National Missouri Day on January 4 acknowledges the 24th state to join the Union. The state boasts many cultural and artistic attractions, from music festivals to cruises on riverboats, and tours of the biggest brewing company in the nation. With a prosperous history and fascinating people, Missouri evolved into a stopping point for many migrating west. Some moved on and returned east but those who stayed made big names for themselves, names such as Walt Disney.
History of National Missouri Day
The history of Missouri began during the Paleo-Indian period in about 12,000 B.C. when Native Americans settled in the area. Ensuing periods of native life developed until the 17th century, then New France set up small settlements. After some years, Napoleonic France sold the area to the U.S. in 1803, as a portion of the Louisiana Purchase.
Statehood for Missouri came after the Missouri Compromise in 1820 that authorized slavery, and the settlement was rapid after 1820, boosted by a network of rivers made passable by steamboats and by being centered in the city of St. Louis. This attracted European settlers, particularly the Germans. The Civil War saw multiple small battles and influence by the Union. But after the war, the economy became diverse and railroads set up in Kansas City opened up new farmlands in the west.
Missouri is named after the indigenous Missouri Indians. It comes from the word ‘ouemessourita’ meaning “wooden canoe people” or “those who have dugout canoes.”
The idea for National Missouri Day came from the school teacher and native Missourian Anna Lee Brosius Korn. She composed the old state song, “Missouri”, and felt that the state required a whole day to acknowledge significant Missourians. So, in 1915, House Bill 122 created Missouri Day and set it aside as a day to “foster love for our state’s history and to teach rising generations of boys and girls the glories of Missouri.” Today, Missouri is renowned for its natural beauty, with beautiful lakes, varieties of trees, and wildflowers. The state also yields the most lime in the nation and is the top producer of mined lead in the United States.
National Missouri Day timeline
The 'Show-Me’ state expression begins when Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver says, "I’m from Missouri and you’ve got to show me."
Missouri becomes the first slave state to free its slaves.
During the St. Louis World’s Fair, an ice-cream seller runs out of ice cream cups and a waffle seller helps by rolling up his waffles to hold the ice cream.
During the St. Louis World’s Fair, Richard Blechyden becomes the first man to serve tea with ice.
National Missouri Day FAQs
What is Siouan?
Siouan is a reference to a family of languages that were spoken by the Sioux people.
What is Missouri’s number one attraction?
The iconic Gateway Arch is not only an American landmark but it’s the state’s biggest tourist attraction.
What number is Missouri in the 50 states?
Missouri is the 24th state out of the 50 states. It became the 24th state on August 10, 1821.
National Missouri Day Activities
Explore Missouri's treasures
Go explore and uncover the many hidden treasures in Missouri’s hills and valleys! You are guaranteed to find something intriguing.
Visit the ‘Show-Me’ state
Visit Missouri and enjoy the natural beauty of this state. If you are a Missourian, explore more and use social media as a platform to show people the art, culture, and food your state has to offer.
Vacation in Missouri
Missouri has the most sought-after vacation spots. Why not see for yourself? Vacation in Missouri and experience the beauty everyone is talking about.
5 Amazing Facts About Missouri
The two largest rivers and cities
Missouri has the two largest rivers — the Mississippi and Missouri — and it centralizes the two largest cities — St. Louis and Kansas.
Dinner in a cave
Richland in Missouri is the only U.S. city that has a cave restaurant.
Famous people like Walt Disney and former President Harry S. Truman are Missourians.
‘Missouri’ is Siouan
The name Missouri was derived from the Siouan language and means, “It connects to the side of it.”
Missouri was named after Native Americans
Missouri is named after the River Missouri, which was originally named after the Native Missouri Indians.
Why We Love National Missouri Day
It's a day to observe the natural charms of Missouri
Missouri has a lot of everything good. From the art, culture, cuisine, and hidden treasures, to vacation spots, and a rich history, the state has it all in abundance.
We get to explore
There's a lot to explore in Missouri. Explore any one of Missouri’s main cities to see what you can discover.
It's a day to get together with Missourians
What better day is there to get together with Missourians? Whether on social media or in person, talk about and celebrate everything that makes Missouri unique.
National Missouri Day dates