The importance of 200 years

SPRINGFIELD, Mo – Missouri is celebrating 200 years this year and to honor it, OzarksFirst takes a look at the past 200 years and what has made Missouri important all along.

OzarksFirst policy analyst Dr Brian Calfano met former history professor turned senior senator from Missouri, Roy Blunt. Blunt has a master’s degree in history and taught history at Marshfield High School before entering politics.

“There are a lot of Missourians who have led the way in so many different areas. You know, the politicians from Harry Truman to Phyllis schlafly. From innovators from Walt Disney to Rush Limbaugh who really decided there were different ways of doing things that anyone else has never done before, ”said Senator Blunt

Blunt adds, to understand the history of America, you must understand the history of Missouri. Missouri has served as a premier transportation hub and has the largest contiguous agricultural land in the world to be in the middle of the Mississippi Valley.

“Missouri is at the center of it all. It has its own integrated transportation system, which made it possible to focus on St. Louis, and later on Westport, Independence and Kansas City. The gateway to the West and, more than that, a state where reaching out has always been important. You know, originally a place where traders and trappers, traders, would come together, but not necessarily to do business there but to do business elsewhere. Our expansion to the west was therefore important. The trade with Mexico, the Santa Fe Trail, it was all generated by Missourians from Missouri, ”says Blunt.

Blunt also talks about the importance of Missouri in the sport.

“You have the Negro Leagues bringing that element not only to the sport but also to the transition to the Kansas City Monarchs, the home team of Jackie Robinson and Satchel Paige, and many more: Buck O’Neil,” explains Blunt.

And so you have this great story of who we are, and I think Missouri is in a lot of ways where the country comes together. Sometimes when I explained our condition I say, you know, st. Louis may very well be the easternmost city in the west, perhaps more like Baltimore than Kansas City. Kansas City is perhaps more like Denver than St. Louis. The heel of the boot is very delta south. Southwest Missouri, where I live, is part of this entrepreneurial culture of Northwest Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Kansas. In many ways, these border counties in our northern state are more like Iowa than any other place in Missouri, and there’s nothing wrong with being more like Iowa. I think Missouri has been the center of the nation’s population for several decades now, but in many ways I think it’s the heart of America: where it meets.

Senator Blunt

For decades, Missouri was known as a political pointer. In recent years, maybe not so much. Drury University professor Dan Ponder shared his views with Dr Calfano on the state’s political status.

“One of the most important things to take away from Missouri and Missouri politics is the loss of barometer status. And we had been a very identifiable microcosm of the rest of the country in terms of urban areas, unionization, religious affiliation. We kind of had everything, agriculture, manufacturing, tourism. We were really a microcosm of the rest of the country, and I think that helped explain why Missouri was more far-sighted in terms of picking the winner of the presidential election, ”says Ponder.

But Missouri is not limited to its politics. These are just a few of the things Missouri and the Ozarks have become known for over the past two centuries.

Saint-Louis hosted the Universal Exhibition of 1904, and the vendors there are noted for popularizing iced tea. The drink existed before the 1900s, but it was not exhibited extensively in the market until the Fair’s tea vendors tossed ice into the black tea they sold to the public in warm weather.

What about partners in crime? Literally. Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow met in Texas and died in Louisiana. The criminal duo spent time hiding from the law in Joplin in 1933. Bonnie and Clyde and their gang members fled Joplin so quickly from the police that they left behind a treasure trove of photos and more. personal effects.

Springfield was like a border town right after the Civil War. In fact, the square was the site of one of the few documented “quick-draw” duels in American history. July 21, 1865, Wild Bill Hickok fatally injured Davis Tutt over unpaid gambling debts, a stolen watch and mutual affection for the same local women. A jury acquitted Hickok of the murder charges, and the duel helped shape popular conceptions of cowboy showdowns on television and in movies decades later.

The Ozarks are synonymous with water. Table Rock Lake helped make Branson a must-see tourist destination starting in the 1960s. Even more famous is Lake of the Ozarks, which is so large that it actually has a longer coastline than the entire state. from California!

Want more Missouri water wisdom? If someone asks you which is the longest river in North America, don’t say the Mississippi. The longest river on the continent is the Missouri, which stretches over 2,300 miles from Montana through central Show-Me state before entering the Mississippi just north of St. Louis.

Speaking of St. Louis, if you’re going to meet me there or if it’s Kansas City, you’re coming here, there’s a reason. The two most important cities in Missouri were pillars of transportation in the 20th century, especially for Trans World Airlines, TWA.

Before the era of jets, flying across the country meant stopping halfway to refuel. And that meant stopping in Kansas City or St. Louis. In fact, TWA’s head office was in Kansas City until 1964, and the airline then based its largest hub at Lambert International in St. Louis.

Getting around the Ozarks for much of the past two centuries often meant train rides. Springfield was the headquarters and main storehouse of the St. Louis, San Francisco Railroad: the Frisco.

Getting back to Missouri politics, we can’t forget our country’s 33rd President, and the only one from Show-Me State. Harry S. Truman, born in Lamar and originally from Independence, was something of an accidental president, taking office just four months after Franklin Roosevelt’s unprecedented fourth term.

Truman made many significant political decisions during the first term, not all of which won him admiration. In fact, the polls had left him behind Republican Governor of New York, Thomas Dewey, in the 1948 presidential election. Famous, Truman got angry, leaving the poor of the Chicago Tribune to the pioneers of fake news. .


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Joseph D. Whitman

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