A Missouri Timeline:

Before 1675 thru 2001

    Before 1675
    Mound Builders live in the region. Missouri, Osage, Fox, and Sauk Indians are all there when the whites show up.

    Father Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet (both French) are probably the first whites to see the mouth of the Missouri River.

    Another Frenchman, Rene-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle, travels down the Mississippi River, claiming the Mississippi Valley for France. He names the region "Louisiana" in honor of King Louis XIV.

    The lure of furs, Indian converts, and gold and silver attract other Frenchmen. Jesuit missionaries establish the first white settlement in Missouri in 1700. The Mission of St. Francis Xavier is built near the site where St. Louis will later grow up.

    The Mission of St. Francis Xavier is abandoned because of unhealthful swamps nearby.

    Marc Antoine de La Loere Des Ursins, employed by the Company of the Indies, with a crew of workmen, begins digging for lead and silver in the Mine La Motte area. He decides that soldiers and Frenchmen are unfit for the work and soon puts black slaves to work in the mines.

    Ste. Genevieve is founded by settlers from what is now Illinois.

    France gives up all its territory west of the Mississippi River to Spain in a secret treaty. The Spaniards encourage settlement of the region.

    Pierre Laclede Liguest and Rene August Chouteau found St. Louis.

    J.B. Tribeau starts the first school in the area that will become Missouri, at St. Louis-it operates about 40 years.

    Daniel Morgan Boone, who had hunted in Missouri, is looking for a less-settled area than Kentucky. He builds a cabin near the mouth of Femme Osage Creek in St. Charles County. He will later persuade his father to come to Missouri.

    The Boone families begin preparing to come to Missouri in the spring. With cousins, friends, and the Boone's 2 daughters, 15 families make the journey. They make it to St. Louis in a month of travel. The territory is under the government of Spain-the Spanish organize a welcoming parade with flags and drums. They offer the families land around Femme Osage Creek. The Spanish grant Boone about 850 acres of land and make him a "syndic"-the top officer in the district.

    Napoleon Bonaparte forces Spain to return to France the territory west of the Mississippi. Much of Missouri has been explored and many communities have been established by this time.

    The U.S. buys the Louisiana Purchase from Napoleon, who needs the money to finance his wars in Europe.

    Lewis and Clark begin their journey to the Pacific Northwest from near St. Louis.

    The first Missouri newspaper, the Missouri Gazette, begins publication in St. Louis. The Territorial Legislature of Louisiana authorizes a board of trustees to collect donations and endow a private academy at Ste. Genevieve. Fort Osage is built overlooking the Missouri River under the direction of William Clark as part of the vast federally controlled fur trade system. Its mission is the maintenance of the political stability in the region through trade and military alliances with the native tribes, in particular the Osage nation.

    The most violent earthquake ever recorded in North America shakes up Missouri's bootheel area near the town of New Madrid. 2 others strike in early 1812. As the region is sparsely populated, property damage and the death toll are small compared to the violence of the earthquakes.

    The Missouri Territory is organized by Congress. It begins with a population of more than 20,000. Farming and mining industries have been well established. Schools and churches have been built. The loss of ancient hunting grounds arouse the Indians who lead frequent, bloody raids on frontier settlements. The Indians are encouraged in their attacks by the British who are fighting the War of 1812 with the U.S. A peace treaty is signed after the war's end at Portage des Sioux.

    Rebecca Boone dies.

    Missouri asks to be admitted into the Union. This application causes a nationwide dispute between slavery and antislavery sympathizers which is not settled until 1820 with the Missouri Compromise. There are 10,000 slaves in Missouri.

    The first state officials are elected in August. They elect Alexander McNair the first governor, 43 representatives and 14 state senators. The population of the Missouri Territory is around 67,000. Evolving from a territory to a state, Missouri needs a meeting place spacious enough to hold a legislative body. Article Ten of the Missouri Constitution declares that the state capital should be located in the middle of the state within 40 miles of the mouth of the Osage River as it flows into the Missouri River. No other state constitution proclaims the location of its capital-St. Louis citizens are outraged. The citizens of St. Charles offer to pay the rent if their city could serve as the temporary site while a permanent state capitol building could be built in central Missouri. Missouri accepts and Governor Alexander McNair signs a bill making St. Charles the capital on November 25th. Missouri levies a $1 tax on bachelors from ages 21 to 50. Daniel Boone dies at 85.

    Missouri officials meet in an emergency session on June 4th to draft a response nullifying the clause that would "prevent free Negroes and mulattos from coming to and settling in this state, under any pretext whatsoever." Missouri will not be allowed to enter the Union with that clause in the constitution. So they change it, and President James Monroe proclaims Missouri a state on August 10th. Maine is allowed to enter the Union as a free state and Missouri is a slave state. An 1820 census shows 66,586 persons, including 10,222 slaves. Missouri legislators meet from November 1821 to January 1822. They create the great state seal during this session.

    John Jacob Astor organizes a St. Louis branch of the American Fur Company. He gains a near monopoly on the Mississippi River fur trade in the next 12 years. The settled area around William Jack's Ferry is laid out as a town and called Lexington.

    St. Regis Seminary opens in Florissant on May 11th. It is the first Roman Catholic institution established in the country for the higher education of Native Americans.

    State documents and Capitol furnishings are relocated by boat from St. Charles to the new state Capitol in Jefferson City in October.

    Joseph Smith settles with his followers in Independence.

    Samuel Langhorne Clemens is born in Florida on November 30th. He joins his parents, John Marshall and Jane Clemens, siblings Orion, Pamela, Margaret, and Benjamin, as well as teenage slave Jennie in a small cabin. He grows up in Hannibal, Missouri.

    Senator Thomas Hart Benton verbally attacks abolitionists for sending petitions to the U.S. Congress.

    Missouri gains its 6 northwestern counties as a result of the Platte Purchase.

    Francois Chouteau dies. On November 14th, a group of 14 investors under the leadership of wealthy St. Louis fur trader William Sublette, and calling itself the Town of Kansas Company, buys the estate of Gabriel Prudhomme and decide to make a town. They calle it "Town of Kansas (or Kanzas)" because no one can think of anything better. Hermann is settled by shareholders in the German Settlement Society of Philadelphia. Earlier settlements in St. Charles, Franklin, Perry, and Warren counties had weakened in their German identity, so a town "in isolation" is planned. After traveling more than 1,000 miles by steamboat and wagon, the tiny band of 17 settlers, including 8 children, reach the site of their colony in December. They name it after the German prince who defeated the Romans in the first century. Looked-for food supplies do not arrive. English-speaking neighbors help the 5 families survive their first winter in the wilderness. Governor Lilburn Boggs orders that the Mormons in Missouri will be "exterminated or driven from the state" due to conflict with settlers. 15,000 Mormons leave in the winter for Illinois.

    Missouri University is founded in 1839. Designed according to Thomas Jefferson's pattern for the University of Virginia(1825), it is the first state university west of the Mississippi. An additional 230 men, women, and children arrive in Hermann in the spring. They work hard felling trees, planting crops, and building homes on the rocky hillsides. Although discouraged, they persevere and Hermann begins to thrive. The Society's aspiration to build a rival to St. Louis will eventually appear unrealistic to those actually living in Hermann.

    A national depression hits Missouri hard. Price plummet and foreclosures and bankruptcies rise. Carthage (named for the ancient city) is established along Spring River just east of Joplin.

    On April 25th, 57-year-old John J. Audobon leaves on his last collecting trip from St. Louis on the steamboat Omega. His longtime friend, Edward Harris, 2 other assistants and 100 trappers who are heading west for the fur trade complete the passenger list. The journey will take them through the heart of Missouri. Although the state is only 22 years old, many river towns are well established. Settlers from the river towns come out to meet the Omega, firing their hunting guns in salute as the steamer passes. Joseph Robidioux, a French fur trader, lays out the town of St. Joseph.

    The great Missouri flood of 1844 destroys the Independence wharves and Westport Landing gains most of the Santa Fe trade. Missouri bans free blacks from settling in the state.

    The Mormons leave Nauvoo on February 4th for settlement in the west. Lexington has the nation's first Masonic college. The worst of the depression passes in Missouri. After lawsuits, financial difficulties, deaths and a holdup on the transfer of the deed and title to Prudhomme's property, the Town of Kansas finally gets going.

    Jesse Woodson James is born at Kearney.

    Myra Belle Starr is born in Washington Country on February 5th. Hermann celebrates its first "Weinfest."

    Eugene Field is born in St. Louis.

    George Caleb Bingham begins his painting of Daniel Boone, called Daniel Boone Escorting Settlers through the Cumberland Gap.

    Martha Jane Canary is born in Princeton.

    Border warfare begins between antislavery Kansans and proslavery Missourians. The town of Pink Hill is platted by George W. Love and David Asbury Neer. A post office will be founded there later in the year, the second in Jackson County. Charles St. Clair, the first mail carrier, will meet the mail at Sibley landing and carry it back to town in a red bandana.

    The side-wheel steamboat Arabia leaves St. Louis on August 30th, carying supplies, provisions, 400 barrels of Kentucky bourbon, one mule and 130 passengers for a trip up the Missouri River. It stops at Westport Landing on September 5th, hitting a snag that rips open her hull. She sinks within minutes in 15 feet of water. All the passengers escape, but the poor mule is tied below deck and goes down with the ship.

    The U.S. Supreme Court issues the Dred Scott Decision. George R. Smith establishes a new town in west-central Missouri. He calls it Sedville for his daughter Sarah (nicknamed Sed), but later the name is changed to Sedalia. It develops along the Missouri Pacific Railroad right-of-way.

    Hermann's population grows to 1,400 inhabitants.

    Braille is first introduced in the Western Hemisphere at the Missouri School for the Blind in St. Louis.

    The Pony Express begins to move mail westward to California. St. Joseph is the eastern terminal and Sacramento, California is the west. John J. Pershing is born near Laclede.

    Governor Claiborne Fox Jackson, strongly pro-Confederacy, recommends that a state convention be called to determine the will of the people. The convention votes to remain in the Union. Most Missourians want to stay neutral if war should come. The Civil War begins. Lincoln calls for troops. Governor Jackson refuses Lincoln's call. Union soldiers and the state militia (commanded by Jackson) clash at Boonville on June 17th. The Union gains control of northern Missouri. In August, the militiamen and Confederate troops defeat the Union forces in a bloody battle at Wilson's Creek, near Springfield. Carthage is a center of border warfare. The Battle of Carthage is fought on July 5th. The state convention meets again on July 22. It removes pro-Confederate state leaders from office, replacing them with pro-Union men. Hamilton R. Gamble becomes governor. Jackson calls for the legislature to meet in Neosho in October. Although not enough members attend to make a legal session, those present secede from the Union and join the Confederacy. Lexington is the most important river town between St. Louis and St. Joseph. It commands the river approach to Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas. The Battle of Lexington (September 18-21) results in a bloody victory for Confederate troops under Major General Sterling Price over the Federal forces of Colonel James A. Mulligan.

    Confederate forces keep a foothold in southwestern Missouri until March when they are defeated at Pea Ridge, Arkansas. Confederate forces are defeated at More's Hill on July 28th.

    The Battle of Island Mound is fought in Bates County by the First Kansas Colored Volunteer Infantry on March 14th, the first time during the Civil War that black troops have been in combat. The praise given their performance in the newspapers will pave the way for the enlistment and use of blacks as Union regulars. Abraham Lincoln orders all able-bodied blacks be enlisted in the Union Army on July 31st. Adjutant General Lorenzo Thomas recruits in Missouri. The state will send 8,400 blacks to fight by the end of the war. Carthage is destroyed by Confederate guerrillas. 4 women relatives of Southern guerrilla leaders die in August when their temporary prison in Kansas City collapses. One is the sister of "Bloody Bill" Anderson. 8 days later, Lawrence is burned and about 150 people killed. 4 days after that, Brigadier General Thomas Ewing issues his infamous General Order No. 11, forcing all residents of Jackson, Cass, Bates, and parts of Vernon counties to leave their rural homes within 15 days if they cannot prove their loyalty to the Union to the satisfaction of Army authorities. Union Army authorities raid Pink Hill in late August, burning homes and crops and driving residents from the area.

    The Rotunda is built in Hermann's city park-a focus of annual county agricultural fairs, horticultural exhibits, and wine trials. It costs $1,800 to build. Bloody Bill Anderson and his henchmen, including teenage Jesse James, massacre 20 unarmed Union soldiers at Centralia on September 27th. In the fall, CSA General Sterling Price, attempting to recapture Missouri for the South in a daring raid, is defeated at Westport. Southern hopes for a Confederate-controlled Missouri plummet and Quantrill's guerrilla band faces imminent destruction. Fearing capture and execution, he gathers about 40 bushwhackers in mid-December and heads east. An unofficial black board of education is established in St. Louis-it has charge of 4 schools with a total of 400 students; by 1865, the system will have 8 teachers and 600 students. It will be called the Centralia Massacre. Major General Grenville M. Dodge is named to replace General Rosecrans as Commander of the Department of Missouri on December 2nd.

    George Washington Carver is born a slave near Diamond. On January 11th, the Missouri constitutional convention passes an ordinance that requires the immediate emancipation of the state's remaining slaves. The General Assembly rescinds an 1847 constitutional amendment that forbids the education of Missouri's blacks. The Civil War ends. Missouri adopts a new constitution which includes an unpopular clause (repealed in 1870) denying the vote to anyone who refuses to swear that he had not sympathized with the South. The Missouri Equal Rights League is organized. The Western Sanitary Commission operates a high school in St. Louis for about 50 black students and organizes classes for black soldiers at Benton Barracks. Agents of the Freedmen's Bureau come to Missouri in the spring-they provide some kind of direct aid to more than 1000 Missouri blacks in the immediate postwar period. Missourians begin working to upgrade public schools now that the war is over.

    Martha Jane Canary runs away from her Princeton home. She'll become a famous woman of the Kansas plains, Calamity Jane. The General Assembly enacts a series of measures intended to establish and fund black schools in each township or city. Sedalia is an important railhead for the Texas cattle drive of 1866.

    William Torrey Harris, superintendent of the St. Louis schools, leads the effort to establish kindergarten programs.

    The Lincoln Institute in Jefferson City is begun, using money raised from the men of the 62nd Missouri Colored Volunteers regiment who served during the Civil War. Jesse James robs his first bank, in Liberty.

    Blacks establish 3 cooperative communities in Missouri: Pennytown, Eldridge, and Three Creeks. 2 English-language newspapers for Jews are established in St. Louis: the Jewish Tribune and the Jewish Voice.

    Lincoln Institute's first permanent building is finished. The men of the 62nd and 65th Missouri Colored Volunteers gather for a reunion on the campus. Joe Penny, a black farmer, founds a community of freedmen near Marshall.

    The St. Louis Board of Education votes to make kindergarten a permanent part of the school system. It the first public kindergarten in the U.S. Susan Elizabeth Blow teaches the class of 68 students.

    Another new constitution reestablishes the governor's term from 2 to 4 years and establishes a state railroad commission. Separate facilities for the education of whites and blacks is established.

    By-passed by the Chicago & Alton Railroad (it went through Oak Grove), the town of Pink Hill disbands.

    James Shields begins a term as a U.S. Senator. Having previously served Illinois and Minnesota, he is the first Senator to serve 3 states.

    Excelsior Springs, one of the first health spas in Missouri, is built after some fishermen find that the water has an odd taste. Soon, railroad lines from Kansas City and Chicago come to Excelsior Springs, bringing tourists to the fancy hotels, baths, and swimming pools. Wentworth Military Academy is founded in Lexington.

    Governor Thomas T. Crittenden begins a campaign to stop the many former Confederate guerrillas who turned to crime after the Civil War. A $5,000 reward each is offered for the capture of Jesse and Frank James.

    Jesse James is killed at his home in St. Joseph by Robert and Charles Ford on April 3rd. The story is in all the newspapers-Jesse is well on his way to becoming a legend. Frank James surrenders to the governor in the fall after a deal was worked out by John Newman Edwards, a newspaper writer. Although he stands trial a number of times, he is never convicted. He lives the rest of his life quietly.

    Harry S Truman is born in Lamar.

    Hermann commemorates its 50th anniversary in July, inviting neighboring German villages for a torchlight parade followed by a "convivial gathering" at the Concert Hall.

    Nathan Frank of St. Louis becomes Missouri's first Jewish member of the U.S. Congress.

    Thomas Hart Benton is born in Neosho.

    Missouri veteran Julius Bamberg becomes the first Confederate veteran in the state to receive admission as a resident of the new Confederate Home. One of the oldest men to have served in the Civil War, the 79-year-old Bamberg moves to the home in Lafayette County.

    Omar N. Bradley is born near Moberly.

    The State Historical Society is organized by the Missouri Press Association.

    Scott Joplin plays his ragtime music at the Maple Leaf Club in Sedalia. John Stark, a music store owner, is intrigued-he purchases Maple Leaf Rag from Joplin for $50 and Joplin's royalties. The sale makes both men financially independent and ragtime becomes internationally famous. The separation of the races in school is further defined when it is made illegal for African-American children to attend white schools.

    James Mercer Hughes is born in Joplin on February 1st. He'll later call himself Langston.

    Cole Younger is released from a Minnesota prison and lives out the rest of his life in Lee's Summit.

    Ice cream cones and hot dogs are manufactured and sold for the first time at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition World's Fair in St. Louis.

    Governor Joseph W. Folk begins one of the state's most progressive administrations. Missouri adopts statewide primary elections and begins political, social, and industrial reforms.

    Harold Bell Wright publishes the novel, Shepherd of the Hills, after staying in the area among the hill folks and exploring Marvel Cave. It is so popular that it attracts many tourists to the Branson area to see what Wright wrote about.

    The University of Missouri at Columbia opens the world's first school of journalism.

    Missouri's Christian Endeavor Society begins a campaign to ban all motion pictures that depict kissing between non-relatives.

    Branson incorporates on April 1st with 1,200 residents. Captain Albert Berry at Jefferson Barracks, St. Louis, makes the first parachute jump from an airplane, using a parachute that is a modified hot-air balloon.

    Frank James dies.

    Cole Younger dies.

    World War I begins. Missouri's mining, manufacturing, and agriculture expand to supply the nation's armed forces. Missouri contributes more than 140,257 soldiers, one-third being volunteers. General John J. Pershing is the commander of the American Expeditionary Forces in Europe. The new state capitol, made of steel beams and Carthage marble is completed under budget. The governor orders that the extra money should be used for art to decorate the building and grounds.

    The Kansas City Call is founded by Chester A. Franklin.

    The Webster Groves Nature Study Society is founded by Alfred F. Satterthwait, a U.S. Department of Agriculture entomologist. Prohibition shuts down Hermann's wine industry, steamboats no long compete with the railroads, and the German language is banned from the schools, a casualty of World War I. Hermann's golden age is over.

    The first radio station in the state, WEW of St. Louis University, begins broadcasting.

    The Kansas City Monarchs win the first Negro World Series.

    William Howell Masters is born in Springfield on February 11th. Free Will Baptist Church of Pennytown in Saline is constructed to serve the community of freedmen founded by Joe Penny near Marshall in 1871.

    The people of Hannibal erect bronze statues of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer-the first statues ever of literary characters.

    The stock market crashes. The Great Depression will hit blacks hardest of all.

    Prospective black jurors are systematically barred from jury duty. Lake Taneycomo is an inexpensive vacation get-away. Tourism in the area will help Branson businesses survive through the Depression and banking industry failures.

    Bagnell Dam is completed near St. Louis. An important source of electric power, it forms the Lake of the Ozarks. The George Washington Carver National Monument is established on the Missouri farm where he was born.

    Laura Ingalls Wilder begins her writing career while living at Mansfield in the Ozarks.

    Franklin Delano Roosevelt names 2 prominent blacks from Missouri, Dr. William J. Thompkins and Lester A. Walton, to responsible positions in his administration.

    George Washington Carver travels to Fulton from Tuskegee Institute in Alabama to dedicate a school named in his honor. The segregated Carver School serves the city's African-American children through the 8th grade for about 30 years.

    A $3,160,000 black hospital, named for the late black attorney Homer G. Phillips, is dedicated in St. Louis-built with the aid of a New Deal program.

    World War II begins. Many new industries are developed in the state to provide supplies for the armed forces. Missouri contributes more than 450,000 men and women to the various armed forces. 89 top officers from Missouri include General Omar N. Bradley and Lieutenant James H. Doolittle. A University of Missouri track meet with the University of Wisconsin and Notre Dame is canceled when Missouri bans Wisconsin's black hurdler, Ed Smith-Wisconsin withdraws and Notre Dame pulls out in protest.

    John Sigmund swims the Mississippi from St. Louis to Caruthersville-it's 292 miles and takes him 89 hours and 48 minutes.

    St. Joseph Lead Company begins the search for metallic ore in the Ozark Mountains. Company geologists will eventually find 2 billion tons. The farm where George Washington Carver was born (near Diamond Grove) is declared a national monument on July 14th-the first such honor paid in the U.S. to an African-American.

    U.S. Senator Harry S. Truman of Independence is elected Vice President.

    Oscar S. Ficklin, the first black chemist to work for the Union Electric Company in St. Louis, becomes the first black person in Missouri to be named foreman of a court jury. Truman becomes President when FDR dies in office. World War II ends. Many craftsmen, artists, and retirees move to the Branson area. The Hugo Herschend family from Chicago sees the potential of the area and leases Marvel Cave. Moving to Branson, they work to establish cave tours.

    Winston Churchill delivers his famous "Iron Curtain" speech on the Westminster College campus in Fulton. President Truman is in attendance.

    Truman is elected to a full term as President. Satchel Paige becomes the first black pitcher in the American League.

    The state legislature adopts The Missouri Waltz as the official state song.

    New industrial plants boost Missouri's economy.

    Judge Sam Blair orders the desegregation of the University of Missouri on June 27th. Hazel McDaniel Teabeau will become the first African-American to earn a doctorate degree in 1959 from the University of Missouri at age 66. Johnny Graves, a private in General Joseph Shelby's army, is the last surviving Missouri Confederate veteran to die at the Missouri Confederate Home. He's 108. A handful of widows remaining are transferred to a nursing home in Columbia and the home is closed.

    The George Washington Carver National Monument is made a national monument, 10 years after his death.

    Stowe Teachers College (the first black institution of higher education west of the Mississippi) merges with Harris Teachers College, a training school for white teachers. Kathleen Turner is born in Springfield.

    Laura Ingalls Wilder dies at Rocky Ridge Farm in Mansfield.

    Table Rock Dam is completed. Lake Taneycomo is now too cold for swimming because it is fed by the deep cold waters of Table Rock Lake. It quickly becomes a first class trout fishing lake. The Mabes family from Springfield bring their Ozarks Jubilee music show to the basement of Branson City Hall in the evenings, where they set up 50 folding chairs for the performance. They called themselves the Baldknobbers.

    Missouri conducts a vigorous drive to attract more new industries and encourage tourism. Iron ore is discovered, expanding the mining industry. Most public schools are desegregated.

    The Mark Twain Birthplace State Historic Site is dedicated in June. Theodore McNeal becomes Missouri's first black state senator. Silver Dollar City is formed by the Herschend family to provide entertainment for the people who wait for their parties exploring Marvel Cave. It is so named for the change given customers. It opens with a single street of shops and a stagecoach ride. The Missouri Pacific cancels all passenger service to Branson on its White River line. Automobile traffic from Springfield slows to a crawl.

    The Missouri Advisory Committee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights reports discriminatory housing practices in several Missouri communities and counties.

    The Gateway Arch in St. Louis is completed on October 28th. At 630 feet high, it is the tallest monument in the U.S.

    Missouri observes its sesquiecentennial. The First Missouri State Capitol State Historic Site in St. Charles opens.

    The Assemblies of God church opens its first theological graduate school in Springfield on September 4th-it is the second Pentecostal denomination to establish its own school of theology. (The first was opened by Oral Roberts in Tulsa.)

    High levels of dioxin are discovered in Times Beach, near St. Louis. Farmers suffer during a national farm crisis. Foreign trade restrictions are loosened, affecting Missouri's industries, especially shoes and automobiles.

    The population center of the U.S. moves into Missouri to DeSoto.

    Scott Joplin is awarded a Pulitzer Prize.

    Robert and Anna Rucker of Florissant both play the Illinois State Lottery using the same numbers. They both end up winning over one million dollars.

    Missouri's government begins operating a statewide lottery.

    A group of Kansas City men calling themselves River Salvage, Inc., find the remains of the Arabia buried 45 feet beneath Kansas farm fields, almost half a mile from the water of the Missouri River. The first artifact recovered is a rubber overshoe made by the Goodyear Rubber Company. Over the next several months, the salvagers will remove and catalog an amazing number of items: jewelry, toys, tools, clothes, food, and building material. But they never find the bourbon. Missouri's worst oil spill --and one of the largest inland oil spills in U.S. history-occurs around 4:30 p.m. on Christmas Eve when a 40-year-old Shell pipeline ruptures near Shoal Creek in Maries County.

    In November, River Salvage opens the Arabia Steamboat Museum in the historic River Market area of Kansas City.

    Missouri is one of the states bordering the Mississippi River that suffers widespread devastation in the floods of '93.

    Scientists, archeologists, and interested descendants gather in Kearney to dig up Jesse James' grave. Tests will be done to determine if Jesse is really buried there. There have been rumors that he was not murdered by a gang member, that he faked his death, that he fathered other children, etc.

    Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher delivers a major address at Westminister College in Fulton to commemorate one of the most famous speeches of the post-World War II era-Churchill's 1946 "Iron Curtain" speech.

    Involved in a hotly contested race for the Senate with incumbent Republican Senator John Ashcroft, Governor Mel Carnahan, his son, and a campaign advisor die in a small-plane crash just outside of St. Louis on October 16th. A memorial service on October 20th is attended by President Clinton. Carnahan wins the election in November and his wife Jean will go to Washington.

    John Ashcroft becomes U.S. Attorney General. Missouri's population now numbers nearly 5.6 million. Kansas City solidifies its position as the most populous city in Missouri. St. Louis loses 12%, but burgeoning counties outside St. Louis keep it the most populous region in the state. Census 2000 data determines that Missouri's Edgar Springs, population 190, is the population center of the U.S. The title, captured from Steelville, shows where the U.S. would balance if the country were spread on a flat surface and all 281.4 million residents weighed the same. And it keeps moving west.

Posted with permission from
Email reeseb@umkc.edu
University of Missouri-Kansas City
in the School of Education

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