76 Missouri Facts and Weird Laws

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Over 18 million tourists visit Missouri historic sites and state parks per year.

What is it about Missouri that attracts such huge numbers of people?

Missouri state is located in the Western United States in a region popularly known as the Midwest. 

Missouri has a long list of fun-filled experiences to offer. 

This state is dotted with scenic rivers, including the Mississippi River –the second-longest river in North America. 

You can also visit the culture-rich cities, the picturesque Ozark Mountains.

Did you know that a Missouri man, Cornealious Michael Anderson III, was convicted of robbery but never arrested to serve the prison sentence?

It’s your lucky day. We bring you Missouri facts with all the details –history, politics, geography, culture, and fun stuff.

Weird Facts About Missouri 

  1. How it got its name as the Show-me state: Although the origin of the phrase is not clear, Missouri U.S. Congressman Willard Duncan Vindiver popularized it in his speech of 1899 at the Naval Banquet in Philadelphia.
  2. Missouri has a state dinosaur: Hypsibema Missouriense. 
  3. Missouri is pronounced both as Missour-ee and Missou-rah.
  4. Missouri hosted the US first Olympics.
  5. A man was once murdered in broad daylight, in Missouri, with 46 witnesses and no one ever came forward.
  6. A Missouri man was never picked up to go to jail.
  7. Waffle Cone, Iced Tea, and Dr. Pepper was served to people for the first time in St. Louis, Missouri in 1904.
  8. The Missouri State capital has been rebuilt three times.
  9. Missouri was one of the states where the Tri-State Tornado happened. 
  10. The deadliest Earthquake on US soil also happened in this state.
Credits: Unsplash

Missouri Facts – Politics And Government

  1. Missouri was formerly known as a bellwether state because it voted for the winning presidential candidates between 1904 to 2004, except the re-election of President Dwight Eisenhower in 1956. Missouri has since moved to the right.
  2. Missouri has ten votes in the electoral college.
Credits: Unsplash
  1. The Missouri state government has had four constitutions.
  2. The state’s general assembly consists of 34 senators and 163 members of the House of Representatives. 
  3. The state’s Supreme Court has seven judges. Missouri State has an intermediate appellate court–Missouri Court of Appeals.
  4. The governor of Missouri heads the executive with five elected officers.
  5. Missouri has only one Democrat in its statewide offices. 
  6. The state has over 4,318,758 registered voters. 
  7. Mike Parson is the 57th and current governor of Missouri. He was elected in 2018.

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Missouri Facts – History

  1. Archeological evidence suggests that Missouri was already home to people as early as 9000 BCE.
  2. The people of the Mississippian culture who inhabited this land before 1000 BCE built the earthwork mounds for political, religious, or social reasons.
  3. Cahokia was the center for the trade network expanding from the Great Lakes region to the Gulf of Mexico. 
  4. The Europeans nicknamed St. Louis “the mound city” because of the several mounds. 
  5. The Missouri territory was a no man’s land in the early 1700s. It was uninhabited to keep the peace between Illinois, Osage, and the Missouri Indians ( from Missouri Valley).
Credits: Pinterest
  1. French missionaries and traders named the Mississippi Valley “Louisiana.”
  2. French Canadians were the first European settlers to visit and establish a settlement in the present-day Missouri State.
  3. Pierre Laclede and Auguste Chouteau are the founders of St. Louis city.
  4. Missouri was also known as ” the Gateway to the West” because it was a key departure point for settlers going to the west.
  5. St. Charles was both the starting point and the return destination for the Lewis and Clark expedition.
  6. The state was hit by the 1811-12 New Madrid earthquakes, but the sparse population led to few casualties. 
  7. In 1821, the then Missouri territory was admitted as the slave trade. 
  8. Its capital was moved from St. Charles to Jefferson City.
  9. Missouri State was the Union’s leading state by area when it gained admission. 
  10. The arrival of the Mormons to this territory led to the Mormon war, which was sparked by religious differences.
  11. Planters lived majorly in Little Dixie.
  12. The St. Louis Massacre happened at the height of the American Civil War.
  13. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People issued the first-ever NAACP warning, covering an entire state, to Africans-Americans wishing to travel to Missouri in 2017.

Missouri Facts – Geography

Credits: Reddit
  1. Missouri is a landlocked state located in the Midwestern part of the United States. 
  2. This state is the 21st largest state by area in the country. It has an area of  69,715 square miles.
  3. It borders eight states, namely Iowa, Arkansas, Nebraska, Kansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, and Oklahoma.  
  4. Only Missouri and Tennessee State border eight states in the United States. 
  5. The two largest rivers in this state are the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers.
  6. Southern Missouri is home to Ozark Mountains, sinkholes, and caves due to its high limestone content.
  7. Southeastern Missouri is a portion of the Mississippi embayment ( Mississippi Alluvial Plain) and is famously known as the Missouri Bootheel.
  8. The Bootheel region is the most fertile area in the state. Rice and cotton are the main crops in this area.
  9. The southeastern region is the flattest, wettest, and warmest of any part in this state.
  10.  The Bootheel area formed the epicenter of four 1811-12 New Madrid earthquakes.
  11.  Missouri has a mean elevation of 800 feet above the ground. Taum Sauk Mountain, standing at 1,772 feet above the ground, is the state’s highest point. At 230 feet above sea level, St. Francis River is the lowest point. 
  12. The state has a humid continental climate and a humid subtropical climate in the Bootheel region.
Credits: funnycaptions.com
  1. The highest temperature ever was recorded at Warsaw and Union–48°C ( 118 °F) in 1954. The lowest was also at Warsaw in 1905– −40 °C. 
  2. Missouri lies in the Tornado Alley, therefore, is prone to extreme weather such as severe thunderstorms and Tornadoes. An EF5- Tornado killed 158 people in 2011. 
  3. This EF5 is the seventh deadliest in the history of America.

Missouri Facts – Plants And Animals Life

Credits: Unsplash
  1. This state is home to diverse plants and animal species, including endemic species.
  2. There is plenty of water in the state because of large freshwater bodies such as the Missouri River, Mississippi River, Lake of the Ozarks, and Table Rock Lake.
  3. Did you know that Mark Twain is the only national forest in Missouri?
  4. Missouri has six national parks and 37 national landmarks.
  5. This state is known for the Missouri mule, which is the state’s official animal.
  6. Other animals such as Opossum, Muskrat, Nine-banded armadillo, Beaver, Little Brown bat, and Mexican free-tailed bats are native to this state.
  7. The official Missouri state tree is the flowering dogwood. 
  8. Other trees native to this state include Sweetgum, Pin Oaks, Silver Maple, American Elm, Eastern Redbud, White Pine, and Bradford Pear.
  9.  This state is home to over 435 species of birds.
  10.  The birds include Northern Flicker, white-throated Sparrow, Tufted Titmouse, Carolina Wren, Purple Finch, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, and Louisiana Waterthrush.
Credits: Unsplash@David
  1. The Eastern Bluebird is the official Missouri state bird.

Missouri Facts – Demographics

  1.  Missouri is the 19th most populous state in the United States, with over 6,154,913 people.
  2. The state capital is Jefferson City. Jefferson City population is the 15th highest in the state.  Kansas City and St. Louis are some of the major cities in this state.
  3. Kansas City, in western Missouri, is the most populous of all the cities in Missouri. This city is also home to the popular baseball team, Kansas City Royals.
  4. English, Irish, America, German, and French are the five main ancestry groups in this state.
  5. While English is the most commonly spoken language in Missouri, over 5% of the residents speak a language other than English, especially at home.
  6. The Creoles in this state speak Missouri French.
  7. Over 70% of the wooden Canoe people are Christians, consisting mainly of Evangelical Protestants. Catholic, Mormons, and other Christians make up the rest of the Christian population.
  8. Remnants of the Latter-day saints formed the Communist Church of Christ with its headquarters near Kansas City.
  9. Residents of Missouri are called Missourians. 

Missouri Facts – Economy 

  1.  Missouri contributes over $328 billion in gross domestic product.
  2. Agriculture is one of the major industries in this state. Some agricultural products include eggs, beef, pork, soybeans, dairy products, corn, hay, cotton, poultry, sorghum, and rice.
  3. The agriculture sector generates over 378,000 jobs in this state.
  4. Mineral resources abundant in the state include limestone, coal, crushed stone, and lead.
  5. Missouri is the leading producer of lead in the country.
  6. It’s also one of the leading producers of lime in the United States. 
  7. Monsanto, one of the best biotech companies in the US, had its headquarters in this state. That was before the Bayer Corporation acquired it in 2018.
  8.  Missouri is a tourism hub with scenic Meramec Caverns, the Ozark National Scenic Riverways, and the Gateway Arch in St. Louis.
  9. This state is the only one in the US with two federal reserve banks. One is located in Kansas City and the other in St. Louis.
  10. Missouri is home to two main airports, namely Kansas City International Airport and St. Louis Lambert International Airport.
  11. Two out of the three busiest rail centers in the US are located in this state. 
  12. St. Louis is home to the largest beer producing plant in the state.
  13. St. Louis is home to the Waffle cone which came to be when an ice cream vendor ran out of cones, in 1904, during St. Louis World’s fair.
  14. Kansas City is one of the cities with the largest freight rail centers.
Credits: Unsplash

Famous Location in Missouri

Gateway Arch in St. Louis. Credits: Unsplash
  1. St. Louis Gateway Arch, located in  Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Park, is the “Gateway to the West.”
  2. Branson, southwest Missouri, is the “live country music capital of the universe.”
  3. Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City is a cultural attraction site. 
  4. Silver Dollar City in Branson is a unique destination dotted with the elements of the Ozark culture.
  5. St. Louis Zoo is your ideal getaway if you want to see over 12 000 species of animals.
  6. Forest Park in St. Louis City is home to Missouri’s top cultural attractions.
  7. Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield house Wilson’s Creek Civil War Museum has General Patrick Cleburne’s stash.
  8. Mark Twain’s Boyhood Home and Museum.
  9. The Lake of the Ozarks
  10. Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum.

Famous People From Missouri

  • Eminem, the artist, was born in Missouri. 
  • Mark Twain, dead, was born in Florida, Missouri. He was an author. 
  • Maya Angelou, dead, was a renowned poet.
  • Akon, born in 1973, is a singer-songwriter. 
  • Misty Copeland, born in 1982, is a ballet dancer.
  • Tyrone Woodley is a mixed martial artist.

Common Misconceptions About Missouri 

It’s time for you to drop some of the myths you have about Missouri.

All Missourians live on a farm

People don’t realize how vibrant Missouri cities are. Plus, no one seems to get past the fact that Missourians have large tracts of land.

There are no lakes in Missouri

This might be true if you are referring to natural lakes. Artificial lakes make up for that. 

St. Louis City is a dangerous city to visit

No, this city is one of the unique cities in the Midwest. A small portion of it is prone to such dangerous activities but not the whole city.

Weird Laws in Missouri 

Many of the laws below were passed a long time ago, but they still exist in many Missouri cities, but many of them go unenforced. It is easier to pass laws than to revoke them, so some very strange laws remain on the books. Read the Craziest Laws in the United States, if you want more.

Here are some of our favorites.

  1. Hard objects may not be thrown by hand in Excelsior Springs.
  2. You are not allowed to worry squirrels.
  3. A group of four women cannot rent an apartment together.
  4. Speeding is legal.
  5. Dancing is strictly prohibited in Purdy.
  6. Bachelors must pay the bachelor tax. During the 1820s, the Missouri legislature passed a law requiring all single men between 21 and 50 years of age to pay a $1 dollar (~$20 in 2022) tax to the state government. 
  7. It is illegal to kill or injure any kind of bird within the city limits of Perryville in Perry County, or to throw stones, shoot at, or otherwise harm any bird within the city. 
  8. It’s illegal to park your car with the engine running because it might scare horses.
  9. Women are prohibited from wearing corsets. It’s probably the right thing but for the weird reason that “the privilege of admiring the curvaceous, unwrapped body of a young woman should be available to every normal, red-blooded American man.” (It seems to be the right thing to do according to Forbes’s article on How Corsets Deformed The Skeletons Of Victorian Women)
Women are prohibited from wearing corsets in Missouri.  Image: Movie Beauty and Beauty

Final Thoughts

Missouri is interlaced with the best nature offers–be it rivers, lakes, diverse wildlife, friendly people, rich culture, or history. Missouri has them all.

Missouri Facts And Stats

CapitalJefferson City
Population2020 (6,154,913)
GovernorMike Parson (Republican Party)
Date Of AdmissionAugust 10, 1821
U.S. SenatorsRoy Blunt(R)
Josh Hawley(R)
US House of Representatives8(of 435 Seats) 
State NicknameThe Show-Me State
State MottoThe Welfare of the people shall be the supreme law
State Song“Missouri Waltz” by Frederic Knight Logan
State FlowerCrataegus punctata
State FishChannel Catfish 
State BirdBluebird
State TreeFlowering Dogwood
State MammalMissouri Mule
State ReptileThree-toed Turtle
State MineralGalena
State DessertIce Cream Cone
State FossilCrinoid
Neighbor StatesNebraskaOklahomaKansasTennesseeArkansas Kentucky IowaIllinois 

Frequently Asked Questions 

What are some weird facts about Missouri?

  • In 1911, lightning struck and destroyed the Missouri capital.
  • One of the US’s most devastating tornadoes occurred in the Missouri- Tri-state Tornado of 1925.
  • Missouri was also the center of one of the most powerful earthquakes, the New Madrid Earthquake.

What are the 3 interesting facts about Missouri?

  • The name “Missouri” originated from an Indian (Sioux) word.
  • Captain Albert Berry performed the first successful parachute jump in St. Louis, Missouri. 
  • Only Rome has more fountains than Kansas City. 

What is Missouri known for?

  • National Parks
  • National and Cultural Museums
  • Transportation hub.

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[1] https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Missouri

[2] https://www.planetware.com/tourist-attractions/missouri-usmo.htm

[3] https://www.thefamouspeople.com/missouri.php

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Sabrina is a former campaign manager who has decided to focus her effort to help people contact senators and get help. She leads our Editorial Team with Ronald and Lawrence to curate content and resources that help us navigate the system.

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