In 2017, National Day Calendar® began celebrating each state in the order they entered the union, starting the week of Independence Day and ending with Hawaii. We highlight a small part of each states’ history, foods and the people who make up the state. Of course, many states have their own state celebrations, and National Day Calendar’s observances in no way replaces them. There’s so much more to explore, we can’t help but celebrate our beautiful country even more!
NATIONAL MISSOURI DAY
On January 4th, National Missouri Day recognizes the 24th state to join the union.
Also known as the gateway to the West, Missouri is bordered by two great rivers. The Mississippi River is on its eastern border, while a portion of the Missouri River is on the western border. As a result, Missouri is ideally located as a hub of transportation and trade. Interestingly, the state of Missouri has the nickname Show Me State. Historically, Missouri’s U.S. Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver receives credit for coining the nickname. However,Missourians today refer to the phrase as a description of their character.
Statehood came to the state as part of the Missouri Compromise, allowing Maine to enter the union as a free state and Missouri to enter with no restrictions on slavery. During the Civil War, Missouri was divided between the North and South. Because of this, half the state was serving the Confederacy and the other half was serving the Union.
The state boasts many cultural attractions from riverboat cruises to music festivals to tours of the largest brewing company in the nation. With a rich history and interesting people, Missouri became a stopping point for many migrating west. Some people stayed, while others moved on. Unfortunately, some returned east. A few names you might recognize are Daniel Boone, Laura Ingles Wilder, Kit Carson, William Clark, Walt Disney, Scott Joplin, and Joseph Pulitzer. For a short time, all of these famous people made Missouri their home.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalMissouriDay
Whether you’re passing through or planning to stay awhile, join National Day Calendar as we recognize National Missouri Day, the state’s history, and pioneering spirit. Uncover hidden treasures and explore all Missouri’s hills and valleys! Use #NationalMissouriDay to share on social media.
Gov. Daniel Dunklin’s Grave State Historic Site – Herculaneum
Bothwell Lodge State Historic Site – Sedalia
Lake of the Ozarks State Park – Kaiser
Arrow Rock State Historic Site – Arrow Rock
Battle of Island Mountain – Butler
Harry S Truman National Historic Site – Independence and Grandview
Missouri History Museum – St. Louis
Missouri State Museum – Jefferson City
National World War I Museum and Memorial – Kansas City
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art – Kansas City
Missouri Civil War Museum – St. Louis
Pony Express Museum – Saint Joseph
Negro Leagues Baseball Museum – Kansas City
Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum – Hannibal
Mark Twain - Author - (November 30, 1835 - April 21, 1910)
Calamity Jane - Folk Hero - (May 1, 1852 - August 1, 1903)
Later in her life, she would perform in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show in 1893 and in the 1901 Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York.
John Pershing - Military Officer - (September 13, 1860 - July 15, 1948)
Pershing endured tragedy in 1913 when his wife and three daughters perished in a fire. His only son survived.
He pursued Pancho Villa on the orders of President Wilson after the Mexican revolutionary’s killing rampage through New Mexico. Pershing never caught Villa, but Europe was calling, and he was needed.
George Washington Carver - Botanist - (1860s - January 5, 1943)
During his time as the head of the agricultural department of Tuskegee Institute, Carver developed numerous products from peanuts making the once unfarmable legume a valuable commodity.
Nellie Tayloe Ross - Governor - (November 29, 1876 - December 19, 1977)
The newly elected governor carried out her husband’s unfinished business, but she had business to conduct of her own. She focused on women’s issues and child labor, schools funding and job safety among other regulations.
Ross ran for a second term. The race was fierce and close. She lost by a narrow margin of 1,365 of approximately 70,000 votes.
George Coleman Poage - Athlete/Educator (November 6, 1880 - April 11, 1962)
Harry S. Truman - President - (May 8, 1884 - December 26, 1972)
In 1948, Truman famously defeated Thomas Dewey by a narrow margin for reelection. He set out to create social reform with his New Deal and supported the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
T.S. Eliot - Poet - (September 26, 1888 - January 4, 1965)
August Anheuser Busch Jr - Brewer - (March 28, 1899 - September 29, 1989)
Martha Gellhorn - Journalist - (November 8, 1908 - February 15, 1998)
Dorothy Johnson Vaughan - Mathematician - (September 20, 1910 - November 10, 2008)
Maya Angelou - Poet - (April 4, 1928 - May 28, 2014)
Poet laureate Maya Angelou is recognized for poetry and her memoir I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. She earned numerous awards including the Presidential Medal of Freedom and three Grammy Awards for Best Spoken Word Album. Among her many other talents, the best selling author was also a screenwriter and civil rights activist.