Missouri State Facts - Missouri History Firsts

Catch up on your state trivia with these Missouri history firsts and interesting fun facts about the state.

Official Name Missouri
Capital Jefferson City
38.57190 N, 092.19045 W
Constitution Ratified 1945
Statehood August 10, 1821
24th state
Number of Counties 115 Counties in Missouri
Largest County
(by population)
St. Louis County
508 sq. mi.

Missouri History Firsts & State Facts

  • 1735 - Missouri's oldest community, Saint Genevieve, was founded as early as 1735.
  • 1750 - Missouri is first in the nation in production of lead. Lead deposits led the French to found Sainte Genevieve, the first permanent European settlement in Missouri, about 1750.
  • 1764 - Auguste Chouteau founded Saint Louis.
  • 1811 - The most powerful earthquake to strike the United States occurred in 1811, centered in New Madrid, Missouri. The quake shook more than one million square miles, and was felt as far as 1,000 miles away.
  • 1812 - In 1812 Missouri was organized as a territory and later admitted the 24th state of the Union on August 10, 1821.
  • 1820 - Callaway County was organized on November 25, 1820 and named for Captain James Callaway who was killed in a fight with Indians near Loutre Creek.
  • 1822 - Missouri State Great seal Find out more...
  • 1832 - Saint Louis University received a formal charter from the state of Missouri in 1832, making it the oldest University west of the Mississippi.
  • 1836 - Hermann, Missouri is a storybook German village with a rich wine-making and riverboat history that is proudly displayed in area museums. Built in 1836 as the "New Fatherland" for German settlers, the town has achieved national recognition because of its quality wines and distinctive heritage
  • 1860 - During Abraham Lincoln's campaign for the presidency, a dyed-in-the-wool Democrat named Valentine Tapley from Pike County, Missouri, swore that he would never shave again if Abe were elected. Tapley kept his word and his chin whiskers went unshorn from November 1860 until he died in 1910, attaining a length of twelve feet six inches.
  • 1865 - Missouri became the first slave state to free its slaves.
  • 1870 - The first train of the Atlantic-Pacific Railway, which became the St.Louis-San Francisco Railway, or "Frisco," arrived in 1870.
  • 1884 - President Harry S. Truman was born in Lamar, May 8, 1884.
  • 1889 - Aunt Jemima pancake flour, invented at St. Joseph, Missouri, was the first self-rising flour for pancakes and the first ready-mix food ever to be introduced commercially.
  • 1899 - The 'Show Me State' expression may have began in 1899 when Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver stated, "I'm from Missouri and you've got to show me."
  • 1904 - Ice-cream cones were first served in 1904 at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition world's fair in St. Louis. Also, at the St. Louis World's Fair in 1904, the ice cream cone was invented. An ice cream vendor ran out of cups and asked a waffle vendor to help by rolling up waffles to hold ice cream.
  • 1904 - At the St. Louis World's Fair in 1904, Richard Blechyden, served tea with ice and invented iced tea.
  • 1904 - The first Olympics held in the United States occurred in St. Louis.
  • 1905 - Warsaw holds the state record for the low temperature of -40 degrees on February 13, 1905.
  • 1911 - The first Capitol in Jefferson City burned in 1837 and a second structure completed in 1840 burned when the dome was struck by lightning on February 5, 1911.
  • 1912 - The first parachute jump from an airplane was made at Jefferson Barracks, St. Louis by Captain Berry on March 1, 1912.
  • 1913 - Missouri State Flag Find out more...
  • 1915 - Missouri State Day is Missouri Day, the 3rd Wednesday in October
  • 1917 - The present Capitol completed in 1917 and occupied the following year is the third Capitol in Jefferson City and the sixth in Missouri history. The first seat of state government was housed in the Mansion House, Third and Vine Streets, St. Louis; the second was in the Missouri Hotel, Maine and Morgan Streets, also in St. Louis. St. Charles was designated as temporary capital of the state in 1821 and remained the seat of government until 1826 when Jefferson City became the permanent capital city.
  • 1923 - The Hawthorn blossom was adopted as Missouri State Floral emblem
  • 1925 - The most destructive tornado on record occurred in Annapolis. In 3 hours, it tore through the town on March 18, 1925 leaving a 980-foot wide trail of demolished buildings, uprooted trees, and overturned cars. It left 823 people dead and almost 3,000 injured
  • 1927 - Missouri State bird--native Bluebird March 30, 1927
  • 1949 - The "Missouri Waltz" arranged by Frederick Knight Logan from a melody by John Valentine Eppel, with lyrics by J. R. Shannon became Missouri state song under an act adopted by the General Assembly on June 30, 1949
  • 1954 - Warsaw holds the state record for the high temperature recorded, 118 degrees on July 14, 1954.
  • 1955 - On June 20, 1955, the flowering dogwood (Cornus Florida L.) became Missouri's official tree.
  • Gateway Arch1963 - Jefferson National Expansion Memorial consists of the Gateway Arch, the Museum of Westward Expansion, and St. Louis' Old Courthouse, near the starting point of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The Gateway Arch is Missouri's tallest accessible building, and the world's tallest arch. During a nationwide competition in 1947-48, architect Eero Saarinen's inspired design for a 630-foot stainless steel arch was chosen as a perfect monument to the spirit of the western pioneers. Construction of the Arch began in 1963 and was completed on October 28, 1965. The Arch has foundations sunken 60 feet into the ground, and is built to withstand earthquakes and high winds. It sways up to one inch in a 20 mph wind, and is built to sway up to 18 inches.
  • 1967 -
  • 1985 - Missouri State insect--honey bee July 3, 1985
  • 1987 Jul 17 - State musical instrument: fiddle
  • 1989 - The crinoid became Missouri state's official fossil on June 16, 1989, after a group of Lee's Summit school students worked through the legislative process to promote it as a state symbol.
  • 1990 - Missouri State Tree nut is the nut of the Eastern black walnut tree
  • 1993 - Missouri suffered the most from the devastating flood of 1993, when flood crests set record heights along the Mississippi and Missouri rivers
  • 1995
  • 1997 -
  • 2002 - Missouri State Horse is the Missouri fox trotting horse
  • 2004 - Missouri State Dinosaur is the Hypsibema missouriensis
  • 2005 - Missouri State Amphibian is the North American bullfrog
  • 2007 - Missouri State Game birdBobwhite quail
  • 2008 - Missouri State Dessert  Ice cream cone
    2003 - The Norton/Cynthiana grape became Missouri Official State Grape
    2007 - Missouri State Grass is the Big bluestem
    2007 - Crayfish, also called crawfish and crawdad (SYMBSCI) was adopted as Missouri State Invertebrate:
    2007 - Missouri State Reptile is the Three-toed box turtle

More Missouri History Firsts & State Facts

  • Missouri is known as the "Show Me State".
  • Walt Disney grew up in Marceline. Disneyland's Main Street USA. is based on that town.
  • Among the early immigrants to St. Louis were Adolphus Busch and Eberhard Anheuser, who helped make brewing a national industry.
  • The tallest monument built in the US, the Gateway Arch, in St. Louis, is 630 feet tall
  • Missouri ties with Tennessee as the most neighborly state in the union, bordered by 8 states.
  • The state animal is the Mule.
  • St. Louis; is also called, "The Gateway to the West" and "Home of the Blues".
  • Kansas City has more miles of boulevards than Paris and more fountains than any city except Rome.
  • Kansas City has more miles of freeway per capita than any metro area with more than 1 million residents.
  • The tallest man in documented medical history was Robert Pershing Wadlow from St. Louis. He was 8 feet, 11.1 inches tall
  • Creve Coeur's name means broken heart in French, comes from nearby Creve Coeur Lake. Legend has it that an Indian princess fell in love with a French fur trapper, but the love was not returned. According to the story, she then leapt from a ledge overlooking Creve Coeur Lake; the lake then formed itself into a broken heart.
  • Anheuser-Busch brewery in St. Louis, Missouri is the largest beer producing plant in the nation.
  • Missouri was named after a tribe called Missouri Indians; meaning "town of the large canoes"
  • Situated within a day's drive of 50% of the US population, Branson and the Tri-Lakes area serves up to 65,000 visitors daily. Branson has been a "rubber tire" destination with the vast majority of tourists arriving by vehicles, RVs and tour buses. Branson has also become one of America's top motor coach vacation destinations with an estimated 4,000 buses arriving each year.
  • Charleston holds the Dogwood-Azalea Festival annually on the 3rd weekend of April. "Charleston becomes a blooming wonderland."
  • Jefferson City, Missouri, the state's capital, was named for Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States.
  • Laura Elizabeth Ingalls, writer of Little House on the Prairie grew up in Missouri.
  • "Madonna of the Trail" monument in Lexington tells the story of the brave women who helped conquer the west and is one of 12 placed in every state crossed by the National Old Trails Road, the route of early settlers from Maryland to California.
  • Soybeans bring in the most cash for Missourians as a crop.
  • Missouri Day is the third Wednesday in October.
  • On Sucker Day in Nixa, Missouri, school closes officially and the little town swells to a throng of 15,000 hungry folks. All craving a taste of the much maligned but delicious bottom dweller fish loathed by almost everyone else.
  • Point of highest elevation: Taum Sauk Mountain, 540 meters (1,772 feet)
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State Fun Facts - History Firsts