior colleges and residency centers, and establishes academic, admissions, residency, and transfer policies. Transportation services are under the direction of the Department of Transportation, which is responsible for aviation, railroads, mass transit, water transport, and the state highway system. The Department of Revenue licenses all road vehicles and motor vehicle operators and is responsible for the administration of all state taxes and local-option sales taxes.

Health and welfare services are provided primarily through the Department of Social Services, which oversees all state programs concerning public health (including operating a chest hospital and a cancer hospital), public assistance, youth corrections, probation and parole, veterans' affairs, and the aging. The Department of Mental Health operates state mental hospitals, community mental health centers, and other facilities throughout the state, providing care for the emotionally disturbed, the developmentally disabled, alcoholics, and drug abusers. Among the many responsibilities of the Attorney General are consumer protection, enforcement of antidiscrimination laws, and agricultural and environmental issues. In 1984, a constitutional amendment created a new Department of Economic Development, which inherited many of the responsibilities of the Attorney General.

Administered within the Department of Public Safety are the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Emergency Management Agency, and civil defense, veterans' affairs, highway and water safety, and alcoholic beverage control programs. The Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DOLIR) administers unemployment insurance benefits, workers' compensation, and other programs. The Department of Corrections is responsible for corrections, probation, and parole of adult offenders. The Department of Agriculture enforces state laws regarding agribusiness products, and the Department of Conservation provides environmental aid. The lieutenant governor is designated as state ombudsman and volunteer coordinator.


The Missouri Supreme Court, is the state's highest court. It consists of seven judges and three commissioners. Judges are selected by the governor from three nominees proposed by a nonpartisan judicial commission; after an interval of at least 12 months, the appointment must be ratified by the voters on a separate nonpartisan ballot. The justices, who serve 12-year terms, select one of their number to act as chief justice. The mandatory retirement age is 70 for all judges in state courts.

The Court of Appeals, consisting of 32 judges in three districts, assumed its present structure by constitutional amendment in 1970. All appellate judges are selected for 12-year terms in the same manner as the supreme court justices.

The circuit courts are the only trial courts and have original jurisdiction over all cases and matters, civil and municipal. Circuit court judges, numbering 135 in 1999, serve 6-year terms. Although many circuit court judges are still popularly elected, judges in St. Louis, Kansas City, and some other areas are selected on a nonpartisan basis. Many circuit courts have established municipal divisions, presided over by judges paid locally.

As of 31 December 2004, a total of 31,081 prisoners were held in Missouri's state and federal prisons, a decrease of 2.6% (from 30,303) from the previous year. As of year-end 2004, a total of 2,507 inmates were female, up 12% (from 2,239) from the year before. Among sentenced prisoners (one year or more), Missouri had an incarceration rate of 538 per 100,000 population in 2004.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Missouri in 2004, had a violent crime rate (murder/nonnegligent manslaughter; forcible rape; robbery; aggravated assault) of 490.5 reported incidents per 100,000 population, or a total of 28,226 reported incidents. Crimes against property (burglary; larceny/theft; and motor vehicle theft) in that same year totaled 224,629 reported incidents or 3,903.5 reported incidents per 100,000 people. Missouri has a death penalty, of which lethal injection or lethal gas are the prescribed methods. However, the state law is unclear about who shall decide which method to use: the Director of the Missouri Department of Corrections; or the inmate. From 1976 through 5 May 2006, the state has carried out 66 executions, 5 in 2005. As of 1 January 2006, Missouri had 53 inmates on death row.

In 2003, Missouri spent $133,539,014 on homeland security, an average of $23 per state resident.


Missouri has played a key role in national defense since World War II, partly because of the influence of Missouri native Stuart Symington, first as secretary of the Air Force (194750) and later as an influential member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. In 2004, there were 27,520 active-duty military personnel and 2,749 civilian personnel stationed in the state. Installations include Ft. Leonard Wood, near Rolla, and Whiteman AFB, Knob Noster. The Defense Mapping Agency Aerospace Center is in St. Louis. Defense contract awards for 2004 totaled more than $6.5 billion, ninth-highest in the United States for that year. In addition, there was another $2.1 billion in defense payroll outlays, including retired military pay.

There were about 554,531 veterans living in the state as of 2003. Of these, 77,373 served in World War II; 65,882 in the Korean conflict; 169,346 during the Vietnam era; and 78,798 during the Persian Gulf War. Expenditures on veterans amounted to about $1.6 billion in 2004.

As of 31 October 2004, the Missouri State Highway Patrol employed 1,070 full-time sworn officers.


Missouri's first European immigrants, French fur traders and missionaries, began settling in the state in the early 18th century. Under Spain, Missouri received few Spanish settlers but many immigrants from the eastern United States. During the 19th century, newcomers continued to arrive from the South and the Eastslave-owning Southerners (with their black slaves) as well as New Englanders opposed to slavery. They were joined by a wave of European immigrants, notably Germans and, later, Italians. By 1850, one out of three St. Louis residents was German-born; of all foreign-born Missourians in the late 1800s, more than half came from Germany.

The state has lost population through migration322,000 people were lost to net migration between 1940 and 1970, followed by a net gain of 22,000 during the 1970s and a net loss of nearly 100,000 during the 1980s. Between 1990 and 1998, Missouri had net gains of 94,000 in domestic migration and 34,000 in international migration. In 1998, some 3,588 foreign immigrants arrived in the state. The dominant intrastate migration pattern has been the concentration of blacks in the major cities, especially St. Louis and Kansas City, and the exodus of whites from those cities, initially to the suburbs and later to small towns and rural areas. As of 1996, 82.4% of the population lived in metropolitan areas while 17.6% lived in non-metropolitan areas, up from 17.2% in 1990. Missouri's overall population increased 6.3% between 1990 and 1998. In the period 200005, net international migration was 42,690 and net internal migration was 26,979, for a net gain of 69,669 people.


The Commission on Interstate Cooperation, established by the state legislature in 1941, represents Missouri before the Council of State Governments and its allied organizations. Regional agreements in which the state participates include boundary compacts with Arkansas, Iowa, Nebraska, and Kansas, and various accords governing bridges across the Mississippi and Missouri rivers. The state is a signatory to the Bi-State Development Agency Compact with Illinois. Representatives from both Missouri and Kansas take part in the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority, which operates public transportation in the metropolitan region, the Metropolitan Culture District Compact, and the Kansas-Missouri Waterworks Compact. Missouri also belongs to the Southern States Energy Board, Southern Growth Policies Board, Midwest Interstate Low-Level Radioactive Waste Compact Commission, and many other multistate bodies. Federal grants to state and lo-cal governments in fiscal year 2005 amounted to $7.045 billion, an estimated $7.023 billion in fiscal year 2006, and an estimated $7.581 billion in fiscal year 2007.


Missouri's central location and access to the Mississippi River contributed to its growth as a commercial center. By the mid-1700s, the state's first permanent settlement at Ste. Genevieve was shipping lead, furs, salt, pork, lard, bacon, bear, grease, feathers, flour and grain, and other products to distant markets. The introduction of steamboat traffic on the Mississippi, western migration along the Santa Fe and Oregon trails, and the rise of the railroads spurred the growth of commerce during the 19th century. Flour mills and gristmills, breweries and whiskey distilleries, and meatpacking establishments were among the state's early industrial enterprises. Lead mining has been profitable since the early 19th century. Grain growing was well established by the mid-18th century, and tobacco was a leading crop 100 years later.

Missouri's economy remains diversified, with manufacturing, farming, trade, tourism, services, government, and mining as prime sources of income. Automobile and aerospace manufacturing are among the state's leading industries, while soybeans and meat and dairy products are the most important agricultural commodities. The state's historic past, varied topography, and modern urban attractionsnotably the Gateway Arch in St. Louishave made tourism a growth industry. Mining, employing less than 1% of the state's nonagricultural workers, is no longer as important as it once was. Missouri posted moderate growth rates in the late 1990s. Although manufacturing output has fallen, output from financial services, including insurance and real estate, have increased. In the first quarter of 2001, Missouri began losing jobs, four months ahead of the United States as a whole, with manufacturing accounting for 62% of the loss that year. Unemployment peaked at 5.4% in June 2002, but manufacturing unemployment has continued above 6%. Office vacancy rates in St. Louis and Kansas City in 2002 stood at 17.7% and 18.6%, respectively, above the national average of 16.5%. Missouri's farm sector was also afflicted by drought in 2002, which contributed to a 22% decrease in corn production and a 17% decrease in soybean production compared to 2001. Cattle production was also disrupted by the drought-induced shortages of hay and pasture. Stress on the farming sector persisted into the winter of 200203 as drought conditions continued.

Missouri's gross state product (GSP) was $203.294 billion in 2004, of which manufacturing (durable and nondurable goods) accounted for the largest share at $31.481 billion, or 15.4% of GSP, followed by the real estate sector at $19.529 billion (9.6% of GSP), and health care and social assistance at $15.149 billion (7.4% of GSP). In that same year, there were an estimated 461,259 small businesses in Missouri. Of the 134,448 businesses that had employees, an estimated total of 131,405 or 97.7% were small companies. An estimated 16,155 new businesses were established in the state in 2004, up 1.3% from the year before. Business terminations that same year came to 17,924, down 11.2% from 2003. There were 354 business bankruptcies in 2004, down 6.3% from the previous year. In 2005, the state's personal bankruptcy (Chapter 7 and Chapter 13) filing rate was 660 filings per 100,000 people, ranking Missouri 15th in the nation.


In 2005, Missouri had a gross state product (GSP) of $216 billion, which accounted for 1.7% of the nation's gross domestic product and placed the state 20th among the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, in 2004 Missouri had a per capita personal income (PCPI) of $30,475. This ranked Missouri 31st in the United States and was 92% of the national average of $33,050. The 19942004 average annual growth rate of PCPI was 3.9%. Missouri had a total personal income (TPI) of $175,524,474,000, which ranked 20th in the United States and reflected an increase of 5.1% from 2003. The 19942004 average annual growth rate of TPI was 4.7%. Earnings of persons employed in Missouri increased from $128,893,590,000 in 2003 to $135,403,221,000 in 2004, an increase of 5.1% compared with 6.3% for the nation as a whole.

The US Census Bureau reported that the three-year average median household income for 200204 in 2004 dollars was $43,988 compared to a national average of $44,473. During the same period an estimated 10.9% of the population was below the poverty line as compared to 12.4% nationwide.


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in April 2006 the seasonally adjusted civilian labor force in Missouri numbered 3,057,200, with approximately 141,700 workers unemployed, yielding an unemployment rate of 4.6%, compared to the national average of 4.7% for the same period. Preliminary data for the same period placed nonfarm employment at 2,757,500. Since the beginning of the BLS data series in 1976, the highest unemployment rate recorded in Missouri was 10.5% in April 1983. The historical low was 2.6% in January 2000. Preliminary nonfarm employment data by occupation for April 2006 showed that approximately 5.2% of the labor force was employed in construction; 11% in manufacturing; 19.8% in trade, transportation, and public utilities; 6% in financial activities; 11.7% in professional and business services; 13.5% in education and health services; 10% in leisure and hospitality services; and 15.6% in government.

As early as the 1830s, journeyman laborers and mechanics in St. Louis, seeking higher wages and shorter hours, banded together to form trade unions and achieved some of their demands. Attempts to establish a workingman's party were unsuccessful, however, and immigration during subsequent decades ensured a plentiful supply of cheap labor. Union activity increased in the 1870s, partly because of the influence of German socialists. The Knights of Labor took a leading role in the labor movement from 1879 to 1887, the year that saw the birth of the St. Louis Trades and Labor Assembly; one year later, the American Federation of Labor came to St. Louis for its third annual convention, with Samuel Gompers presiding. The Missouri State Federation of Labor was formed in 1891, at a convention in Kansas City. By 1916, the state had 915 unions. Union activity in Missouri declined in the 1990s and early 2000s.

The US Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in 2005, a total of 290,000 of Missouri's 2,532,000 employed wage and salary workers were formal members of a union. This represented 11.5% of those so employed, down from 12.4% in 2004, and below the national average of 12%. Overall in 2005, a total of 319,000 workers (12.6%) in Missouri were covered by a union or employee association contract, which includes those workers who reported no union affiliation. Missouri was among the 28 states that did not have a right-to-work law.

As of 1 March 2006, Missouri had a state-mandated minimum wage rate of $5.15 per hour. In 2004, women in the state accounted for 47.9% of the employed civilian labor force.


Missouri had 106,000 farms (second in the United States) covering 30.1 million acres (12.2 million hectares) in 2004. About 12.4 million acres (5 million hectares) were actually harvested that year. Missouri's agricultural income reached $5.57 billion in 2005, 15th among the 50 states.

In 2004, Missouri was fourth among the states in grain sorghum production, fifth in soybean, and sixth in rice production. Soybean production is concentrated mainly in the northern counties and in the extreme southeast, with Mississippi County a leading producer. Stoddard County is a major source for corn and wheat production, as is New Madrid for grain sorghum.

The cash value of all crops totaled $2.5 billion in 2005, including $1.1 billion from soybeans, $510 million from hay, $887 million from corn, $155 million from wheat, $27 million from grain sorghum, and $161.4 million from cotton. The value of rice production in 2004 was $92.8 million. Farmers harvested 223.2 million bushels of soybeans, 466 million bushels of corn, 48.4 million bushels of wheat, 15.7 million bushels of grain sorghum, 820,000 bales of cotton, and 9.4 million tons of hay in 2004. That year, 13.2 million hundredweight (494.9 million kg) of rice was harvested. Tobacco, oats, rye, apples, peaches, grapes, watermelons, and various seed crops are also grown in commercial quantities.


In Missouri, hog raising is concentrated north of the Missouri River, cattle raising in the western counties, and dairy farming in the southwest.

In 2005, Missouri farms and ranches had an estimated 4.5 million cattle and calves, valued at $3.8 billion. In 2004, there were around 2.9 million hogs and pigs, valued at $246.5 million. During 2003, Missouri farmers produced 816.2 million lb (371 million kg) of turkey (ranked third in the nation), valued at around $285.7 million. Also in 2003, poultry farmers produced 1.9 million eggs, valued at $100 million. The state's 129,000 milk cows yielded nearly 1.9 million lb (0.86 million kg) of milk in 2003.


Commercial fishing takes place mainly on the Mississippi, Missouri, and St. Francis rivers. In 2005, there were 24 catfish farms covering 1,320 acres (534 hectares), with sales of $1.4 million in 2004. Sport fishing is enjoyed throughout the state, but especially in the Ozarks, whose waters harbor walleye, rainbow trout, bluegill, and largemouth bass. In 2004, Missouri issued 844,318 sport fishing licenses. The Neosho National Fish Hatchery stocks rainbow trout to Lake Taneycomo, as well as sites in Kansas and Iowa. There are eleven state hatcheries, four of which include trout parks.


At one time, Missouri's forests covered 30 million acres (12 million hectares), more than two-thirds of the state. As of 2004, Missouri had 15,010,000 acres (6,075,000 hectares) of forestland (about one-third of the land area in the state), of which more than 95% was commercial forest, 82% of it privately owned. Most of Missouri's forestland is in the southeastern third of the state. Of the commercial forests, approximately three-fourths are of the oak/ hickory type; shortleaf pine and oak/pine forests comprise about 5%, while the remainder consists of cedar and bottomland hardwoods.

According to the Forestry Division of the Department of Conservation, Missouri leads the United States in the production of charcoal, red cedar novelties, gunstocks, and walnut bowls and nutmeats; railroad ties, hardwood veneer and lumber, wine and bourbon casks, and other forest-related items are also produced. Lumber production in 2004 totaled 575 million board feet, 97% of it hardwoods.

Conservation areas managed by the Forestry Division are used for timber production, wildlife and watershed protection, hunting, fishing, and other recreational purposes. A state-run nursery sells seedling trees and shrubs to Missouri landowners. Missouri's one national forest, Mark Twain in the southeast, encompassed 1,489,000 acres (603,000 hectares) of National Forest System lands as of 2005.


According to preliminary data from the US Geological Survey (USGS), the estimated value of nonfuel mineral production by Missouri in 2003 was $1.29 billion, an increase from 2002 of about 2%. The USGS data ranked Missouri as eighth among the 50 states by the total value of its nonfuel mineral production, accounting for almost 3.5% of total US output.

According to the preliminary data for 2003, by value and in descending order, crushed stone, portland cement, lead, and lime were the state's top nonfuel minerals. Collectively, these commodities accounted for almost 90% of all nonfuel mineral output, by value. However, while lead ranked third among the state's top nonfuel minerals, by value of production, Missouri was 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.

According to the preliminary data, crushed stone production in 2003 totaled 73.3 million metric tons and was valued at $381 million, while portland cement output that year totaled 5 million metric tons and was valued at $350 million. Construction sand and gravel production in 2003 totaled 10.2 million metric tons and was valued at $43.4 million, while fire clay output stood at 340,000 metric tons, and had a value of $7.36 million, according to the USGS data.

In 2003, Missouri was also an important producer of construction and industrial sand and gravel, common clays, masonry cement, and by value, gemstones.


As of 2003, Missouri had 137 electrical power service providers, of which 88 were publicly owned and 44 were cooperatives. Of the remainder, four were investor owned, and one was an owner of an independent generator that sold directly to customers. As of that same year there were 2,918,563 retail customers. Of that total, 1,858,353 received their power from investor-owned service providers. Cooperatives accounted for 665,489 customers, while publicly owned providers had 394,720 customers. There was only one independent generator or "facility" customer.

Total net summer generating capability by the state's electrical generating plants in 2003 stood at 19.976 million kW, with total production that same year at 87.225 billion kWh. Of the total amount generated, 98.7% came from electric utilities, with the remainder coming from independent producers and combined heat and power service providers. The largest portion of all electric power generated, 74.211 billion kWh (85.1%), came from coalfired plants, with nuclear plants in second place at 9.699 billion kWh (11.1%) and natural gas fueled plants in third at 2.624 billion kWh (3%). Other renewable power sources, hydroelectric and petroleum fueled plants accounting for the remainder.

As of 2006, Missouri had one operating nuclear power facility, the Callaway plant located in Callaway County.

Fossil fuel resources are limited. Reserves of bituminous coal totaled 6 billion short tons in 1998, but only a small portion (3 million short tons) was considered recoverable. In 2004, the state had three producing coal mines, all of them surface operations. Coal production that year totaled 578,000 short tons, up from 533,000 short tons in 2003. One short ton equals 2,000 lb (0.907 metric tons).

Small quantities of crude petroleum are also produced commercially. As of 2004, Missouri had proven crude oil reserves of less than 1% of all proven US reserves, while output that same year averaged 241 barrels per day. Including federal offshore domains, the state that year ranked 30th (29th excluding federal offshore) in production among the 31 producing states. In 2004 Missouri had 271 producing oil wells. There are no refineries in Missouri.

As of 2004, Missouri had no proven reserves or production of natural gas.


According to the US Census Bureau's Annual Survey of Manufactures (ASM) for 2004, Missouri's manufacturing sector covered some 20 product subsectors. The shipment value of all products manufactured in the state that same year was $102.803 billion. Of that total, transportation equipment manufacturing accounted for the largest share at $33.158 billion. It was followed by food manufacturing at $14.572 billion; chemical manufacturing at $13.137 billion; machinery manufacturing at $6.219 billion; and fabricated metal product manufacturing at $5.226 billion.

In 2004, a total of 302,906 people in Missouri were employed in the state's manufacturing sector, according to the ASM. Of that total, 228,857 were actual production workers. In terms of total employment, the transportation equipment manufacturing industry accounted for the largest portion of all manufacturing employees with 55,659 (46,554 actual production workers). It was followed by food manufacturing, with 37,306 (29,642 actual production workers); machinery manufacturing, with 32,513 (21,676 actual production workers); fabricated metal product manufacturing, with 31,053 (22,690 actual production workers); and plastics and rubber products manufacturing, with 20,539 (15,510 actual production workers).

ASM data for 2004 showed that Missouri's manufacturing sector paid $12.706 billion in wages. Of that amount, the transportation equipment manufacturing sector accounted for the largest share at $3.453 billion. It was followed by machinery manufacturing at $1.307 billion; food manufacturing at $1.190 billion; fabricated metal product manufacturing at $1.183 billion; and chemical manufacturing at $798.137 billion.


Missouri has been one of the nation's leading trade centers ever since merchants in Independence (now part of the Kansas City metropolitan area) began provisioning wagon trains for the Santa Fe Trail.

According to the 2002 Census of Wholesale Trade, Missouri's wholesale trade sector had sales that year totaling $95.6 billion from 8,491 establishments. Wholesalers of durable goods accounted for 5,019 establishments, followed by nondurable goods wholesalers at 2,697 and electronic markets, agents, and brokers accounting for 775 establishments. Sales by durable goods wholesalers in 2002 totaled $37.8 billion, while wholesalers of nondurable goods saw sales of $47.1 billion. Electronic markets, agents, and brokers in the wholesale trade industry had sales of $10.6 billion.

In the 2002 Census of Retail Trade, Missouri was listed as having 23,837 retail establishments with sales of $61.8 billion. The leading types of retail businesses by number of establishments were: motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts dealers (3,160); gasoline stations (3,136); miscellaneous store retailers (2,825); and clothing and clothing accessories stores (2,665). In terms of sales, motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts stores accounted for the largest share of retail sales at $16.6 billion, followed by general merchandise stores at $10.3 billion; food and beverage stores at $7.1 billion; gasoline stations at $6.8 billion; and building material/garden equipment and supplies dealers at $5.3 billion. A total of 311,593 people were employed by the retail sector in Missouri that year.

Foreign exports of Missouri products exceeded $10.4 billion in 2005.


The Missouri Department of Insurance handles consumer complaints related to insurance matters. The office has a consumer services division that accepts complaints regarding violations of state insurance laws and regulations, unfair claim practices, advertising, and mandated benefits, policy language, and offers. The Attorney General's office has a Consumer Protection Division which investigates and prosecutes allegations of fraud in connection with the sale or offer for sale (advertising) of goods and services. The Office of the Public Counsel represents utility consumers in proceedings before and appeals from the Missouri Public Service Commission (PSC), which regulates the rates and services of utilities.

When dealing with consumer protection issues, the state Attorney General's Office can initiate civil and criminal proceedings; represent the state before state and federal regulatory agencies; administer consumer protection and education programs; handle consumer complaints; and exercise broad subpoena powers. In antitrust actions, the Attorney General's Office can act on behalf of those consumers who are incapable of acting on their own; initiate damage actions on behalf of the state in state courts; and initiate criminal proceedings. However, the office cannot represent counties, cities and other governmental entities in recovering civil damages under state or federal law.


The first banks in Missouri, the Bank of St. Louis (established in 1816) and the Bank of Missouri (I817), had both failed by the time Missouri became a state, and the paper notes they had distributed proved worthless. Not until 1837 did the Missouri state government again permit a bank within its borders, and then only after filling its charter with elaborate restrictions. The Bank of Missouri, chartered for 20 years, kept its reputation for sound banking by issuing notes bearing the portrait of US Senator Thomas Hart Benton, nicknamed "Old Bullion" because of his extreme fiscal conservatism.

As of June 2005, Missouri had 372 insured banks, savings and loans, and saving banks, plus 157 state-chartered and 14 federally chartered credit unions (CUs). Excluding the CUs, the St Louis market area accounted for the largest portion of the state's bank deposits in 2004 at $48.005 billion, while it ranked second in the number of financial institutions at 138. The Kansas City market area had the most financial institutions at 152, but ranked second in deposits at $32.593 billion. As of June 2005, CUs accounted for 8.2% of all assets held by all financial institutions in the state, or some $8.372 billion. Banks, savings and loans, and savings banks collectively accounted for the remaining 91.8% or $94.030 billion in assets held.

In 2004, the median past-due/nonaccrual loan level as a percentage of total loans stood at 1.37%, down from 1.66% in 2003, although in the fourth quarter 2005, the level rose to 1.59%. For the year 2004, the median net interest margin (the difference between the lower rates offered to savers and the higher rates charged on loans) stood at 4.01%, up from 3.93% in 2003. In fourth quarter 2005, the median NIM rate was 4.07%.

Regulation of state-chartered financial institutions is the responsibility of the Department of Development's Division of Finance.


In 2004, there were over 3.5 million individual life insurance policies in force with a total value of over $242.9 billion; total value for all categories of life insurance (individual, group, and credit) was about $420 billion. The average coverage amount is $67,600 per policy holder. Death benefits paid that year totaled $1.2 billion.

In 2003, 36 life and insurance companies were domiciled in Missouri, as were 49 property and casualty insurance companies. Direct premiums for property and casualty insurance in Missouri totaled $8.7 billion in 2001. That year, there were 22,397 flood insurance policies in force in the state, with a total value of $2.6 billion. About $484 million of coverage was held through FAIR plans, which are designed to offer coverage for some natural circumstances, such as wind and hail, in high risk areas.

In 2004, 56% of state residents held employment-based health insurance policies, 5% held individual policies, and 26% were covered under Medicare and Medicaid; 12% of residents were uninsured. In 2003, employee contributions for employment-based health coverage averaged at 17% for single coverage and 25% for family coverage. The state offers a nine-month health benefits expansion program for small-firm employees in connection with the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA, 1986), a health insurance program for those who lose employment-based coverage due to termination or reduction of work hours.

In 2003, there were over 3.8 million auto insurance policies in effect for private passenger cars. Required minimum coverage includes bodily injury liability of up to $25,000 per individual and $50,000 for all persons injured in an accident, as well as property damage liability of $10,000. Uninsured motorist coverage is also mandatory. In 2003, the average expenditure per vehicle for insurance coverage was $701.67.


The Missouri Uniform Securities Act, also known as the "Blue Sky Law" and administered by the Securities Division of the Office of Secretary of State, requires the registration of stocks, bonds, debentures, notes, investment contracts, and oil, gas, and mining interests intended for sale in the state. In cases of fraud, misrepresentation, or other failure to comply with the act, the Missouri investor has the right to sue to recover the investment, plus interest, costs, and attorney fees. Government securities, mutual funds, stocks listed on the principal national exchanges, and securities sold under specific transactional agreements are exempt from registration.

In 2005, there were 1,580 personal financial advisers employed in the state and 5,130 securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents. In 2004, there were over 117 publicly traded companies within the state, with over 40 NASDAQ companies, 50 NYSE listings, and 5 AMEX listings. In 2006, the state had ten Fortune 500 companies; Emerson Electric (based in St. Louis) ranked first in the state and 126th in the nation with revenues of over $17.3 billion, followed by Express Scripts in Maryland Hts. and Anheuser-Busch, Ameren, and Monsanto in St. Louis. Express Scripts is listed with NASDAQ; the other four companies are listed on the NYSE.


The Missouri state budget is prepared by the Office of Administration's Division of Budget and Planning and submitted annually by the governor to the General Assembly for amendment and approval. The fiscal year runs from 1 July to 30 June. Missouri's constitutional revenue and spending limit provides that over time, the growth in state revenues and spending cannot exceed the growth in Missouri personal income.

Fiscal year 2006 general funds were estimated at $7.5 billion for resources and $7.1 billion for expenditures. In fiscal year 2004, federal government grants to Missouri were $8.7 billion

In the fiscal year 2007 federal budget, Missouri was slated to receive $96.6 million for exterior repairs, hazardous material abatement, and modernization efforts at the Richard Bolling Federal Building in Kansas City; $25.8 million to replace an operating suite at a veterans' hospital in Columbia; and $7 million for a veterans' medical care center renovation and national cemetery expansion in St. Louis.


In 2005, Missouri collected $9,544 million in tax revenues or $1,645 per capita, which placed it 46th among the 50 states in per capita tax burden. The national average was $2,192 per capita. Property taxes accounted for 0.2% of the total, sales taxes 31.8%, selective sales taxes 16.4%, individual income taxes 42.1%, corporate income taxes 2.3%, and other taxes 7.2%.

MissouriState Government Finances
(Dollar amounts in thousands. Per capita amounts in dollars.)
Abbreviations and symbols: - zero or rounds to zero; (NA) not available; (X) not applicable.
source: U.S. Census Bureau, Governments Division, 2004 Survey of State Government Finances, January 2006.
Total Revenue 26,320,416 4,569.52
  General revenue 20,287,403 3,522.12
    Intergovernmental revenue 7,412,108 1,286.82
    Taxes 9,119,664 1,583.28
      General sales 2,950,055 512.16
      Selective sales 1,518,453 263.62
      License taxes 605,590 105.14
      Individual income tax 3,720,749 645.96
      Corporate income tax 224,366 38.95
      Other taxes 100,451 17.44
    Current charges 1,966,875 341.47
    Miscellaneous general revenue 1,788,756 310.55
  Utility revenue - -
  Liquor store revenue - -
  Insurance trust revenue 6,033,013 1,047.40
Total expenditure 22,038,965 3,826.21
  Intergovernmental expenditure 5,260,101 913.21
  Direct expenditure 16,778,864 2,913.00
    Current operation 11,428,958 1,984.19
    Capital outlay 1,505,282 261.33
    Insurance benefits and repayments 2,551,924 443.04
    Assistance and subsidies 653,594 113.47
    Interest on debt 639,106 110.96
Exhibit: Salaries and wages 3,101,488 538.45
Total expenditure 22,038,965 3,826.21
  General expenditure 19,487,011 3,383.16
    Intergovernmental expenditure 5,260,101 913.21
    Direct expenditure 14,226,910 2,469.95
  General expenditures, by function:
    Education 6,868,317 1,192.42
    Public welfare 5,657,912 982.28
    Hospitals 1,041,370 180.79
    Health 665,345 115.51
    Highways 1,853,322 321.76
    Police protection 134,869 23.41
    Correction 609,300 105.78
    Natural resources 325,328 56.48
    Parks and recreation 52,556 9.12
    Government administration 616,591 107.05
    Interest on general debt 639,106 110.96
    Other and unallocable 1,022,995 177.60
  Utility expenditure 30 .01
  Liquor store expenditure - -
  Insurance trust expenditure 2,551,924 443.04
Debt at end of fiscal year 16,218,362 2,815.69
Cash and security holdings 59,430,937 10,317.87

As of 1 January 2006, Missouri had 10 individual income tax brackets ranging from 1.5% to 6.0%. The state taxes corporations at a flat rate of 6.25%.

In 2004, state and local property taxes amounted to $4,304,387,000 or $747 per capita. The per capita amount ranks the state 37th highest nationally. Local governments collected $4,281,624,000 of the total and the state government $22,763,000.

Missouri taxes retail sales at a rate of 4.225%. In addition to the state tax, local taxes on retail sales can reach as much as 4.5%, making for a potential total tax on retail sales of 8.725%. Food purchased for consumption off-premises is taxable, but at lower rate. The tax on cigarettes is 17 cents per pack, which ranks 50th among the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Missouri taxes gasoline at 17.55 cents per gallon. This is in addition to the 18.4 cents per gallon federal tax on gasoline.

According to the Tax Foundation, for every federal tax dollar sent to Washington in 2004, Missouri citizens received $1.29 in federal spending.


Primary responsibility for economic development is vested in the Department of Economic Development (DED). Its Enterprise Zone Program provides a variety of tax credits, exemptions, and other incentives to businesses that locate in designated areas. The division also offers grants, information, technical aid, and other public resources to foster local and regional development. Special programs are provided for the Ozarks region and to rehabilitate urban neighborhoods. Agencies affiliated with the DED include: the Division of Business and Community Services; the Division of Credit Unions; the Division of Finance; the Division of Tourism; the Missouri Arts Council; the Missouri Housing Development Commission; the Missouri Development Finance Board; and the Division of Workforce Development.


The infant mortality rate in October 2005 was estimated at 7.6 per 1,000 live births. The birth rate in 2003 was 13.5 per 1,000 population. The abortion rate stood at 6.6 per 1,000 women in 2000. In 2003, about 88.4% of pregnant woman received prenatal care beginning in the first trimester. In 2004, approximately 82% of children received routine immunizations before the age of three.

The crude death rate in 2003 was 9.7 deaths per 1,000 population. As of 2002, the death rates for major causes of death (per 100,000 resident population) were: heart disease, 294.5; cancer, 217.2; cerebrovascular diseases, 68.5; chronic lower respiratory diseases, 50.5; and diabetes, 28.6. The mortality rate from HIV infection was 2.2 per 100,000 population. In 2004, the reported AIDS case rate was at about 6.8 per 100,000 population. In 2002, about 58.4% of the population was considered overweight or obese. As of 2004, about 24.1% of state residents were smokers.

In 2003, Missouri had 119 community hospitals with about 19,300 beds. There were about 831,000 patient admissions that year and 15.7 million outpatient visits. The average daily inpatient census was about 11,900 patients. The average cost per day for hospital care was $1,403. Also in 2003, there were about 534 certified nursing facilities in the state with 54,415 beds and an over-all occupancy rate of about 68.6%. In 2004, it was estimated that about 64% of all state residents had received some type of dental care within the year. Missouri had 241 physicians per 100,000 resident population in 2003 and 940 nurses per 100,000 in 2004.

In 2005, the Barnes-Jewish Hospital of Washington University ranked sixth on the Honor Roll of Best Hospitals 2005 by U.S. News & World Report. In the same report, it ranked ninth for best care in heart disease and heart surgery.

About 26% of state residents were enrolled in Medicaid and Medicare programs in 2004. Approximately 12% of the state population was uninsured in 2004. In 2003, state health care expenditures totaled $7.7 million.


In 2004, about 166,000 people received unemployment benefits, with the average weekly unemployment benefit at $205. In fiscal year 2005, the estimated average monthly participation in the food stamp program included about 766,425 persons (298,380 households); the average monthly benefit was about $80 per person, the second-lowest average payment in the nation (above Wisconsin). That year, the total of benefits paid through the state for the food stamp program was about $735.7 million.

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), the system of federal welfare assistance that officially replaced Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) in 1997, was reauthorized through the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005. TANF is funded through federal block grants that are divided among the states based on an equation involving the number of recipients in each state. Missouri's TANF program is called Beyond Welfare. In 2004, the state program had 100,000 recipients; state and federal expenditures on this TANF program totaled $130 million in fiscal year 2003.

In December 2004, Social Security benefits were paid to 1,046,110 Missouri residents. This number included 642,970 retired workers, 102,730 widows and widowers, 153,570 disabled workers, 54,680 spouses, and 92,160 children. Social Security beneficiaries represented 18.2% of the total state population and 93.9% of the state's population age 65 and older. Retired workers received an average monthly payment of $944; widows and widowers, $891; disabled workers, $872; and spouses, $469. Payments for children of retired workers averaged $477 per month; children of deceased workers, $619; and children of disabled workers, $254. Federal Supplemental Security Income payments in December 2004 went to 116,131 Missouri residents, averaging $386 a month. An additional $2.2 million of state-administered supplemental payments were distributed to 8,865 residents.


In 2004, Missouri had an estimated 2,564,340 housing units, of which 2,309,205 were occupied; 70.8% were owner-occupied. About 69.3% of all units were single-family, detached homes. Utility gas and electricity were the most common energy sources for heating. It was estimated that 89,522 units lacked telephone services, 11,971 lacked complete plumbing facilities, and 12,264 lacked complete kitchen facilities. The average household had 2.42 members.

In 2004, 32,800 new privately owned units were authorized for construction. The median home value was $117,033. The median monthly cost for mortgage owners was $954. Renters paid a median of $567 per month. In September 2005, the state received a grant of $360,898 from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for rural housing and economic development programs. For 2006, HUD allocated to the state over $24.2 million in community development block grants.

The Missouri Housing Development Commission of the Department of Economic Development is empowered to make and insure loans to encourage the construction of residential housing for persons of low or moderate income; funds for mortgage financing are provided through the sale of tax-exempt notes and bonds issued by the commission. Construction of multi-unit public housing stagnated during the 1970s. In 1972, municipal authorities ordered the demolition of two apartment buildings in St. Louis's Pruitt-Igoe public housing complex, built 18 years earlier and regarded by many commentators as a classic case of the failure of such high-rise projects to offer a livable environment; the site remained vacant in the early 1980s. Only 5.5% of St. Louis's housing units in 1990 had been built during the 1980s; during the 1970s, many units were abandoned.


Although the constitution of 1820 provided for the establishment of public schools, it was not until 1839 that the state's public school system became a reality through legislation creating the office of state superintendent of common schools and establishing a permanent school fund. Missouri schools were officially segregated from 1875 to 1954, when the US Supreme Court issued its landmark ruling in Brown v. Board of Education; the state's school segregation law was not taken off the books until 1976. In that year, nearly 37% of all black students were in schools that were 99-100% black, a condition fostered by the high concentration of black Missourians in the state's two largest cities. In 1983, a desegregation plan was adopted for St. Louis-area public schools that called for 3,000 black students to be transferred from city to county schools.

In 2004, 87.9% of all Missourians 25 years of age or older were high school graduates, and 28.1% had obtained bachelor's degrees or higher. The total enrollment for fall 2002 in Missouri's public schools stood at 924,000. Of these, 653,000 attended schools from kindergarten through grade eight, and 272,000 attended high school. Approximately 77.7% of the students were white, 18% were black, 2.6% were Hispanic, 1.4% were Asian/Pacific Islander, and 0.4% were American Indian/Alaskan Native. Total enrollment was estimated at 917,000 in fall 2003 and expected to be 910,000 by fall 2014, a decline of 1.6% during the period 200214. In fall 2003, there were 119,812 students enrolled in private schools. Expenditures for public education in 2003/04 were estimated at $7.8 billion. Since 1969, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) has tested public school students nationwide. The resulting report, The Nation's Report Card, stated that in 2005, eighth graders in Missouri scored 276 out of 500 in mathematics, compared with the national average of 278.

As of fall 2002, there were 348,146 students enrolled in college or graduate school; minority students comprised 16.5% of total postsecondary enrollment. As of 2005, Missouri had 123 degree-granting institutions including, 14 public 4-year schools, 20 public 2-year schools, and 54 nonprofit private 4-year schools. The Uni-versity of Missouri, established in 1839, was the first state-supported university west of the Mississippi River. It has four campuses: Columbia (site of the world's oldest and one of the best-known journalism schools), Kansas City, Rolla, and St. Louis. The Rolla campus, originally founded in 1870 as a mining and engineering school, is still one of the nation's leading universities specializing in technology.

Lincoln University, a public university for blacks until segregation ended in 1954, is located in Jefferson City. There are five regional state universities, at Warrensburg, Maryville, Cape Girardeau, Springfield, and Kirksville, and three state colleges, at St. Louis, St. Joseph, and Joplin. Two leading independent universities, Washington and St. Louis, are located in St. Louis, as is the Concordia Seminary, an affiliate of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and the center of much theological and political controversy during the 1970s. The Department of Higher Education offers grants and guaranteed loans to Missouri students.


The Missouri Arts Council is a state agency consisting of 15 citizens directly appointed by the director of the Department of Economic Development. In 2005, Missouri arts organizations received 34 grants totaling $2,251,800 from the National Endowment for the Arts. In 1994, the Missouri General Assembly established the Missouri Cultural Trust, a state endowment for the arts, with the goal of building it into a $200 million operational endowment in 10 years. The Trust was one of only a few such trusts in the nation, and the only one that received dedicated annual tax revenues. In 2006, the Missouri Arts Council canceled its Capital Incentive Program associated with the Cultural Trust due to insufficient funding. In effect, it was projected that the trust fund would hold only $35,000 by June 2007.

The Missouri Humanities Council (MHC) was founded to provide opportunities for families and communities to broaden their appreciation for subjects such as history and literature. The MHC sponsors "Chautauqua" an annual weeklong summer history festival on various themes and in 2006 the council launched its "Young Chautauqua" program. The festival is generally in a different community each year. In 2005, the National Endowment for the Humanities contributed $1,947,100 for 15 state programs.

Theatrical performances are offered throughout the state, mostly during the summer. In Kansas City, productions of Broadway musicals and light opera are staged at the Starlight Theater, which seats 7,860 in an open-air setting. The Missouri Repertory Theater or Kansas City Repertory Theater, on the University of Missouri campus in Kansas City, also has a summer season. As of 2006, construction of a new downtown theater was still in process. The new theater was expected to house about 320 people, creating a smaller and more intimate performance space option. In 2006, the Kansas City Repertory Theater announced that their new downtown theater would be named Copaken Stage; the first performance was scheduled to take place in winter 2007. In St. Louis, the 12,000-seat Municipal Opera puts on outdoor musicals, while the Goldenrod, built in 1909 and said to be the largest showboat ever constructed (seating capacity 289), is used today for vaudeville, melodrama, and ragtime shows. Other notable playhouses are the 8,000-seat Riverfront Amphitheater in Hannibal, and the 344-seat Lyceum Theater in Arrow Rock (population 89).

Leading orchestras are the St. Louis Symphony and Kansas City Symphony; Independence, Liberty, Columbia, Kirksville, St. Joseph, and Springfield also have orchestras. The Opera Theatre of St. Louis and the Lyric Opera of Kansas City are distinguished musical organizations. In 2000, the Opera Theatre of St. Louis was one of only two US opera companies to receive a grant from the Ford Foundation. The Ford Foundation grant totaled $1.5 million, to be matched 4 to 1 over the next five years. Springfield has a regional opera company.

Between World Wars I and II, Kansas City was the home of a thriving jazz community that included Charlie Parker and Lester Young; leading bandleaders of that time were Benny Moten, Walter Page, and, later, Count Basie. Country music predominates in rural Missouri in places like the Ozark Opry at Osage Beach. The city of Branson is center to numerous live music and performance shows. As of 2006 there were 40 performing venues in Branson, with over 100 shows.


For the fiscal year ending in June 2001, Missouri had 150 public library systems, with a total of 363 libraries, of which 216 were branches. In that same year, the state's public libraries had 18,716,000 volumes of books and serial publications on their shelves, with a combined total circulation of 38,767,000. The system also had 674,000 audio and 413,000 video items, 17,000 electronic format items (CD-ROMs, magnetic tapes, and disks), and 30 bookmobiles. The Missouri State Library, in Jefferson City, is the center of the state's interlibrary loan network. It also serves as the only public library for the population who live in areas without public libraries; it has 79,761 books. The largest public library systems, those of Kansas City and St. Louis County, had 1,204,992 and 2,777,056 volumes, respectively; the public library system of the city of St. Louis had 2,505,182 in 15 branches. The University of Missouri-Columbia has the leading academic library, with 2,850,747 volumes in 1998. The State Historical Society of Missouri Library in Columbia contains 453,000 volumes. The federally-administered Harry S. Truman Library and Museum is at Independence. In fiscal year 2001, operating income for the state's public libraries came to $153,728,000 and included $1,888,000 in federal grants and $3,954,000 in state grants.

Missouri has well over 162 museums and historic sites. The William Rockhill Nelson Gallery/Atkins Museum of Fine Arts in Kansas City and the St. Louis Art Museum each house distinguished general collections, while the Springfield Art Museum specializes in American sculpture, paintings, and relics of the westward movement. The Mark Twain Home and Museum in Hannibal has a collection of manuscripts and other memorabilia. Also notable are the Museum of Art and Archaeology, Columbia; the Kansas City Museum of History and Science; the Pony Express Stables Museum, St. Joseph; and the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis Center Museum of Science and Natural History and McDonnell Planetarium, National Museum of Transport, and a zoo, all in St. Louis. Kansas City, Springfield, and Eldon also have zoos.


In 1858, John Hockaday began weekly mail service by stagecoach between Independence and Salt Lake City, and John Butterfield, with a $600,000 annual appropriation from Congress, established semi-monthly mail transportation by coach and rail from St. Louis to San Francisco. On 3 April 1860, the Pony Express was launched, picking up mail arriving by train at St. Joseph and racing it westward on horseback; the system ceased in October 1861, when the Pacific Telegraph Co. began operations. The first experiment in airmail service took place at St. Louis in 1911; Charles Lindbergh was an airmail pilot on the St. Louis-Chicago route in 1926.

As of 2004, Missouri had approximately 93.7% of all state residences had telephone service. Additionally, by June of that same year there were 2,859,953 mobile wireless telephone subscribers. In 2003, 60.7% of Missouri households had a computer and 53.0% had Internet access. By June 2005, there were 710,812 high-speed lines in Missouri, 653,590 residential and 57,222 for business.

Radio broadcasting in Missouri dates from 1921, when a station at St. Louis University began experimental programming. On Christmas Eve 1922, the first midnight Mass ever to be put on the air was broadcast from the Old Cathedral in St. Louis. The voice of a US president was heard over the air for the first time on 21 June 1923, when Warren G. Harding gave a speech in St. Louis. FM broadcasting began in Missouri during 1948. As of 2005 there were 36 major commercial AM stations and 97 major FM stations in service. Missouri's first television station, KSD-TV in St. Louis, began in 1947, with WDAF-TV in Kansas City following in 1949. As of 2005, Missouri had 25 major television stations. The St. Louis area had 1,114,370 television households, and only 56% of those received cable (one of the lowest penetration rates of all cities) in 1999. Kansas City had a 65% penetration rate in 802,580 television households in that same year.

A total of 84,512 Internet domain names had been registered in Missouri as of 2000.


The Missouri Gazette, published in St. Louis in 1808 by the politically independent and controversial Joseph Charless, was the state's first newspaper; issued to 174 subscribers, the paper was partly in French. In 1815, a group of Charless's enemies raised funds to establish a rival paper, the Western Journal, and brought in Joshua Norvell from Nashville to edit it. By 1820 there were five newspapers in Missouri.

Since that time, many Missouri newspapermen have achieved national recognition. The best known is Samuel Clemens (later Mark Twain), who started out as a "printer's devil" in Hannibal at the age of 13. Hungarian-born Joseph Pulitzer began his journalistic career in 1868 as a reporter for a German-language daily in St. Louis. Pulitzer created the St. Louis Post-Dispatch from the merger of two defunct newspapers in 1878, endowed the Columbia University School of Journalism in New York City, and established by bequest the Pulitzer Prizes, which annually honor journalistic and artistic achievement.

The following table shows Missouri's leading dailies with their approximate 2005 circulations:

Kansas City Kansas City Star (m,S) 275,747 388,425
St. Louis St. Louis Post-Dispatch (m,S) 286,310 449,845

Periodicals include the St. Louis-based Sporting News, the bimonthly "bible" of baseball fans; VFW Magazine, put out monthly in Kansas City by the Veterans of Foreign Wars; and the Missouri Historical View, a quarterly with offices in Columbia. As of 2005 there were 13 morning newspapers, 29 evening dailies, and 23 Sunday papers.


In 2006, there were over 7,460 nonprofit organizations registered within the state, of which about 4,647 were registered as charitable, educational, or religious organizations.

Among the national and international organizations with headquarters in Kansas City are the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the USA, the American Gulf War Veterans Association, Camp Fire USA., People-to-People International, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Business Women's Association, the American Nurses Association, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, the American Humor Studies Association, and Professional Secretaries International.

Headquartered in St. Louis are the American Association of Orthodontists, the American Optometric Association, the Catholic Health Association of the United States, the Danforth Foundation, the International Consumer Credit Association, National Garden Clubs, and the National Hairdressers and Cosmetologists Association. Children International and DeMolay International are based in Kansas City. Two major religious organizations based in the state are the Baptist Bible Fellowship International and the Gospel Missionary Union. The General Society, Sons of the Revolution is based in Independence.

State culture is represented in part by the Kansas City Barbeque Society and the Scott Joplin International Ragtime Foundation, both of which have national memberships. The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum is located in Kansas City. The Missouri Arts Council is based in St. Louis.

Other organizations include the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (Columbia), the National Christmas Tree Association (St. Louis), and the American Cat Fanciers Association (Branson).


In 2004, the state hosted some 37.7 million domestic travelers, an all-time high, with 69% of all visitors coming from out-of-state. About 42% of all visitors came to visit family or friends. Of those traveling strictly for leisure activities, shopping was the major attraction. Total travel revenues were $8.3 billion and the industry supported over 284,916 jobs. The most popular vacation areas are the St. Louis region (40% of all visits) and the Kansas City area (23%).

The principal attraction in St. Louis is the Gateway Arch, at 630 feet (192 meters) 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.

In the Kansas City area are the modern Crown Center hotels and shopping plaza, Country Club Plaza, the Truman Sports Complex, Ft. Osage near Sibley, Jesse James's birthplace near Excelsior Springs, and Harry Truman's hometown of Independence, where his presidential library and museum are housed. Memorabilia of Mark Twain are housed in and around Hannibal in the northeast, and the birthplace and childhood home of George Washington Carver, a national monument, is in Diamond.

The Lake of the Ozarks, with 1,375 mi (2,213 km) of shoreline, is one of the most popular vacation spots in mid-America. Other attractions are the Silver Dollar City handicrafts center near Branson; the Pony Express Stables and Museum at St. Joseph; Wilson's Creek National Battlefield at Republic, site of a Confederate victory in the Civil War; and the "Big Springs Country" of the Ozarks, in the southeast. The state fair is held in Sedalia each August. The city of Gallatin contains the history of the famous outlaw Jesse James and his gang. Walt Disney modeled his rendition of Main Street, Disneyland, after his hometown of Marcelline.

Missouri has 27 state parks. Operated by the Department of Natural Resources, they offer camping, picnicking, swimming, boating, fishing, and hiking facilities. Lake of the Ozarks State Park is the largest, covering 16,872 acres (6,828 hectares). Branson hosts a musical resort and theater which attracts many visitors. There are also 27 historic sites; state parks and historic sites cover 105,000 acres (43,050 hectares). Hunting and fishing are popular recreational activities in state parks.


There are six major professional sports teams in Missouri: the Kansas City Royals and St. Louis Cardinals of Major League Baseball; the Kansas City Chiefs and St. Louis Rams of the National Football League; the St. Louis Blues of the National Hockey League; and the Kansas City Wizards of Major League Soccer.

The Cardinals won the World Series in 1926, 1931, 1934, 1942, 1944, 1946, 1964, 1967, and 1982. The Royals have won the World Series once, in 1985, against their cross-state rivals, the St. Louis Cardinals. The Chiefs appeared in Super Bowl I in 1967, losing to the Green Bay Packers. They won the Super Bowl in their next appearance, in 1970. The Rams moved to St. Louis from Los Angeles after the 1994 season and now play in the 66,000-seat Edward Jones Dome, which opened in 1995. They won the Super Bowl in 2000 with a dramatic 23-16 victory over the Tennessee Titans.

Horse racing has a long history in Missouri. In 1812, St. Charles County sportsmen held two-day horse races; by the 1820s, racetracks were laid out in nearly every city and in crossroads villages.

In collegiate sports, the University of Missouri competes in the Big Twelve Conference.


Harry S Truman (18841972) has been the only native-born Missourian to serve as US president or vice president. Elected US senator in 1932, Truman became Franklin D. Roosevelt's vice-presidential running mate in 1944 and succeeded to the presidency upon Roosevelt's death on 12 April 1945. The "man from Independence"whose tenure in office spanned the end of World War II, the inauguration of the Marshall Plan to aid European economic recovery, and the beginning of the Korean conflictwas elected to the presidency in his own right in 1948, defeating Republican Thomas E. Dewey in one of the most surprising upsets in US political history. Charles Evans Whittaker (b.Kansas, 190173) was a federal district and appeals court judge in Missouri before his appointment as Supreme Court associate justice in 1957. Among the state's outstanding US military leaders are Generals John J. Pershing (18601948) and Omar Bradley (18931981).

Other notable federal officeholders from Missouri include Edward Bates (b.Virginia, 17931869), Abraham Lincoln's attorney general and the first cabinet official to be chosen from a state west of the Mississippi River; Montgomery Blair (b.Kentucky, 181383), postmaster general in Lincoln's cabinet; and Norman Jay Colman (b.New York, 18271911), the first secretary of agriculture. Missouri's best-known senator was Thomas Hart Benton (b.North Carolina, 17821858), who championed the interests of Missouri and the West for 30 years. Other well-known federal legislators include Francis P. Blair Jr. (b.Kentucky, 182175), antislavery congressman, pro-Union leader during the Civil War, and Democratic vice-presidential nominee in 1868; Benjamin Gratz Brown (b.Kentucky, 182685), senator from 1863 to 1867 and later governor of the state and Republican vice-presidential nominee (1872); Carl Schurz (b.Germany, 18291906), senator from 1869 to 1875 and subsequently US secretary of the interior, as well as a journalist and Union military leader; William H. Hatch (b.Kentucky, 183396), sponsor of much agricultural legislation as a US representative from 1879 to 1895; Richard P. Bland (b.Kentucky, 183599), leader of the free-silver bloc in the US House of Representatives; James Beauchamp "Champ" Clark (b.Kentucky, 18501921), speaker of the House from 1911 to 1919; W. Stuart Symington (b.Massachusetts, 190188), senator from 1953 to 1977 and earlier the nation's first secretary of the Air Force; and Thomas F. Eagleton (b.1929), senator since 1969 and, briefly, the Democratic vice-presidential nominee in 1972, until publicity about his having received electroshock treatment for depression forced him off the ticket. (Eagleton announced in 1984 that he would not seek reelection to the Senate in 1986.)

Outstanding figures in Missouri history included two pioneering fur traders: William Henry Ashley (b.Virginia, 17781838), who later became a US representative, and Manuel Lisa (b.Louisiana, 17721820), who helped establish trade relations with the Indians. Meriwether Lewis (b.Virginia, 17741809) and William Clark (b.Virginia, 17701838) explored Missouri and the West during 18046; Lewis later served as governor of Louisiana Territory, with headquarters at St. Louis, and Clark was governor of Missouri Territory from 1813 to 1821. Dred Scott (b.Virginia, 17951858), a slave owned by a Missourian, figured in a Supreme Court decision that set the stage for the Civil War. Missourians with unsavory reputations include such desperadoes as Jesse James (184782), his brother Frank (18431915), and Cole Younger (18441916), also a member of the James gang. Another well-known native was Kansas City's political boss, Thomas Joseph Pendergast (18721945), a power among Missouri Democrats until convicted of income tax evasion in 1939 and sent to Leavenworth prison.

Among notable Missouri educators were William Torrey Harris (b.Connecticut, 18351909), superintendent of St. Louis public schools, US commissioner of education, and an authority on Hegelian philosophy; James Milton Turney (18401915), who helped establish Lincoln University for blacks at Jefferson City; and Susan Elizabeth Blow (18431916), cofounder with Harris of the first US public kindergarten at St. Louis in 1873. Distinguished scientists include agricultural chemist George Washington Carver (18641943), astronomers Harlow Shapley (18851972) and Edwin P. Hubble (18891953), Nobel Prize-winning nuclear physicist Arthur Holly Compton (b.Ohio, 18921962), and mathematician-cyberneticist Norbert Wiener (18941964). Engineer and inventor James Buchanan Eads (b.Indiana, 182087) supervised construction during 186774 of the St. Louis bridge that bears his name. Charles A. Lindbergh (b.Michigan 190274) was a pilot and aviation instructor in the St. Louis area during the 1920s before wining worldwide acclaim for his solo New York-Paris flight.

Prominent Missouri businessmen include brewer Adolphus Busch (b.Germany, 18391913); William Rockhill Nelson (b.Indiana, 18471915), who founded the Kansas City Star (1880); Joseph Pulitzer (b.Hungary, 18471911), who merged two failed newspapers to establish the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (1878) and later endowed the journalism and literary prizes that bear his name; and James Cash Penney (18751971), founder of the J. C. Penney Co. Noteworthy journalists from Missouri include newspaper and magazine editor William M. Reedy (18621920), newspaper reporter Herbert Bayard Swope (18821958), and television newscaster Walter Cronkite (b.1916). Other distinguished Missourians include theologian Reinhold Niebuhr (18921971), civil rights leader Roy Wilkins (190181), and medical missionary Thomas Dooley (192761).

Missouri's most popular author is Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens, 18351910), whose Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884) evoke his boyhood in Hannibal. Novelist Harold Bell Wright (b.New York, 18721944) wrote about the people of the Ozarks; Robert Heinlein (190788) is a noted writer of science fiction, and William S. Burroughs (191497) an experimental novelist. Poet-critic T(homas) S(tearns) Eliot (18881965), awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1948, was born in St. Louis but became a British subject in 1927. Other Missouri-born poets include Sara Teasdale (18841933), Marianne Moore (18871972), and Langston Hughes (190267). Popular novelist and playwright Rupert Hughes (18721956) was a Missouri native, as was Zoe Akins (18861958), a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright.

Distinguished painters who lived in Missouri include George Caleb Bingham (b.Virginia, 181179), who also served in several state offices; James Carroll Beckwith (18521917); and Thomas Hart Benton (18891975), the grandnephew and namesake of the state's famous political leader. Among the state's important musicians are ragtime pianist-composers Scott Joplin (b.Texas, 18681917) and John William "Blind" Boone (18641927); W(illiam) C(hristopher) Handy (b.Alabama, 18731958), composer of "St. Louis Blues," "Beale Street Blues," and other classics; composer-critic Virgil Thomson (18961989), known for his operatic collaborations with Gertrude Stein; jazzman Coleman Hawkins (190769); and popular songwriter Burt Bacharach (b.1929). Photographer Walker Evans (190375) was a St. Louis native.

Missouri-born entertainers include actors Wallace Beery, (18891949), Vincent Price (191193), and Edward Asner (b.1929); actresses Jean Harlow (Harlean Carpenter, 191137), Jane Wyman (b.1914), Betty Grable (191673), and Shelley Winters (19222006); dancers Sally Rand (190479) and Josephine Baker (190675); actress-dancer Ginger Rogers (191195); film director John Huston (190684); and opera stars Helen Traubel (190372), Gladys Swarthout (190469), and Grace Bumbry (b.1937). In popular music, the state's most widely known singer-songwriter is Charles "Chuck" Berry (b.California, 1926), whose works had a powerful influence on the development of rock and roll.

St. Louis Cardinals stars who became Hall of Famers include Jerome Herman "Dizzy" Dean (b.Arkansas, 191174), Stanley Frank "Stan the Man" Musial (b.Pennsylvania, 1920), Robert "Bob" Gibson (b.Nebraska, 1935), and Louis "Lou" Brock (b.Arkansas, 1939). Among the native Missourians who achieved stardom in the sports world are baseball manager Charles Dillon "Casey" Stengel (18901975), catcher Lawrence Peter "Yogi" Berra (b.1925), sportscaster Joe Garagiola (b.1926), and golfer Tom Watson (b.1949).


Burnett, Robyn. German Settlement in Missouri: New Land, Old Ways. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1996.

Christensen, Lawrence O. et al. (ed.). Dictionary of Missouri Biography. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1999.

Council of State Governments. The Book of the States, 2006 Edition. Lexington, Ky.: Council of State Governments, 2006.

Greene, Lorenzo J., et al. Missouri's Black Heritage. Rev. ed. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1993.

Hall, Leonard. Stars Upstream: Life along an Ozark River. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1991.

Larsen, Lawrence Harold. Federal Justice in Western Missouri: The Judges, the Cases, the Times. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1994.

Mobil Travel Guide. Great Plains 2006: Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma. Lincolnwood, Ill.: ExxonMobil Travel Publications, 2006.

McAuliffe, Emily. Missouri Facts and Symbols. Mankato, Minn.: Hilltop Books, 2000.

Stone, Jeffrey C. Slavery, Southern Culture, and Education in Little Dixie, Missouri, 18201860. New York: Routledge, 2006.

US Department of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration, US Census Bureau. Missouri, 2000. Summary Social, Economic, and Housing Characteristics: 2000 Census of Population and Housing. Washington, D.C.: US Government Printing Office, 2003.

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MISSOURI. Missouri's diversity marks it as a microcosm of the nation. Located in the center of the country and drained by the great Mississippi River on its eastern border and bisected by the Missouri River, Missouri's land area is 68,886 square miles. In 2000, the state's population stood at 5,595, 211, with 11.2 percent being African American, just short of the 12.3 percent in the nation.

With rich farmlands north of the Missouri River devoted to general agriculture, a 200-day growing season in the Mississippi Delta of the southeast portion of the state for cotton, melons, soybeans, and rice, the Osage Plains in the southwest for dairying and cattle raising, and the Ozark Highlands occupying 31,000 square miles of the rest, Missouri offers a wide range of landforms. The Boston Mountains that make up the Ozarks are one of the oldest mountain ranges in the nation. The free-flowing Jack's Fork, Current, and Eleven Points Rivers provide opportunities for floating that places one in the natural beauty of the Ozarks. The Gasconade, White, and Osage Rivers add further to the charm of the region. Meramec, Round, and Big are some of the springs found in Missouri. Numerous caves add further to the attraction of the state.

The leading producer of lead in the world, Missouri also produces many minerals, including an abundance of coal, zinc, limestone, silica, barite, clay for brick-making, and Carthage marble, from which the State Capitol is constructed. Timber resources are abundant as well, and only the absence of oil in any quantity keeps Missouri from having all of the important natural resources.

Missouri's two major cities represent the urban dimension to its status as a microcosm of the nation. St. Louis, with more than 2.5 million people in its metropolitan area, retains the look and feel of an eastern city. Kansas City, with its more than 1.7 million metropolitan area residents, broad avenues, and expansive boundaries, is clearly a western city. Branson, in the southwest corner of the state, is an entertainment capital that surpasses Nashville, Tennessee, in its live performances and attraction of more than 6 million visitors a year. Diversity marks Missouri.


The people of the state also represent the citizens of the nation. Native Americans, particularly the Osage, dominated the area called Missouri before European explorers entered the region. Preceded by Mound Builders of the Mississippian period (a.d. 900–1500), who left their imprint on the earth still to be seen at Cahokia Mounds in Illinois, the Osage dominated the area when Father Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet, early French explorers, came to the area in the 1670s. The state takes its name from the Missouri Indians, who succumbed to attacks from their enemies, the Sauk Indians, and from smallpox epidemics. Remnants of the Missouri eventually blended with the Oto tribe of Kansas. Other French explorers, including René Robert Cavelier, sieur de La Salle, Claude Du Tisne, and Etienne De Bourgmont, added to European knowledge and promoted settlement in the area. In 1720, Phillipe Renault introduced African American slaves into the area as the labor force for mining lead. In 1750, the French made the first permanent European settlement in the state at Ste. Genevieve. Just fourteen years later, Pierre Laclede Liguest and his adopted son, Auguste Chouteau, founded St. Louis, some one hundred miles north and also on the Mississippi River. Liguest and the other early French settlers sought to either profit from the fur trade with the Indians or to gain riches from mineral resources. Fur interested Chouteau and his descendants, and for the next sixty years, the Chouteau family explored, traded, and moved across Missouri. Even after Spain took over the area in 1762 through the Treaty of Fontainebleau, the French remained dominant. In 1800, Spain relinquished political control back to France through the Treaty of San Ildefonso. Three years later, Napoleon Bonaparte sold the entire Louisiana Territory, which included Missouri, to the United States. By then, other towns included St. Charles (1769), Cape Girardeau (1793), and New Madrid (1789).

Territorial Period

Disputed land claims accompanied the establishment of control by the United States. Spanish governors had been lavish in rewarding their friends with large grants. When Americans began entering the region in great numbers between 1803 and 1810, they began disputing these claims. To confuse the matter further, when the great earthquake hit the New Madrid area in 1811–1812, the territorial government offered those devastated by the quake the right to claim land in central Missouri called the Boonslick area (named for the famous frontiersman Daniel Boone and his sons, who had come to Missouri in 1799). A land commission settled some of the claims and the first territorial secretary, Frederick Bates, settled others between 1812 and 1820, but it took until 1880 for the last claim to be resolved.

President Thomas Jefferson, who had purchased Louisiana, decided to explore and lay claim to as much area as possible. In 1804, he sent an expedition led by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark on one of the greatest adventures in American history. The intrepid travelers went up the Missouri River to its origins and then along the Columbia River to the Pacific Coast. They returned in 1806 with broad knowledge of the Native Americans and the plants and animals that lived in this vast region. They also drew maps of the area. News of their findings spurred settlement and the establishment of extensive fur trading operations throughout the west. Fur trading became Missouri's first important industry.

Between 1804 and 1810, Missouri's population doubled from 10,000 to 20,000. It moved through the stages of territorial administration established by the Northwest Ordinance and became a third-class territory in 1816. By 1820, the population reached 67,000, and Missourians sought statehood.

Many settlers came from Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia. They brought slaves with them and quickly established a predominantly Southern culture in the Boonslick area, which became known as "Little Dixie." Still other settlers from those states and North Carolina began to enter the Ozarks, but they reflected their hill origins and brought few slaves with them.

The Missouri Compromise

The question of Missouri's entrance into the union of states evoked the first national debate over slavery. Through the efforts of Kentucky senator Henry Clay, a compromise that left the number of states even allowed Missouri to come into the Union as a slave state, for Maine to enter the Union as a free state, and for there to be no more slave states allowed north of the southern boundary of Missouri. Missouri became the twenty-fourth state to enter the Union in 1821.

The convention that drew up the constitution and the first general assembly met in St. Louis. The assembly designated St. Charles as temporary capital, and then on 31 December 1821 it decided to locate a new capitol on the banks of the Missouri River about 12 miles from the mouth of the Osage River. Named after Thomas Jefferson, the City of Jefferson became Missouri's seat of government.

The Age of Benton

Elected as one of the two United States senators in 1821, Thomas Hart Benton and his central Missouri supporters dominated Missouri politics for the next thirty years. A spokesman for the interests of hard money and cheap land, Benton became synonymous with Jacksonian Democracy, the party of President Andrew Jackson. During the 1840s, as the question of slavery and its expansion

reached its zenith with the annexation of Texas, Benton took the side of free soil. His former supporters in central Missouri found new leaders in Claiborne Fox Jackson and David Rice Atchison, who associated Missouri's interests with the Southern states. Through a series of resolutions that passed the legislature in 1849, the supporters of slavery tried to force Benton's hand. His refusal to accept the resolutions caused him to lose his reelection campaign, and Missouri became so politically divided that for a period in the 1850s, only David Rice Atchison represented the state in the Senate, because a majority of the General Assembly could not decide on anyone.

In 1854, Congress passed the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which opened the territories to slavery and negated the Missouri Compromise. Contention over slavery and its extension led to fighting in Kansas, with Missourians along the border supporting slavery and the forces of abolition supporting a free Kansas. This fighting represented a prelude to the Civil War (1861–1865).

The Dred Scott Decision and the Civil War

While "Bleeding Kansas" gripped the nation's attention, the Supreme Court in 1857 decided that Dred Scott and his wife Harriet must stay in slavery. During the 1840s, Dred and Harriet, Missouri slaves, sued for their freedom on the grounds that they had been taken to free territories by their master. Reversing precedent and quite divided, the court ruled against the Scotts. Chief Justice Roger B. Taney went even further in the majority opinion, when he wrote that African Americans had no right to citizenship rights, thus making any suit invalid. A minority of justices wrote dissenting opinions, revealing the deep divisions within the country.

The election of 1860 further indicated that division. Four major candidates ran for president, and, Abraham Lincoln, the candidate of a purely regional party, won. Even before Lincoln's inauguration, South Carolina and other Southern states began to secede. Claiborne Jackson and Thomas Reynolds, the newly elected governor and lieutenant governor of Missouri, had run as moderates, but they attempted to lead Missouri into the Confederacy. Jackson called a convention to decide on secession, and the elected delegates surprised him by voting unanimously to stay in the Union. Federal forces led by Nathaniel Lyon and Frank Blair took forceful action and drove Jackson and Reynolds from the state. The pro-Confederates eventually established a government in exile and sent representatives to the Confederate government. Meanwhile, a provisional governor, Hamilton R. Gamble, ran the state government.

During the war, some 50,000 Missourians fought for the Confederacy and more than 100,000 fought for the Union. Some 8,000 of Missouri's 115,000 African Americans fought for their freedom. Only Virginia and Tennessee surpassed Missouri in the number of battles fought during the war. "Civil War" found its true meaning in Missouri as fathers fought sons and brothers fought each other. The intensity of guerrilla fighting on the western border involving such infamous figures as Frank and Jesse James and William Quantrill on the South's side, and the notorious General James Lane on the North's side went unsurpassed in brutality.

The influx of German immigrants into Missouri, and especially St. Louis, during the 1840s and 1850s helped greatly in keeping Missouri in the Union. The German immigrants hated slavery. A number of the new immigrants had left Germany because they fought on the losing side during the Revolution of 1848. Between 1850 and 1860, St. Louis's population more than doubled, going from 77,000 to 160,773, and 50,000 of these people had been born in Germany. Ireland also sent many of its sons and daughters to Missouri, and they represented the second most important immigrant group in the state's population.

The end of the war brought Radical Republican domination in Missouri, and five years of Reconstruction. Again, Missouri experienced, as it had in the Civil War, the nation's experiences in microcosm. Missouri officially freed its slaves before the Thirteenth Amendment was ratified, but the 1865 Constitution provided for segregated schools. But through the leadership of white Republicans and black James Milton Turner, a statewide school system was established in Missouri. Also, court cases in the late 1860s ruled against segregation of the state's public transportation facilities. And once African Americans achieved the right to vote through the Fifteenth Amendment, they never lost it in Missouri. The mixed pattern of race relations in Missouri reflected the complexity of race relations in the nation as a whole.

Industrial Missouri

Railroads transformed Missouri and led to the growth of cities. In 1870, Missouri had completed 1,200 miles of track. By 1920, more than 8,529 miles of track carried goods and people to all but four of the 114 counties in the state. New towns blossomed, manufacturing greatly increased, and employment opportunities spurred immigration from throughout Europe. St. Louis grew from 160,000 in 1860 to more than 575,000 by 1900. Kansas City changed from a village in 1860 to a city of 163,000 by the end of the century. With the growth of its two major cities came organized labor. In 1877, St. Louis experienced the first general strike in the nation's history. Missouri's greatest writer, Samuel Clemens, known as Mark Twain, commented on this era in his coauthored, The Gilded Age, and made some failed investments in this industrial age. Machine politics also accompanied industrialization.

Ed Butler, a former blacksmith, created a political machine in St. Louis. Future Democratic Governor Joseph W. Folk made his reputation by attacking Butler's political corruption. He went from circuit attorney to governor in only three years and became nationally famous for reform. Progressives across the nation recognized Folk's efforts.

In Kansas City, Boss Tom Pendergast controlled city politics from the 1920s until his conviction for income tax invasion in 1939. Besides lining his pockets, Pendergast allowed a wide-open city where musicians could find lucrative employment and play all night. The Kansas City sound with such bands as Count Basie's influenced jazz nationally. Building upon this heritage, Kansas Citian Charles "Bird" Parker helped invent a jazz form called bebop in the 1940s. Of course, jazz built on the ragtime music of Sedalia and St. Louis composer Scott Joplin.

World War IWorld War II

Missouri supported World War I(1914–1918) and sent General John J. Pershing to lead United States forces in Europe. Future President Harry S. Truman gained significant leadership experience as a Captain in the Great War, as it was called. During the 1920s, Missourians reflected the trends of the nation by electing Republicans as governors. With the spread of good roads, educational opportunities greatly increased during the decade. Woman's suffrage provided activists such as Emily Newell Blair with new opportunities for leadership. Missouri women such as Sara Teasdale and Fanny Hurst became nationally known writers, and not long afterward, Mary Margaret McBride began her remarkable radio career.

During the 1930s, Democratic governors attacked the depression. The January 1939 roadside demonstrations of former sharecroppers in southeast Missouri demonstrated how difficult conditions remained even after six years of the New Deal. In Missouri as in the nation, only World War II (1939–1945) relieved depression conditions. No business in Missouri benefited more from the war than the company founded by James S. McDonnell, who built airplanes in St. Louis. In addition, Truman gained a national reputation as the watchdog of defense contracts, which propelled him into the vice presidency and then in 1945, when Franklin Roosevelt died, into the presidency.

The Postwar World

The years after World War II brought school consolidation to Missouri, beginning in 1947, integration of the public schools during the 1950s, and major tests of the efficacy of busing to improve racial diversity in St. Louis and Kansas City during the 1980s and 1990s. Higher education expanded through the creation of the University of Missouri system in 1963 and the addition of four-year campuses in Joplin and St. Joseph during the late 1960s. A full-fledged junior college system and the takeover of Harris-Stowe College by the state completed the expansion of higher education. During the 1990s, in an effort to equalize funding for schools, Democratic leaders created a new formula for allocating state money to school districts.

In politics, Missouri remained a bellwether state, reflecting almost exactly the nation's preferences for candidates. During the 1960s, Democrats governed, with Governor Warren Hearnes becoming the first Missourian to serve two terms in that office because of a change in the state constitution. In the 1968 election, Hearnes won his second term, but in the same election John Danforth, a Republican, became attorney general. Danforth recruited other likely candidates and led in a Republican takeover of the governor's office in 1972 with the election of Christopher "Kit" Bond. In 1976, Bond lost to Democrat Joe Teasdale, as Missouri reflected national politics again. But in 1980, the state went for Ronald Reagan and Kit Bond won reelection. Meanwhile, John Danforth had replaced Democrat Stuart Symington in the Senate. Future United States Attorney General John Ashcroft served as governor after Bond, and Bond joined Danforth in the Senate. With Danforth's retirement, Ashcroft won his seat and two Republicans represented Missouri in the Senate. In 1992, just as Bill Clinton broke Republican dominance in the presidency, so did Democrat Mel Carnahan win election as governor of Missouri. He won again in 1996, and ran against Ashcroft for the Senate in 2000. A plane crash took his life and the lives of his son and an aide less than a month before the election, which led to an unprecedented development. Missouri voters elected the deceased Carnahan to the Senate. Roger Wilson, who had succeeded Carnahan in the governor's chair, appointed Carnahan's wife, Jean, to the office. Jean Carnahan became the first woman to represent Missouri in the Senate, although during the 1980s, Lieutenant Governor Harriet Woods came very close to defeating Kit Bond for the same office.

Finally, to complete the analogy of Missouri as a microcosm of the nation, it suffered urban sprawl during the 1980s and 1990s. While St. Louis's metropolitan population greatly expanded, the city's population declined from a high of 850,000 in 1950 to only 348,189 in 2000. Kansas City, with the boundaries of a western city, encompassed the sprawl within its borders, and surpassed St. Louis as the state's largest city. In 2000, its population stood at 441,545. The state's third largest city reflected growth in the Ozarks. Springfield counted 151,500 people in 2000. Indeed, except for population growth north of St. Louis, over the last twenty years, the Ozarks region has grown the fastest, replicating rapid growth of resort areas across the nation.


Brownlee, Richard S. Gray Ghosts of the Confederacy: Guerilla Warfare in the West 1861–1865. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1958.

Christensen, Lawrence O., William E. Foley, Gary R. Kremer, and Kenneth H. Winn, eds. The Dictionary of Missouri Biography. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1999.

Fellman, Michael. Inside War: The Guerrilla Conflict in Missouri During the American Civil War. New York: Oxford University Press, 1989.

Foley, William E. The Genesis of Missouri: From Wilderness Out-post to Statehood. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1989.

Greene, Lorenzo, Gary R. Kremer, and Antonio F. Holland. Missouri's Black Heritage. 2d ed. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1993.

Hurt, R. Douglas. Agriculture and Slavery in Missouri's Little Dixie. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1992.

March, David D. The History of Missouri. 4 vols. Chicago: Lewis Publishing, 1967.

Meyer, Duane. The Heritage of Missouri. 3d ed. St. Louis, Mo.: The River City, 1982.

Parrish, William E., ed. A History of Missouri. 5 vols. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1971–1997.

Parrish, William E., Charles T. Jones, Jr., and Lawrence O. Christensen. Missouri: The Heart of the Nation. 2d ed. Arlington Heights, Ill.: Harlan Davidson, 1992.

Lawrence O.Christensen

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Missouri (state, United States)

Missouri (mĬzŏŏr´ē, –ə), one of the midwestern states of the United States. It is bordered by Illinois, Kentucky, and Tennessee, across the Mississippi River (E), Arkansas (S), Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska (W), and Iowa (N).

Facts and Figures

Area, 69,686 sq mi (180,487 sq km). Pop. (2010) 5,988,927, a 7% increase since the 2000 census. Capital, Jefferson City. Largest city, Kansas City. Statehood, Aug. 10, 1821 (24th state). Highest pt., Taum Sauk Mt., 1,772 ft (540 m); lowest pt., St. Francis River, 230 ft (70 m). Nickname, Show Me State. Motto,Salus Populi Suprema Lex Esto [The Welfare of the People Shall Be the Supreme Law]. State bird, bluebird. State flower, hawthorn. State tree, dogwood. Abbr., Mo.; MO


Two great rivers, the Mississippi and the Missouri, have had a great influence on the development of Missouri. The Mississippi tied the region to the South, particularly to New Orleans. The Missouri crosses the state from west to east and enters the Mississippi near St. Louis; the portion of its valley between St. Louis and what became Kansas City was the greatest avenue of early-19th-cent. advance westward across the continent.

The region N of the Missouri River is largely prairie land, where, as on the Iowa plains to the north, corn and livestock are raised. Most of the region S of the Missouri is covered by foothills and by the plateau of the Ozark Mts., a region of hill country populated by a relatively isolated, self-reliant people. The rough, heavily forested eastern section of the Ozarks extends into the less hilly farming plateau in the west and encompasses the irregular, twisting Lake of the Ozarks to the northwest.

In SW Missouri is a long, narrow area of flat land, part of the Great Plains, where livestock and forage crops are raised. In the southeast, in the "Bootheel" region below Cape Girardeau, are the cotton fields of the Mississippi floodplain, a once-swampy area improved after the establishment of a drainage system in 1805. The state's rivers have periodically flooded and eroded fertile farmlands. In 1993 flooding cost 31 lives and caused an estimated $3 billion in damage, much of it to agriculture. The Missouri River basin project represents a major flood control effort.

The capital is Jefferson City, and the largest cities are Kansas City, Saint Louis, Springfield, and Independence. Places of interest include the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, in St. Louis; George Washington Carver National Monument, in Diamond; Wilson's Creek National Battlefield, near Springfield; the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, in Kansas City; the Harry S. Truman Memorial Library, in Independence; and the Museum of the American Indian, in St. Joseph. A 185-mi (300 km) bicycle trail stretches from near St. Louis to Sedalia.


Missouri's economy rests chiefly on industry. Aerospace and transportation equipment are the main manufactures; food products, chemicals, printing and publishing, machinery, fabricated metals, and electrical equipment are also important. St. Louis is an important center for the manufacture of metals and chemicals. In Kansas City, long a leading market for livestock and wheat, the manufacture of vending machines and of cars and trucks are leading industries.

Coal in the west and north central sections, lead in the southeast, and zinc in the southwest are among the resources exploited by Missouri's mining concerns. Lead (Missouri has been the top U.S. producer), cement, and stone are the chief minerals produced.

Missouri remains important agriculturally; with over 100,000 farms, the state ranks second only to Texas. The most valuable farm products are soybeans, corn, cattle, hogs, wheat, and dairy items. The development of resorts in the Ozarks, including Branson and several lakes, has boosted tourism income.

Government, Politics, and Higher Education

In 1945, Missouri adopted a new state constitution that remains in effect. The governor is elected for a term of four years. The general assembly (legislature) has a senate with 34 members and a house of representatives with 163 members. The state sends eight representatives and two senators to the U.S. Congress and has 10 electoral votes in presidential elections. In 1992, Democrat Mel Carnahan was elected governor; he won reelection in 1996. After Gov. Carnahan died in a plane crash in Oct., 2000, Lt. Gov. Roger B. Wilson succeeded him. In November, Democrat Bob Holden was elected to the office. In 2004 Republican Matt Blunt won the governorship, but in 2008 and 2012 voters elected a Democrat, Jay Nixon.

Institutions of higher learning include the Univ. of Missouri, with campuses at Columbia, Kansas City, Rolla, and Saint Louis; Missouri State Univ., at Springfield; Saint Louis Univ., Washington Univ., and Webster Univ., at St. Louis; Rockhurst College, at Kansas City; and Westminster College, at Fulton.


French Exploration and Settlement

Missouri's recorded history begins in the latter half of the 17th cent. when the French explorers Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet descended the Mississippi River, followed by Robert Cavelier, sieur de La Salle, who claimed the whole area drained by the Mississippi River for France, calling the territory Louisiana. When the French explorers arrived the area was inhabited by Native Americans of the Osage and the Missouri groups, and by the end of the 17th cent. French trade with the Native Americans flourished.

In the early 18th cent. the French worked the area's lead mines and made numerous trips through Missouri in search of furs. Trade down the Mississippi prompted the settlement of Ste. Geneviève about 1735 and the founding of St. Louis in 1764 by Pierre Laclede and René Auguste Chouteau, who were both in the fur-trading business. Although not involved in the last conflict (1754–63) of the French and Indian Wars, Missouri was affected by the French defeat when, in 1762, France secretly ceded the territory west of the Mississippi to Spain. In 1800 the Louisiana Territory (including the Missouri area) was retroceded to France, but in 1803 it passed to the United States as part of the Louisiana Purchase.

French influence remained dominant, even though by this time Americans had filtered into the territory, particularly to the lead mines at Ste Geneviève and Potosi. By the time of the Lewis and Clark expedition (1803–6), St. Louis was already known as the gateway to the Far West.

Territorial Status and Statehood

The U.S. Territory of Missouri was set up in 1812, but settlement was slow even after the War of 1812. The coming of the steamboat increased traffic and trade on the Mississippi, and settlement progressed. Planters from the South had introduced slavery into the territory, but their plantations were restricted to a small area. However, the question of admitting the Missouri Territory as a state became a burning national issue because it involved the question of extending slavery into the territories. The dispute was resolved by the Missouri Compromise, which admitted (1821) Missouri to the Union as a slave state but excluded slavery from lands of the Louisiana Purchase north of lat. 36°30′N. (All of Missouri lies north of 36°30′ except for the southeastern "bootheel." )

Slaveholding interests became politically powerful, but the state remained principally a fur-trading center. In 1822, W. H. Ashley (who later made a fortune in fur trading) led an expedition of the adventurous trappers who became known as mountain men up the Missouri River to explore the West for furs. From Missouri traders established a thriving commerce over the Santa Fe Trail with the inhabitants of New Mexico, and pioneers followed the Oregon Trail to settle the Northwest. Franklin, Westport, Independence, and St. Joseph became famous as the points of origin of these expeditions.

Settlement of Missouri itself quickened, spreading in the 1820s over the river valleys into central Missouri and by the 1830s into W Missouri. The boundaries of the state were formed after Native Americans gave up their claim to Platte co. in 1836; this strip of land in the northwest corner of Missouri was added to the state. Mormon immigrants came to settle Missouri in the 1830s, but their opposition to slavery and their growing numbers made them unwelcome and they were driven from the state in 1839. German immigrants, however, were cordially received during the 1840s and 50s, settling principally in the St. Louis area.

Slavery, Civil War, and a New Missouri

In 1854 the problem of slavery was made acute with the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, leaving the question of slavery in the Kansas and Nebraska territories to the settlers themselves. The proslavery forces in Missouri became very active in trying to win Kansas for the slave cause and contributed to the violence and disorder that tore the territory apart in the years just prior to the Civil War. Nevertheless Missouri also had leaders opposed to slavery, including one of its Senators, Thomas Hart Benton.

During the Civil War most Missourians remained loyal to the federal government. A state convention that met in Mar., 1861, voted against secession, and in 1862 the convention set up a provisional government. Guerrilla activities persisted during this period, and the lawlessness bred by civil warfare persisted in Missouri after the war in the activities of outlaws such as Jesse James.

A new Missouri rose out of the war—the semi-Southern atmosphere, along with the river life and steamboating, began to decline, but the flavor of the period was preserved in the works of one of Missouri's most celebrated sons, Mark Twain. The coming of the railroads brought the eventual decay of many of Missouri's river towns and tied the state more closely to the East and North. Urbanization and industrialization progressed, and the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, held at St. Louis in 1904, dramatically revealed Missouri's economic growth.

Political History

Since the brief period of radical Republican rule from 1864 to 1870, Missouri has been permanently wedded to neither major party. While tending toward the Republicans in the days of Theodore Roosevelt, it turned solidly Democratic for Franklin D. Roosevelt and helped to elect Missourian Harry S. Truman to the presidency in 1948. Political machines in the large cities have attracted national attention, notably the machine of Thomas J. Pendergast (1872–1945) in Kansas City. Missouri has contributed to the United States such outstanding statesmen as Champ Clark, James Reed, and W. Stuart Symington. Thomas Hart Benton, a descendant of the Missouri Senator of the same name, was one of the country's important artists.

World War I to the Present

Although during World War I general prosperity prevailed in the state, the depression years of the 1930s sent farm values crashing, and many banks, especially in rural areas, failed. Prosperity returned during World War II, when both St. Louis and Kansas City served as vital transportation centers, and industrialization increased enormously. In the postwar period, Missouri became the second largest producer (behind Michigan) of automobiles in the nation. Although most industry remains based in the two metropolitan centers, smaller Missouri communities, especially suburbs, have since attracted much light and heavy industry, as well as former city dwellers. St. Louis lost half its population between 1950 to 1990, and out-migration has continued; what was once the fourth largest U.S. city is now barely in the top 50 in size.


See State Historical Society, Historic Missouri (1959); E. C. McReynolds, Missouri: A History of the Crossroads State (1962); Federal Writers' Project, Missouri: A Guide to the Show Me State (1941, repr. 1981); M. D. Rafferty, Missouri: A Geography (1983); A. M. Gibson, The Encyclopedia of Missouri (1985).

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Columbia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 319

Jefferson City . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 331

Kansas City . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 343

St. Louis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 357

Springfield . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 371

The State in Brief

Nickname: Show Me State

Motto: Salus populi suprema lex esto (The welfare of the people shall be the supreme law)

Flower: Hawthorn

Bird: Bluebird

Area: 69,704 square miles (2000; U.S. rank: 21st)

Elevation: Ranges from 230 feet to 1,772 feet above sea level

Climate: Continental, with seasonal extremes; affected by cold air from Canada, warm moist air from the Gulf of Mexico, and dry air from the Southwest

Admitted to Union: August 10, 1821

Capital: Jefferson City

Head Official: Governor Matt Blunt (R) (until 2009)


1980: 4,917,000

1990: 5,117,073

2000: 5,595,211

2004 estimate: 5,754,618

Percent change, 19902000: 9.3%

U.S. rank in 2004: 17th

Percent of residents born in state: 67.8% (2000)

Density: 81.2 people per square mile (2000)

2002 FBI Crime Index Total: 261,077

Racial and Ethnic Characteristics (2000)

White: 4,748,083

Black or African American: 629,391

American Indian and Alaska Native: 25,076

Asian: 61,595

Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 3,178

Hispanic or Latino (may be of any race): 118,592

Other: 45,827

Age Characteristics (2000)

Population under 5 years old: 369,898

Population 5 to 19 years old: 1,224,274

Percent of population 65 years and over: 13.5%

Median age: 36.1 years (2000)

Vital Statistics

Total number of births (2003): 76,097

Total number of deaths (2003): 55,318 (infant deaths, 587)

AIDS cases reported through 2003: 5,060


Major industries: Manufacturing; trade; finance, insurance, and real estate; retail trade; services

Unemployment rate: 5.6% (April 2005)

Per capita income: $29,094 (2003; U.S. rank: 29)

Median household income: $43,492 (3-year average, 2001-2003)

Percentage of persons below poverty level: 8.8% (3-year average, 2001-2003)

Income tax rate: Graduated from 1.5% to 6.0%

Sales tax rate: 4.225%

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Missouri State in central USA, w of the Mississippi River; the capital is Jefferson City. The largest cities are St Louis, Kansas City, and Springfield. The French settled the area in the mid-18th century. The USA acquired the region in the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. Missouri Territory organized in 1812, and became a major corridor for westward migration. Missouri joined the Union in 1821 without restrictions on slavery, but when the Civil War began sympathies bitterly divided and there was much violence. The state remained in the Union. Geographically it divides into two parts: to the n of the Missouri River is prairie country, where farmers grow maize and raise livestock. South of the river are the foothills and plateaux of the Ozarks. In the sw, is a small wheat-growing area and in the se are the cotton fields of the Mississippi delta. The chief mineral resources are coal, lead, zinc, and iron ore. Its economy is largely manufacturing. Industries: transport equipment, food processing, chemicals, printing and publishing, fabricated metals, electrical machinery. Area: 178,446sq km (68,898sq mi). Pop. (2000) 5,595,211.

Statehood :

August 10, 1821

Nickname :

‘Show me’ State

State bird :

Eastern bluebird

State flower :


State tree :

Flowering dogwood

State motto :

The welfare of the people shall be the supreme law

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Access to the Mississippi River and Missouri's central location helped that state's early economic development. The state's fertile land, abundance of lead, and assortment of wild game beckoned thousands of settlers eager to make Missouri the hub of activity in the west. The first inhabitants of what is now known as Missouri were Native American tribes. French fur trader Louis Jolliet and Father Jacques Marquette, a missionary, paddled down the Mississippi River, Missouri's eastern boundary.

The first settlers found the land was rich with deer, beaver, otter, and buffalo; their skins could be traded for other necessary goods. In the 1720s more French people immigrated to the area and established a community near St. Louis, eventually they built the first trading post in 1764. Lead was discovered in the area and a mine was opened near Fredericktown. The French settlers were self-sufficient and grew their own crops, built their own log cabins, and made their own cloth.

In 1762 France ceded its North American land, including Missouri, to Spain during the French and Indian War (17541763). When the English were expelled from the Ohio valley area south of Canada as a result of the Revolutionary War, Spain and the United States became neighbors on either side of the Mississippi River. In the 1790s Spain offered free land to Americans who settled in Missouri. People began migrating from eastern states; many brought their slaves with them.

After French leader Napoleon Bonaparte forced Spain to return the Louisiana Territory to France in 1800, the French threatened to exclude the Americans from traveling on the Mississippi River to trade their goods. The issue was pressing and President Thomas Jefferson (18011809), who had been one of France's strongest supporters in the United States, now prepared to go to war with France. The right to ship goods on the Mississippi was crucial, in Jefferson's eyes. The Napoleonic wars in Europe, plus a slave rebellion in Haiti, took Napoleon's attention away from the United States, however, and Jefferson offered to purchase the Louisiana territory from the French leader as a way to resolve the crisis. The deal was consummated and Missouri formed part of the newly purchased Louisiana Territory for $15 million. The expanse of land purchased was so large that it was eventually carved up to become Missouri and 14 other states.

Once in 1811, and twice in 1812, earthquakes rocked southeast Missouri. Growth slowed in that area; however, the rest of Missouri flourished. In 1812 a section of the Louisiana Territory was renamed the Missouri Territory. That same year William Clark, of the Lewis and Clark expedition, was elected governor. More people continued to migrate to the fertile and rolling hills of Missouri to establish farms that produced a wide range of crops including corn, wheat, cotton, hay, tobacco, rice, and grapes. As these settlers took over more of the land, Native Americans were eventually pushed out.

Missouri was granted statehood in 1821. During the first half of the 1800s, the development of major transportation routes opened up the west. In 1819 the first steamboat traveled up the Mississippi River carrying flour, whiskey, and sugar. In 1821 the Santa Fe Trail, 800 miles in length, led from Independence, Missouri all the way to Santa Fe, New Mexico. Goods such as wool, tools and mirrors were traded for silver, mules, furs, and horses. In 1841, travelers could follow the Oregon Trail for 2,000 miles from Independence to Oregon. As the transportation system grew, small frontier towns developed along the river and trade routes.

In the mid-1840s, Irish immigrants came to Missouri after suffering failing potato crops in Ireland. These Irish settlers worked the railroads and labored in the towns. A few years later a large number of Germans immigrated to Missouri to make homes in the St. Louis area.

Between 1852 and 1870 the railroad system in Missouri was expanded to meet the demands of the towns. The railroads received grants of federal land along the tracks. It was a profitable acquisition: the railroads sold the land to farmers and the farmers paid to have their goods shipped to markets via the railways. Missouri's railroads opened up new markets in the east for the state's wheat, corn, and other products and also offered easy transportation for easterners who were moving west. By 1860 more than one million people lived in Missouri. The state's economy flourished.

After the American Civil War (18611865) more railroads were laid in Missouri. The railroads transported more settlers to Missouri and continued to open new markets for Missouri's commercial products: crops, iron, and beer.

In the 1870s the fur trade and steamboat traffic declined due to competition from the railroads. The state's economy shifted to industry. Factories drew people from rural areas to the cities. By 1900 St. Louis was the country's fourth-largest city and was called the "Belle of the New World." Urbanization continued between 1880 and 1970, Missouri's rural population declined from three-fourths to less than one-third of the state's population.

In 1904 about 20 million people attended the world's fair in St. Louis, a celebration to mark the one-hundredth anniversary of the Louisiana Purchase. Fair attendees could feast on the world's first ice-cream cones and the world's first hot dogs. They also had the chance to see the first motion picture, wireless telegraphs, and automatic dishwashers. The Olympic Games also took place in St. Louis that year.

In 1929, The Great Depression (19291939) hit the United States. Many farmers and workers lost their jobs. But the start of World War II (19391945) helped end the Depression as Missouri produced bombers, landing craft, and explosives. Missouri contributed more than $4 billion worth of supplies to the war effort by the time it was over.

Between 1950 and 1990 the population of St. Louis dropped by more than half. In the 1970s the population of Kansas City also dropped. People and businesses were moving to the suburbs. Those who stayed in the cities were poor. The cities undertook major renewal projects that tackled problems like air pollution, traffic congestion, and crime. In the 1980s millions of government funds were used to renovate apartments and houses.

In 1989 industry was booming as St. Louis was home to many major companies. McDonnell Douglas Corporation made military aircraft, commercial jets, and electronic equipment. Anheuser-Busch, the world's largest brewery, had its headquarters in St. Louis. Chrysler, Ford and General Motors all had assembly plants in or near St. Louis and Kansas City. Missouri was second only to Detroit in automobile production. Other major manufacturers were Monsanto, Hallmark, and Ralston Purina. Each year, more than 60 new companies opened in Missouri and created thousands of jobs.

Missouri produced more than 85 percent of the nation's supply of lead and was a leading producer of lime, barite, zinc, cement, and copper. Missouri's mines added about $1 billion to the state's economy each year. Forestry, another natural resource, was the source for nearly 2,000 industries which produced items such as charcoal, lumber, and barrels.

In 1993 devastating floods required that over half the state be declared a disaster area. Damage to the state was estimated at $3 billion.

In 1998 Missouri's sources of income included manufacturing, farming, trade, tourism, services, government, and mining. While automobiles and aerospace manufacturing were the state's leading industries, soybeans, meat and dairy products were the most important agricultural goods.

In 1995 an estimated 9.4 percent of the state's residents lived below the federal poverty level. Personal income per capita was $22,864 by 1996.

See also: Missouri Compromise, Missouri River


Nagel, Paul C. Missouri: A Bicentennial History. New York: Norton, 1977.

. Missouri, A History. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 1988.

Thompson, Kathleen. "Missouri." In Portrait of America. Austin, TX: Steck-Vaughn Publishers, 1996.

Worldmark Encyclopedia of the States. Detroit: Gale Research, 1998, s.v. "Missouri."

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The Missouri (Niutachi) lived in north central Missouri along the Missouri River, including one probable village in Saline County. Their descendants now have been assimilated into and live with the Oto in a federal trust area in north Central Oklahoma. They spoke a Chiwere Siouan language.


Chapman, Carl Haley, and Eleanor F. Chapman (1983). Indians and Archaeology of Missouri. Rev. ed. Columbia: University of Missouri Press.

Edmunds, R. David (1976). The Otoe-Missouria People. Phoenix, Ariz.: Indian Tribal Series.

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Fosbury •strawberry • Salisbury •crowberry, snowberry •chokeberry •Rosebery, Shrewsbury •blueberry, dewberry •Dewsbury • Bloomsbury • gooseberry •blubbery, rubbery, shrubbery •Sudbury • mulberry • huckleberry •Bunbury • husbandry • loganberry •Canterbury • Glastonbury •Burberry, turbary •hatchery • archery •lechery, treachery •stitchery, witchery •debauchery • butchery • camaraderie •cindery, tindery •industry • dromedary • lapidary •spidery • bindery • doddery •quandary • powdery • boundary •bouldery • embroidery •prudery, rudery •do-goodery • shuddery • thundery •prebendary • legendary • secondary •amphorae • wafery •midwifery, periphery •infantry • housewifery • spoofery •puffery • sulphury (US sulfury) •Calgary •beggary, Gregory •vagary •piggery, priggery, whiggery •brigandry • bigotry • allegory •vinegary • category • subcategory •hoggery, toggery •pettifoggery • demagoguery •roguery • sugary •buggery, skulduggery, snuggery, thuggery •Hungary • humbuggery •ironmongery • lingerie • treasury •usury • menagerie • pageantry •Marjorie • kedgeree • gingery •imagery • orangery • savagery •forgery • soldiery • drudgery •perjury, surgery •microsurgery •hackery, quackery, Thackeray, Zachary •mountebankery • knick-knackery •gimcrackery • peccary • grotesquerie •bakery, fakery, jacquerie •chickaree, chicory, hickory, Terpsichore, trickery •whiskery • apothecary •crockery, mockery, rockery •falconry • jiggery-pokery •cookery, crookery, rookery •brusquerie •puckery, succory •cuckoldry •calorie, gallery, Malory, salary, Valerie •saddlery • balladry • gallantry •kilocalorie • diablerie • chandlery •harlotry • celery • pedlary •exemplary •helotry, zealotry •nailery, raillery •Tuileries •ancillary, artillery, capillary, codicillary, distillery, fibrillary, fritillary, Hilary, maxillary, pillory •mamillary • tutelary • corollary •bardolatry, hagiolatry, iconolatry, idolatry •cajolery, drollery •foolery, tomfoolery •constabulary, vocabulary •scapulary • capitulary • formulary •scullery • jugglery • cutlery •chancellery • epistolary • burglary •mammary • fragmentary •passementerie • flimflammery •armory, armoury, gendarmerie •almonry •emery, memory •creamery • shimmery • primary •rosemary • yeomanry •parfumerie, perfumery •flummery, Montgomery, mummery, summary, summery •gossamery • customary • infirmary •cannery, granary, tannery •canonry •antennary, bimillenary, millenary, venery •tenantry • chicanery •beanery, bicentenary, catenary, centenary, deanery, greenery, machinery, plenary, scenery, senary, septenary •disciplinary, interdisciplinary •hymnary • missionary •ordinary, subordinary •valetudinary • imaginary • millinery •culinary • seminary • preliminary •luminary • urinary • veterinary •mercenary • sanguinary •binary, finery, pinery, quinary, vinery, winery •Connery • Conakry • ornery • joinery •buffoonery, poltroonery, sublunary, superlunary •gunnery, nunnery •consuetudinary • visionary •exclusionary • legionary • pulmonary •coronary • reactionary • expansionary •concessionary, confessionary, discretionary •confectionery, insurrectionary, lectionary •deflationary, inflationary, probationary, stationary, stationery •expeditionary, petitionary, prohibitionary, traditionary, transitionary •dictionary • cautionary •ablutionary, counter-revolutionary, devolutionary, elocutionary, evolutionary, revolutionary, substitutionary •functionary •diversionary, reversionary •fernery, quaternary, ternary •peppery • extempore • weaponry •apery, drapery, japery, napery, papery, vapoury (US vapory) •frippery, slippery •coppery, foppery •popery • dupery • trumpery •February • heraldry • knight-errantry •arbitrary • registrary • library •contrary • horary • supernumerary •itinerary • honorary • funerary •contemporary, extemporary, temporary •literary • brasserie • chancery •accessory, intercessory, pessary, possessory, tesserae •dispensary, incensory, ostensory, sensory, suspensory •tracery •pâtisserie, rotisserie •emissary • dimissory •commissary, promissory •janissary • necessary • derisory •glossary • responsory • sorcery •grocery • greengrocery •delusory, illusory •compulsory • vavasory • adversary •anniversary, bursary, cursory, mercery, nursery •haberdashery •evidentiary, penitentiary, plenipotentiary, residentiary •beneficiary, fishery, judiciary •noshery • gaucherie • fiduciary •luxury • tertiary •battery, cattery, chattery, flattery, tattery •factory, manufactory, olfactory, phylactery, refractory, satisfactory •artery, martyry, Tartary •mastery, plastery •directory, ex-directory, interjectory, rectory, refectory, trajectory •peremptory •alimentary, complementary, complimentary, documentary, elementary, parliamentary, rudimentary, sedimentary, supplementary, testamentary •investigatory •adulatory, aleatory, approbatory, celebratory, clarificatory, classificatory, commendatory, congratulatory, consecratory, denigratory, elevatory, gyratory, incantatory, incubatory, intimidatory, modificatory, participatory, placatory, pulsatory, purificatory, reificatory, revelatory, rotatory •natatory • elucidatory • castigatory •mitigatory • justificatory •imprecatory • equivocatory •flagellatory • execratory • innovatory •eatery, excretory •glittery, jittery, skittery, twittery •benedictory, contradictory, maledictory, valedictory, victory •printery, splintery •consistory, history, mystery •presbytery •inhibitory, prohibitory •hereditary • auditory • budgetary •military, paramilitary •solitary • cemetery • limitary •vomitory • dormitory • fumitory •interplanetary, planetary, sanitary •primogenitary • dignitary •admonitory, monitory •unitary • monetary • territory •secretary • undersecretary •plebiscitary • repository • baptistery •transitory •depositary, depository, expository, suppository •niterie •Godwottery, lottery, pottery, tottery •bottomry • watery • psaltery •coterie, notary, protonotary, rotary, votary •upholstery •bijouterie, charcuterie, circumlocutory •persecutory • statutory • salutary •executory •contributory, retributory, tributary •interlocutory •buttery, fluttery •introductory • adultery • effrontery •perfunctory • blustery • mediatory •retaliatory • conciliatory • expiatory •denunciatory, renunciatory •appreciatory, depreciatory •initiatory, propitiatory •dietary, proprietary •extenuatory •mandatary, mandatory •predatory • sedentary • laudatory •prefatory • offertory • negatory •obligatory •derogatory, interrogatory, supererogatory •nugatory •expurgatory, objurgatory, purgatory •precatory •explicatory, indicatory, vindicatory •confiscatory, piscatory •dedicatory • judicatory •qualificatory • pacificatory •supplicatory •communicatory, excommunicatory •masticatory • prognosticatory •invocatory • obfuscatory •revocatory • charlatanry •depilatory, dilatory, oscillatory •assimilatory • consolatory •voluntary • emasculatory •ejaculatory •ambulatory, circumambulatory, perambulatory •regulatory •articulatory, gesticulatory •manipulatory • copulatory •expostulatory • circulatory •amatory, declamatory, defamatory, exclamatory, inflammatory, proclamatory •crematory • segmentary •lachrymatory •commentary, promontory •informatory, reformatory •momentary •affirmatory, confirmatory •explanatory • damnatory •condemnatory •cosignatory, signatory •combinatory •discriminatory, eliminatory, incriminatory, recriminatory •comminatory • exterminatory •hallucinatory • procrastinatory •monastery • repertory •emancipatory • anticipatory •exculpatory, inculpatory •declaratory, preparatory •respiratory • perspiratory •vibratory •migratory, transmigratory •exploratory, laboratory, oratory •inauguratory • adjuratory •corroboratory • reverberatory •refrigeratory • compensatory •desultory • dysentery •exhortatory, hortatory •salutatory • gustatory • lavatory •inventory •conservatory, observatory •improvisatory •accusatory, excusatory •lathery •feathery, heathery, leathery •dithery, slithery •carvery •reverie, severy •Avery, bravery, knavery, quavery, Savery, savory, savoury, slavery, wavery •thievery •livery, quivery, shivery •silvery •ivory, salivary •ovary •discovery, recovery •servery • equerry • reliquary •antiquary • cassowary • stipendiary •colliery • pecuniary • chinoiserie •misery • wizardry • citizenry •advisory, provisory, revisory, supervisory •causerie, rosary

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