Visiting a state like Missouri over and over again can never be boring. Apart from the fact that the state seems to be changing on a daily basis, there are numerous tourist sites of attraction that will never fail to elicit the feelings of awe, wonder and amazement in the visitor or even a resident.
Perhaps the best-known landmark in the state is the Gateway Arch, a masterpiece of architectural design and mathematics. The Arch, also known as the Gateway to the West, signifying America’s expansion to the west, is actually part of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. Designed by architect Eero Saarinen and reaching a dizzying height of 630 feet, the Gateway Arch is the tallest monument in the United States. From its observation deck, one can enjoy spectacular views of the Mississippi River, the Old Courthouse which was the site of the famous Dred Scott case in 1847 and 1850. It is even possible to see parts of Illinois.
Apart from the fascinating Arch, there are dozens of other places of interest in the state. One of such areas is the Missouri River itself. It is the largest tributary of the Mississippi River and is formed by the confluence of the rivers Jefferson, Madison and Gallatin. On this river, one can visit the Fort Peck Dam, which is one of the largest earth-fill dams in the world. The dams were built to control flooding, provide water for irrigation and generate hydroelectric power. One can also stop by cities like St. Charles, Jefferson City, St. Joseph and Kansas City along the Missouri River.
Another site of interest is the Harry S. Truman Home, a national historic site. It is also simply called the Truman Home. Truman was the 33rd president of the United States and the only one from Missouri so far. The home, located in the city of Lamar is white in color and Victorian in style. It was fondly called the Summer White House.
President Truman and his wife, Bess lived there. An amazing thing is that the house is very much intact. The books and dishes that were used then are still there. Even the President’s coat and other effects can be seen. President Truman himself would be so thrilled if he were to see the house today.
Furthermore, other places of interest are the Liberty Memorial, Kansas City Zoological Park and the Marvel Cave. The Liberty Memorial, a cylindrical building is located in Kansas City and it is the site of the National World War I Museum. The building has a limestone exterior and is designed based on the classical Egyptian Revival style.
However, after mentioning all these, it is nice to know that Missouri has a lot more to offer the curious eyes. The town of Hannibal, mentioned in the works of Mark Twain has a lot of museums and historic buildings. This includes the house inhabited by the celebrated writer himself as a boy. The house built in 1843, contains the desk on which that timeless classic The Adventures of Tom Sawyer was written by the great author. If you really want to see a gravity-defying edifice, a president’s library and hear a nearly extinct dialect of French in one day, you’d better head to Missouri.
Missouri is called the Show-Me state. Interestingly, there is actually a lot for one to be shown especially in terms of the historical events that have occurred in this state. The story of Missouri is said to begin with the Native Americans of the old. These were the Missouri, Osage, Shawnee, Sac, Fox and the Delaware. Much of what was to later follow has been lost in antiquity. It was not until 1803 when the Emperor of France, Napoleon decided to sell the territory to the United States of America that its modern history began to take shape. For $15 million, the area was bought by the Jefferson administration in the famed Louisiana Purchase.
After the purchase, the state grew rapidly and much of its later history was to be greatly influenced by a series of battles, wars such as the American Civil War and the burning issue of slavery. One of the earliest historical battles fought in Missouri was the Battle of Sink Hole in May, 1815. This battle was one of the most decisive in the War of 1812. Not much would be heard until 1818 when Missouri requested to join the Union as a slave state. Expectedly, this generated a lot of disturbance considering the fact that slavery then was a very thorny issue which sharply divided the nation. It was not until 1820 that the state was admitted as the 24th member of the Union after the historical Missouri Compromise. It was this compromise that sparked the conflict over the extension of slavery that ultimately snowballed into the Civil War in 1861.
During the Civil War (1861-1865), Missouri played an interestingly double role. Unlike like the state of Mississippi that was a staunch opponent of the Union, the people of Missouri had double loyalties. Some were fighting for the Confederate States while others were seriously aligned with the Union. Because the state is a gateway to the North and South, it was the scene of many of the battles of the Civil War. This peculiar condition was brought to an end by the overpowering and the defeat of the Confederacy, led by Jefferson Davis in 1865. Reconstruction was to follow and Missouri was fully integrated into the Union. In fact, during the First World War (1914-1918), Missouri contributed greatly to the war efforts with very high enlistments into the US Army.
Since the end of the wars (including the Second World War), Missouri has been recording spectacular economic, industrial growth and development. In recent times too, the state has become a leader in the field of agriculture, especially in the production of dairy products, sorghum, eggs, rice, cotton and beef. There is also a very active wine industry. Such is the amazing transformation of the warring state to a modern economic power. As the state continues to progress at its current pace, facing obstacles and overcoming them, it will always be a state to reckon with. This is because Missouri has made history and will continue to make history. If you doubt that, then I’ll “Show you!”
Wine is one of the most popular and beloved alcoholic beverages. Just like their taste, wines have a very rich history dating back to about 6000BC. Although wines are supposed to have originated from the ancient land of Persia, some of the finest wines today are found in a different place entirely. Welcome to the United States of America, to the Show-Me State of Missouri where you will not only be shown the best of wines, you can also have a sip.
The state of Missouri has almost 100 wineries, each churning out the best of vintage every year. There is even a Missouri Wine Competition which was won by Stone Hill Winery in 2010. The bubbling wine industry of Missouri can be traced back to the times of German immigrants in the 19th century. They established the city of Hermann in 1837 and had wineries and vineyards sited along the banks of the graceful Missouri River. Italian immigrants were later to join in the wine business by establishing vineyards in St. James.
Over the years, the state of Missouri has constantly been on the list of the nation’s top producers of wine. Interestingly, the federal government decide to designate the region of Augusta, Missouri as the nation’s first American Viticulture Area (AVA) in June 1980. As of today, other AVAs in Missouri include the Ozark Mountain AVA, Hermann AVA and the Ozark Highlands AVA.
However, the history of the wineries of Missouri has not always been that rosy or sparkling. The vibrant wine industry was dealt a debilitating blow in 1919 when the 18th Amendment signified the commencement of the Prohibition Era. The long-lasting negative effects of the Prohibition really had inimical repercussions on the industry. Prior to the Prohibition, the state was among the largest producers of wine in the USA. But, the industry has shown tremendous improvement in the post-Prohibition Era. Almost 1,500 acres of land are now exclusively dedicated to grape cultivation.
Although all the wineries of Missouri are splendid, some of them are simply outstanding. The largest winery in the state is the St. James Winery (which produces the St. James Winery Muscatto). The second-largest of them is the Stone Hill Winery which has been in the winemaking business for more than 160 years. Here, the legendary Norton and Hermannsberger wines are produced. Stone Hill Winery also maintains the old facility at Hermann where visitors can explore some of the largest series of cellars in North America.
Currently, it maintains wineries in New Florence and Branson, apart from the one in Hermann. The one in New Florence is particularly suited for travellers and vacationers. The Crown Valley Winery is also known for its Vintner’s Getaway, Wine Diva Getaway and the Brewer’s Getaway (called the Crown County Getaway Packages). Other wineries include Les Bourgeois, Mount Pleasant, Augusta, Montelle, Tower Rock, Hermannhoff, Chaumette, Sugar Creek, and Adam Puchta.
At the wineries of Missouri, one can sample some of the greatest wines and they come in different styles- red, white, rose, sparkling, limited editions and even museum collections. Some of the grapes used in the wineries include Chardonel, Seyval Blanc, Traminette, Zinfandel, Concord and Baco Noir. Really, if there is any competition for the wine capital of the world, Missouri will definitely be a strong contender.
It is common to hear an American say, “Hey, you have got to show me, I’m from Missouri!” That is the unofficial badge of identification of all Missourians. The origin of the saying has been traced back to a speech given by a legislator in 1899. However, there is a lot to Missouri than a statement of disbelief. The state is famous for quite a number of things. This writing on Missouri cannot be said to be exhaustive enough, but will surely cover as much as possible on the things that have glamorized the state.
First on the list is the Missouri wine. In the entire North America, and even across the globe, Missouri is much respected when it comes to wine-making. The respect stems from the long tradition of wine production that dates back to more than a century. All over the state, it is possible to count almost a hundred wineries producing the finest of wines destined for different parts of the world. At a time when the French wine industry was paralyzed by a pest, it was resistant varieties of the plant imported from Missouri that saved the day. It is utterly incomplete to talk about Missouri and not mention its fine wines.
Apart from alcoholic beverages, Missouri is known for its spectacular and simply breath-taking landmarks. Some of these include the world-famous Gateway Arch, the Harry Truman Presidential Library & Museum, the Ozark Trail, Arabia Steamboat Museum, American Jazz Museum, Founders Park and the Jordan Valley Park. Another thing that is closely associated with the state is its link with the US Navy. Quite a number of vessels have been branded USS Missouri, some of which include a battleship, frigate and submarine.
In addition, an unforgettable fact about Missouri is its vibrant sports nature. For the first time in 1904, the Summer Olympics was hosted in the United States in the city of St. Louis. Today, the state proudly hosts professional sports teams such as the St. Louis Cardinals and the Kansas City Royals (both of Major League Baseball), St. Louis Blues (National Hockey League) and the Missouri Mavericks (Central Hockey League).
In terms of natural resources, the state is very much endowed. This is apart from the very obvious network of large rivers such as the Missouri and the Mississippi. In agricultural production, the state is very vibrant and has some of the largest farms in the country. Products such as soybean and other cereals are produced in vast quantities while animal husbandry is also thriving very well, as reflected by the immense production of beef.
Missouri is very rich in limestone, crushed stone and lead. In fact, in lime and lead production, the state surpasses any other in the country. There is abundant manpower as well and this is efficiently deployed to utilize these resources. The end result of all these is that the state becomes a strong centre of industrial growth and development. This has been very well demonstrated in the areas of light manufacturing, aerospace and food processing.