Portal:Missouri

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The Missouri Portal

Missouri is a state in the Midwestern region of the United States. Ranking 21st in land area, it is bordered by eight states (tied for the most with Tennessee): Iowa to the north, Illinois, Kentucky and Tennessee to the east, Arkansas to the south and Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska to the west. In the south are the Ozarks, a forested highland, providing timber, minerals, and recreation. The Missouri River, after which the state is named, flows through the center into the Mississippi River, which makes up the eastern border. With more than six million residents, it is the 19th-most populous state of the country. The largest urban areas are St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield and Columbia; the capital is Jefferson City.

Humans have inhabited what is now Missouri for at least 12,000 years. The Mississippian culture, which emerged at least in the ninth century, built cities and mounds before declining in the 14th century. When European explorers arrived in the 17th century, they encountered the Osage and Missouria nations. The French incorporated the territory into Louisiana, founding Ste. Genevieve in 1735 and St. Louis in 1764. After a brief period of Spanish rule, the United States acquired Missouri as part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. Americans from the Upland South, including enslaved African Americans, rushed into the new Missouri Territory. Missouri was admitted as a slave state as part of the Missouri Compromise of 1820. Many from Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee settled in the Boonslick area of Mid-Missouri. Soon after, heavy German immigration formed the Missouri Rhineland.

Missouri played a central role in the westward expansion of the United States, as memorialized by the Gateway Arch. The Pony Express, Oregon Trail, Santa Fe Trail and California Trail all began in Missouri. As a border state, Missouri's role in the American Civil War was complex, and it was subject to rival governments, raids, and guerilla warfare. After the war, both Greater St. Louis and the Kansas City metropolitan area became centers of industrialization and business. Today the state is divided into 114 counties and the independent city of St. Louis. (Full article...)

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Missouri Centennial half dollar obverse.jpg

The Missouri Centennial half dollar is a commemorative fifty-cent piece struck by the United States Mint in 1921. It was designed by Robert Ingersoll Aitken. The US state of Missouri wanted a commemorative coin to mark its centennial that year. Legislation for such a coin passed through Congress without opposition and was signed by President Warren G. Harding on his inauguration day, March 4, 1921. The federal Commission of Fine Arts hired Aitken to design the coin, which depicted Daniel Boone on both sides. The reverse design, showing Boone with a Native American, has been interpreted as symbolizing the displacement of the Indians by white settlers.

To increase sales, a portion of the issue was produced with the mark 2★4, symbolic of Missouri being the 24th state. Although admired for the design, the coins did not sell as well as hoped, and almost 60 percent were returned to the Philadelphia Mint for melting. There are fewer coins with 2★4 than without, but they remain near-equal in value. (Full article...)
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Missouri River in 2021 01.jpg
The Missouri River as seen in Montana.

The Missouri River is the longest river in the United States. Rising in the Rocky Mountains of the Eastern Centennial Mountains of Southwestern Montana, the Missouri flows east and south for 2,341 miles (3,767 km) before entering the Mississippi River north of St. Louis, Missouri. The river drains a sparsely populated, semi-arid watershed of more than 500,000 square miles (1,300,000 km2), which includes parts of ten U.S. states and two Canadian provinces. Although a tributary of the Mississippi, the Missouri River is much longer and carries a comparable volume of water. When combined with the lower Mississippi River, it forms the world's fourth longest river system.

For over 12,000 years, people have depended on the Missouri River and its tributaries as a source of sustenance and transportation. More than ten major groups of Native Americans populated the watershed, most leading a nomadic lifestyle and dependent on enormous bison herds that roamed through the Great Plains. The first Europeans encountered the river in the late seventeenth century, and the region passed through Spanish and French hands before becoming part of the United States through the Louisiana Purchase. (Full article...)
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