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(mĭzo͝or`ē, –ə), one of the midwestern states of the United States. It is bordered by Illinois, Kentucky, and Tennessee, across the Mississippi River (E), Arkansas (S), Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska (W), and Iowa (N).

Facts and Figures

Area, 69,686 sq mi (180,487 sq km). Pop. (2010) 5,988,927, a 7% increase since the 2000 census. Capital, Jefferson City. Largest city, Kansas City. Statehood, Aug. 10, 1821 (24th state). Highest pt., Taum Sauk Mt., 1,772 ft (540 m); lowest pt., St. Francis River, 230 ft (70 m). Nickname, Show Me State. Motto, Salus Populi Suprema Lex Esto [The Welfare of the People Shall Be the Supreme Law]. State bird, bluebird. State flower, white hawthorn blossom. State tree, dogwood. Abbr., Mo.; MO


Two great rivers, the Mississippi and the Missouri, have had a great influence on the development of Missouri. The Mississippi tied the region to the South, particularly to New Orleans. The Missouri crosses the state from west to east and enters the Mississippi near St. Louis; the portion of its valley between St. Louis and what became Kansas City was the greatest avenue of early-19th-cent. advance westward across the continent.

The region N of the Missouri River is largely prairie land, where, as on the Iowa plains to the north, corn and livestock are raised. Most of the region S of the Missouri is covered by foothills and by the plateau of the Ozark Mts., a region of hill country populated by a relatively isolated, self-reliant people. The rough, heavily forested eastern section of the Ozarks extends into the less hilly farming plateau in the west and encompasses the irregular, twisting Lake of the Ozarks to the northwest.

In SW Missouri is a long, narrow area of flat land, part of the Great Plains, where livestock and forage crops are raised. In the southeast, in the "Bootheel" region below Cape Girardeau, are the cotton fields of the Mississippi floodplain, a once-swampy area improved after the establishment of a drainage system in 1805. The state's rivers have periodically flooded and eroded fertile farmlands. In 1993 flooding cost 31 lives and caused an estimated $3 billion in damage, much of it to agriculture. The Missouri River basin project represents a major flood control effort.

The capital is Jefferson CityJefferson City,
city (1990 pop. 35,481), state capital and seat of Cole co., central Mo., on the south bank of the Missouri River, near the mouth of the Osage; inc. 1825.
..... Click the link for more information.
, and the largest cities are Kansas CityKansas City,
two adjacent cities of the same name, one (1990 pop. 149,767), seat of Wyandotte co., NE Kansas (inc. 1859), the other (1990 pop. 435,146), Clay, Jackson, and Platte counties, NW Mo. (inc. 1850).
..... Click the link for more information.
, Saint LouisSaint Louis
, city (1990 pop. 396,685), independent and in no county, E Mo., on the Mississippi River below the mouth of the Missouri; inc. as a city 1822. St. Louis has long been a major industrial and transportation hub.
..... Click the link for more information.
, SpringfieldSpringfield.
1 City (1990 pop. 105,227), state capital and seat of Sangamon co., central Ill., on the Sangamon River; settled 1818, inc. as a city 1840. In a rich agricultural region (sorghum, corn, cattle, and dairying), it is a wholesale trade, retail, and distribution
..... Click the link for more information.
, and IndependenceIndependence.
1 City (1990 pop. 9,942), seat of Montgomery co., SE Kans., on the Verdigris River, near the Okla. line, in an important oil-producing area where corn and wheat are also grown.
..... Click the link for more information.
. Places of interest include Gateway Arch National Park, in St. Louis; George Washington Carver National Monument, in Diamond; Wilson's Creek National Battlefield, near Springfield; the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, in Kansas City; the Harry S. Truman Memorial Library, in Independence; and the Museum of the American Indian, in St. Joseph. A 185-mi (300 km) bicycle trail stretches from near St. Louis to Sedalia.


Missouri's economy rests chiefly on industry. Aerospace and transportation equipment are the main manufactures; food products, chemicals, printing and publishing, machinery, fabricated metals, and electrical equipment are also important. St. Louis is an important center for the manufacture of metals and chemicals. In Kansas City, long a leading market for livestock and wheat, the manufacture of vending machines and of cars and trucks are leading industries.

Coal in the west and north central sections, lead in the southeast, and zinc in the southwest are among the resources exploited by Missouri's mining concerns. Lead (Missouri has been the top U.S. producer), cement, and stone are the chief minerals produced.

Missouri remains important agriculturally; with over 100,000 farms, the state ranks second only to Texas. The most valuable farm products are soybeans, corn, cattle, hogs, wheat, and dairy items. The development of resorts in the Ozarks, including Branson and several lakes, has boosted tourism income.

Government, Politics, and Higher Education

In 1945, Missouri adopted a new state constitution that remains in effect. The governor is elected for a term of four years. The general assembly (legislature) has a senate with 34 members and a house of representatives with 163 members. The state sends eight representatives and two senators to the U.S. Congress and has 10 electoral votes in presidential elections. In 1992, Democrat Mel Carnahan was elected governor; he won reelection in 1996. After Gov. Carnahan died in a plane crash in Oct., 2000, Lt. Gov. Roger B. Wilson succeeded him. In November, Democrat Bob Holden was elected to the office. In 2004 Republican Matt Blunt won the governorship, but in 2008 and 2012 voters elected a Democrat, Jay Nixon. Republican Eric Greitens won the office in 2016, but resigned in 2018 in return for the dropping of a computer tampering charge. He was succeeded by Lt. Gov. Michael L. Parson, also a Republican; Parson won election to the office in 2020.

Institutions of higher learning include the Univ. of Missouri, with campuses at Columbia, Kansas City, Rolla, and Saint Louis; Missouri State Univ., at Springfield; Saint Louis Univ., Washington Univ., and Webster Univ., at St. Louis; Rockhurst College, at Kansas City; and Westminster College, at Fulton.


French Exploration and Settlement

Missouri's recorded history begins in the latter half of the 17th cent. when the French explorers Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet descended the Mississippi River, followed by Robert Cavelier, sieur de La Salle, who claimed the whole area drained by the Mississippi River for France, calling the territory Louisiana. When the French explorers arrived the area was inhabited by Native Americans of the Osage and the Missouri groups, and by the end of the 17th cent. French trade with the Native Americans flourished.

In the early 18th cent. the French worked the area's lead mines and made numerous trips through Missouri in search of furs. Trade down the Mississippi prompted the settlement of Ste. Geneviève about 1735 and the founding of St. Louis in 1764 by Pierre Laclede and René Auguste Chouteau, who were both in the fur-trading business. Although not involved in the last conflict (1754–63) of the French and Indian WarsFrench and Indian Wars,
1689–1763, the name given by American historians to the North American colonial wars between Great Britain and France in the late 17th and the 18th cent.
..... Click the link for more information.
, Missouri was affected by the French defeat when, in 1762, France secretly ceded the territory west of the Mississippi to Spain. In 1800 the Louisiana Territory (including the Missouri area) was retroceded to France, but in 1803 it passed to the United States as part of the Louisiana PurchaseLouisiana Purchase,
1803, American acquisition from France of the formerly Spanish region of Louisiana. Reasons for the Purchase

The revelation in 1801 of the secret agreement of 1800, whereby Spain retroceded Louisiana to France, aroused uneasiness in the United
..... Click the link for more information.

French influence remained dominant, even though by this time Americans had filtered into the territory, particularly to the lead mines at Ste Geneviève and Potosi. By the time of the Lewis and Clark expeditionLewis and Clark expedition,
1803–6, U.S. expedition that explored the territory of the Louisiana Purchase and the country beyond as far as the Pacific Ocean. Purpose
..... Click the link for more information.
 (1803–6), St. Louis was already known as the gateway to the Far West.

Territorial Status and Statehood

The U.S. Territory of Missouri was set up in 1812, but settlement was slow even after the War of 1812. The coming of the steamboat increased traffic and trade on the Mississippi, and settlement progressed. Planters from the South had introduced slavery into the territory, but their plantations were restricted to a small area. However, the question of admitting the Missouri Territory as a state became a burning national issue because it involved the question of extending slavery into the territories. The dispute was resolved by the Missouri CompromiseMissouri Compromise,
1820–21, measures passed by the U.S. Congress to end the first of a series of crises concerning the extension of slavery.

By 1818, Missouri Territory had gained sufficient population to warrant its admission into the Union as a state.
..... Click the link for more information.
, which admitted (1821) Missouri to the Union as a slave state but excluded slavery from lands of the Louisiana Purchase north of lat. 36°30'N. (All of Missouri lies north of 36°30' except for the southeastern "bootheel.")

Slaveholding interests became politically powerful, but the state remained principally a fur-trading center. In 1822, W. H. Ashley (who later made a fortune in fur trading) led an expedition of the adventurous trappers who became known as mountain menmountain men,
fur trappers and traders in the Rocky Mts. during the 1820s and 30s. Their activities opened that region of the United States to general knowledge. Since the days of French domination there had been expeditions to the upper Missouri River, and in the early 19th
..... Click the link for more information.
 up the Missouri River to explore the West for furs. From Missouri traders established a thriving commerce over the Santa Fe TrailSanta Fe Trail,
important caravan route of the W United States, extending c.780 mi (1,260 km) from Independence, Mo., SW to Santa Fe, N.Mex. Independence and Westport, Mo., were the chief points where wagons, teams, and supplies were obtained.
..... Click the link for more information.
 with the inhabitants of New Mexico, and pioneers followed the Oregon TrailOregon Trail,
overland emigrant route in the United States from the Missouri River to the Columbia River country (all of which was then called Oregon). The pioneers by wagon train did not, however, follow any single narrow route.
..... Click the link for more information.
 to settle the Northwest. Franklin, Westport, Independence, and St. Joseph became famous as the points of origin of these expeditions.

Settlement of Missouri itself quickened, spreading in the 1820s over the river valleys into central Missouri and by the 1830s into W Missouri. The boundaries of the state were formed after Native Americans gave up their claim to Platte co. in 1836; this strip of land in the northwest corner of Missouri was added to the state. Mormon immigrants came to settle Missouri in the 1830s, but their opposition to slavery and their growing numbers made them unwelcome and they were driven from the state in 1839. German immigrants, however, were cordially received during the 1840s and 50s, settling principally in the St. Louis area.

Slavery, Civil War, and a New Missouri

In 1854 the problem of slavery was made acute with the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska ActKansas-Nebraska Act,
bill that became law on May 30, 1854, by which the U.S. Congress established the territories of Kansas and Nebraska. By 1854 the organization of the vast Platte and Kansas river countries W of Iowa and Missouri was overdue.
..... Click the link for more information.
, leaving the question of slavery in the Kansas and Nebraska territories to the settlers themselves. The proslavery forces in Missouri became very active in trying to win Kansas for the slave cause and contributed to the violence and disorder that tore the territory apart in the years just prior to the Civil War. Nevertheless Missouri also had leaders opposed to slavery, including one of its Senators, Thomas Hart Benton.

During the Civil War most Missourians remained loyal to the federal government. A state convention that met in Mar., 1861, voted against secession, and in 1862 the convention set up a provisional government. Guerrilla activities persisted during this period, and the lawlessness bred by civil warfare persisted in Missouri after the war in the activities of outlaws such as Jesse James.

A new Missouri rose out of the war—the semi-Southern atmosphere, along with the river life and steamboating, began to decline, but the flavor of the period was preserved in the works of one of Missouri's most celebrated sons, Mark TwainTwain, Mark,
pseud. of Samuel Langhorne Clemens,
1835–1910, American author, b. Florida, Mo. As humorist, narrator, and social observer, Twain is unsurpassed in American literature.
..... Click the link for more information.
. The coming of the railroads brought the eventual decay of many of Missouri's river towns and tied the state more closely to the East and North. Urbanization and industrialization progressed, and the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, held at St. Louis in 1904, dramatically revealed Missouri's economic growth.

Political History

Since the brief period of radical Republican rule from 1864 to 1870, Missouri has been permanently wedded to neither major party. While tending toward the Republicans in the days of Theodore Roosevelt, it turned solidly Democratic for Franklin D. Roosevelt and helped to elect Missourian Harry S. Truman to the presidency in 1948. Political machines in the large cities have attracted national attention, notably the machine of Thomas J. Pendergast (1872–1945) in Kansas City. Missouri has contributed to the United States such outstanding statesmen as Champ Clark, James Reed, and W. Stuart Symington. Thomas Hart Benton, a descendant of the Missouri Senator of the same name, was one of the country's important artists.

World War I to the Present

Although during World War I general prosperity prevailed in the state, the depression years of the 1930s sent farm values crashing, and many banks, especially in rural areas, failed. Prosperity returned during World War II, when both St. Louis and Kansas City served as vital transportation centers, and industrialization increased enormously. In the postwar period, Missouri became the second largest producer (behind Michigan) of automobiles in the nation. Although most industry remains based in the two metropolitan centers, smaller Missouri communities, especially suburbs, have since attracted much light and heavy industry, as well as former city dwellers. St. Louis lost half its population between 1950 to 1990, and out-migration has continued; what was once the fourth largest U.S. city is now barely in the top 50 in size.


See State Historical Society, Historic Missouri (1959); E. C. McReynolds, Missouri: A History of the Crossroads State (1962); Federal Writers' Project, Missouri: A Guide to the "Show Me" State (1941, repr. 1981); M. D. Rafferty, Missouri: A Geography (1983); A. M. Gibson, The Encyclopedia of Missouri (1985).

See also: National Parks and Monuments (table)National Parks and Monuments

National Parks
Name Type1 Location Year authorized Size
acres (hectares)
Acadia NP SE Maine 1919 49,075 (19,868) Mountain and coast scenery.
..... Click the link for more information.


river, c.2,565 mi (4,130 km) long (including its Jefferson-Beaverhead-Red Rock headstream), the longest river of the United States and the principal tributary of the MississippiMississippi,
river, principal river of the United States, c.2,350 mi (3,780 km) long, exceeded in length only by the Missouri, the chief of its numerous tributaries. The combined Missouri-Mississippi system (from the Missouri's headwaters in the Rocky Mts.
..... Click the link for more information.
 River. The length of the combined Missouri-Mississippi system from the headwaters of the Missouri to the mouth of the Mississippi is c.3,740 mi (6,020 km), making it the world's third longest river after the Nile and the Amazon. The Missouri River drains an area of c.580,000 sq mi (1,502,200 sq km), including 2,550 sq mi (6,600 sq km) in Canada.


The principal headwaters of the Missouri are the Jefferson, Madison, and Gallatin rivers, which rise high in the Rocky Mts., SW Mont., and join to form the Missouri near Three Forks, Mont. The Missouri's upper course flows north through scenic mountain terrain including Gate of the Mountains, a deep gorge. At Great Falls, Mont., the river enters a 10-mi (16-km) stretch of cataracts that prevented navigation to the upper river and effectively established Fort Benton, Mont., as the head of navigation for 19th-century riverboats. Below Fort Benton the Missouri follows a meandering course east through the unspoiled Missouri Breaks and Fort Peck Lake (behind Fort Peck Dam) then southeast through the dammed Lakes Sakakawea and Oahe and across the Great Plains of the W central United States, crossing Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota, and forming part of the boundaries of Nebraska, Kansas, and Iowa before crossing Missouri and entering the Mississippi River 17 mi (27 km) N of St. Louis. Nicknamed "Big Muddy" for its heavy load of silt, the brown waters of the Missouri do not readily mix with the gray waters of the Mississippi until c.100 mi (160 km) downstream. The Yellowstone and Platte rivers are the Missouri's chief tributaries.

Human Impact and Use

Above Sioux City, Iowa, the Missouri's fluctuating flow is regulated by seven major dams (Gavins Point, Fort Randall, Big Bend, OaheOahe Dam
, major unit of the Missouri River basin project, 242 ft (74 m) high and 9,360 ft (2,853 m) long, on the Missouri River, central S.Dak., near Pierre; built 1948–63 by the U.S. Corps of Engineers. The reservoir impounded by the dam extends c.
..... Click the link for more information.
, GarrisonGarrison Dam,
c.11,300 ft (3,400 m) long and 210 ft (64 m) high, on the Missouri River, near Riverdale, W central N.Dak.; one of the world's largest earth-filled dams used for irrigation power. Built by the U.S.
..... Click the link for more information.
, Fort PeckFort Peck Dam,
21,430 ft (6,531 m) long and 250 ft (76 m) high, on the Missouri River, NE Mont.; one of the world's largest earth-filled dams. The dam was built (1933–40) by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as a flood-control and navigation-improvement project.
..... Click the link for more information.
, and Canyon Ferry) and more than 80 other dams on tributary streams. These dams, with their reservoirs, are part of the coordinated, basin-wide Missouri River basin projectMissouri River basin project,
comprehensive plan authorized in 1944 for the coordinated development of water resources of the Missouri River and its tributaries, draining an area of c.
..... Click the link for more information.
 (authorized by the U.S. Congress in 1944), which provides for flood control, hydroelectric power, irrigation water, and recreational facilities. The dams serve to impound for later use the spring rains and snowmelt that swell the volume of the river in March and April and also the second flood stage that frequently occurs in June as the snow melts in the remoter mountain regions. Despite this system of dams, during the extremely rainy summer of 1993 the lower Missouri reached record levels, flooding many areas, eroding farmland, and depositing huge quantities of sand that damaged many thousands of acres of fertile bottomland. Flooding was also a significant problem along the river in 2011 and 2019.

Since the dams have no locks, Sioux City is the head of navigation for the 9-ft (2.7-m) channel maintained over the 760-mi (1,223-km) stretch downstream to the Mississippi. Tugboats pushing strings of barges move freight along this route. From December to March, navigation is interrupted by ice and low water levels (resulting from upstream freezing); summer water levels, which frequently fell so low as to cause river boats to go aground, are now maintained at safe levels by the release of water from Gavin Point Dam. Silt, fertilizers, and pesticides, which are contained in the runoff from agricultural lands, pollute the water above Sioux City, but wastes from industrial plants and from inadequately treated municipal sewage create a more serious level of pollution downstream. There has been a reduction in wetland areas and a loss of fish and wildlife due to the damming of the river.


The Missouri River was an important artery of commerce for Native American villages of the Plains culture long before Europeans arrived. The French explorers Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet passed the mouth of the river in 1683 and the Canadian explorer Vérendrye visited the upper reaches of the river in 1738. David Thompson, a Canadian fur trader, explored part of the river in 1797. Meriwether Lewis and William Clark followed the Missouri on their journey (1803–6) to the Pacific Ocean and described it at length (see Lewis and Clark expeditionLewis and Clark expedition,
1803–6, U.S. expedition that explored the territory of the Louisiana Purchase and the country beyond as far as the Pacific Ocean. Purpose
..... Click the link for more information.
). The first steamboat ascended the river in 1819, and hundreds more later navigated the uncertain waters to Fort Benton. Mormons bound for Utah and pioneers bound for Oregon and California followed the Missouri valley and that of the Platte overland to the West. River traffic declined with the loss of freight to the railroads after the Civil War. Although it was revitalized in the mid-20th cent., in the section below Sioux City, through the navigational improvements and flood control efforts of the Missouri River basin project, barge traffic declined in the late 20th cent. Two stretches of the river are protected as the Missouri National Recreational River (see National Parks and MonumentsNational Parks and Monuments

National Parks
Name Type1 Location Year authorized Size
acres (hectares)
Acadia NP SE Maine 1919 49,075 (19,868) Mountain and coast scenery.
..... Click the link for more information.


See B. De Voto, Across the Wide Missouri (1947, repr. 1972); H. M. Chittenden, Early Steamboat Navigation on the Missouri River (1972); B. Priddy, Across Our Wide Missouri (2 vol., 1982–84).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/

Missouri State Information

Phone: (573) 751-2000

Area (sq mi):: 69704.31 (land 68885.93; water 818.39) Population per square mile: 84.20
Population 2005: 5,800,310 State rank: 0 Population change: 2000-20005 3.70%; 1990-2000 9.30% Population 2000: 5,595,211 (White 83.80%; Black or African American 11.20%; Hispanic or Latino 2.10%; Asian 1.10%; Other 2.80%). Foreign born: 2.70%. Median age: 36.10
Income 2000: per capita $19,936; median household $37,934; Population below poverty level: 11.70% Personal per capita income (2000-2003): $27,241-$29,464
Unemployment (2004): 5.80% Unemployment change (from 2000): 2.50% Median travel time to work: 23.80 minutes Working outside county of residence: 33.40%

List of Missouri counties:

  • Adair County
  • Andrew County
  • Atchison County
  • Audrain County
  • Barry County
  • Barton County
  • Bates County
  • Benton County
  • Bollinger County
  • Boone County
  • Buchanan County
  • Butler County
  • Caldwell County
  • Callaway County
  • Camden County
  • Cape Girardeau County
  • Carroll County
  • Carter County
  • Cass County
  • Cedar County
  • Chariton County
  • Christian County
  • Clark County
  • Clay County
  • Clinton County
  • Cole County
  • Cooper County
  • Crawford County
  • Dade County
  • Dallas County
  • Daviess County
  • DeKalb County
  • Dent County
  • Douglas County
  • Dunklin County
  • Franklin County
  • Gasconade County
  • Gentry County
  • Greene County
  • Grundy County
  • Harrison County
  • Henry County
  • Hickory County
  • Holt County
  • Howard County
  • Howell County
  • Iron County
  • Jackson County
  • Jasper County
  • Jefferson County
  • Johnson County
  • Knox County
  • Laclede County
  • Lafayette County
  • Lawrence County
  • Lewis County
  • Lincoln County
  • Linn County
  • Livingston County
  • Macon County
  • Madison County
  • Maries County
  • Marion County
  • McDonald County
  • Mercer County
  • Miller County
  • Mississippi County
  • Moniteau County
  • Monroe County
  • Montgomery County
  • Morgan County
  • New Madrid County
  • Newton County
  • Nodaway County
  • Oregon County
  • Osage County
  • Ozark County
  • Pemiscot County
  • Perry County
  • Pettis County
  • Phelps County
  • Pike County
  • Platte County
  • Polk County
  • Pulaski County
  • Putnam County
  • Ralls County
  • Randolph County
  • Ray County
  • Reynolds County
  • Ripley County
  • Saint Charles County
  • Saint Clair County
  • Saint Francois County
  • Saint Louis (Independent City)
  • Saint Louis County
  • Sainte Genevieve County
  • Saline County
  • Schuyler County
  • Scotland County
  • Scott County
  • Shannon County
  • Shelby County
  • Stoddard County
  • Stone County
  • Sullivan County
  • Taney County
  • Texas County
  • Vernon County
  • Warren County
  • Washington County
  • Wayne County
  • Webster County
  • Worth County
  • Wright County
  • Counties USA: A Directory of United States Counties, 3rd Edition. © 2006 by Omnigraphics, Inc.

    Missouri Parks

    Parks Directory of the United States, 5th Edition. © 2007 by Omnigraphics, Inc.
    The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



    a state in the central USA, in the basins of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers. Area, 180,400 sq km. Population, 4.7 million persons (1970), of whom 70.1 percent were urban dwellers. The capital is Jefferson City and the largest cities are St. Louis and Kansas City.

    The surface is an undulating plain that gradually rises to the west. To the south lies the limestone Ozark Plateau, with a maximum elevation of 540 m. The climate is temperate. The mean January temperature is about 0°C, and the mean July temperature, 27°C. Annual precipitation totals about 1,000 mm, and droughts are frequent. Areas along river valleys are subject to devastating floods.

    Missouri is an industrial and agricultural state. The economically active population numbered 1.8 million persons in 1970, of whom one-fourth were employed in industry and one-tenth in agriculture. It is the country’s leading producer of lead (383,000 tons in 1970). Iron ore, coal, barite, and building materials are also extracted. Manufacturing industries, chiefly machine building and food processing, are concentrated in St. Louis and Kansas City. The leading industrial products are aircraft and missiles (at the McDonnell-Douglas plants in St. Louis, the largest in the USA), motor vehicles (large auto assembly plants in Kansas City and St. Louis), electronic equipment, chemicals, canned meat, and flour. Road-building and farm machinery, clothing, leather footwear, cement, and ferrous and nonferrous metals are also produced. The installed capacity of electric power plants was 8.5 million gigawatts in 1972. Livestock raising accounts for 70 percent of the agricultural output. In 1971 there were 5 million head of cattle and 5.5 million pigs. The principal crops are corn, soybeans, and wheat. Oats are grown on the Ozark Plateau and cotton in the Mississippi floodplain in the southeast.




    (in the local Indian language, “muddy river”), a river in the USA and the largest tributary (right) of the Mississippi River. It is 4,740 km long (3,970 km according to some sources) and drains an area of 1,370,000 sq km, of which about 10,000 sq km are in Canada. The Missouri rises on the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains in Yellowstone National Park; it is formed by the confluence of the Jefferson (its main tributary) and Madison rivers. Much of the river’s upper course is in the Rocky Mountains, where in some places it flows through gorges and forms rapids. The largest rapids are at Great Falls, where the river drops 187 m over a 16-km stretch. In its middle course the Missouri crosses the Missouri Plateau in a deep valley with steep bluffs. The water is muddy and of a dirty brown color. Several large dams have been built, transforming the river into a chain of long, winding reservoirs. In its lower course, crossing the Central Plains, the riverbed is winding and unstable and the broad flood plain has been embanked for flood protection. The largest tributaries, the Yellowstone, Platte, and Kansas, empty into the Missouri from the right.

    The river is fed by snow in the upper course and chiefly by rain in the middle and lower courses. The volume of water varies greatly: during spring high water the water level in the lower course rises 8–12 m and the maximum discharge is 19,000 cu m per sec. During summer low water, the discharge decreases to 150–170 cu m per sec. At the mouth the discharge averages about 2,250 cu m per sec. Catastrophic floods occur frequently, most recently in 1952. The river carries much sediment, averaging about 220 million tons annually. A system of large multipurpose reservoirs on the Missouri (Fort Peck, Garrison, and Oahe) and its tributaries regulates the flow, provides irrigation and electric power, and improves navigation. The river is navigable for large river boats as far as Sioux City and for small vessels during high water as far as Fort Benton. The most important cities on the Missouri are Sioux City, Omaha, St. Joseph, and Kansas City.


    The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


    Twenty-fourth state; admitted on August 10, 1821

    State capital: Jefferson City Nickname: Show Me State State motto: Salus populi suprema lex esto (Latin “Let the

    welfare of the people be the supreme law”) State amphibian: American Bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana) State bird: Bluebird (Sialia sialis) State day: Missouri Day, third Wednesday in October State dinosaur: Hadrosaur or duck-billed (Hypsibema mis­

    souriense) State fish: Channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) State flower: Hawthorn blossom (Crataegus) State folk dance: Square dance State fossil: Crinoid (Delocrinus missouriensis) State grape: Norton/Cynthiana grape (Vitis Aestivalis) State horse: Missouri fox trotting horse State insect: Honeybee (Apis mellifera) State land animal: Missouri mule; aquatic animal: Paddle­

    fish State mineral: Galena State musical instrument: Fiddle State rock: Mozarkite (chert or flint rock) State song: “Missouri Waltz” State tree: Flowering dogwood (Cornus florida) State tree nut: Eastern black walnut (Juglans nigra)

    More about state symbols at:



    AmerBkDays-2000, p. 579 AnnivHol-2000, p. 134


    State web site: www.missouri.gov

    Office of the Governor PO Box 720 Jefferson City, MO 65102 573-751-3222 fax: 573-751-1495 www.gov.state.mo.us

    Secretary of State
    PO Box 778
    Jefferson City, MO 65102
    fax: 573-526-4903

    Missouri State Library
    600 W Main St
    PO Box 387
    Jefferson City, MO 65102
    fax: 573-526-1142

    Legal Holidays:

    Harry S. Truman DayMay 8
    Lincoln DayFeb 12
    Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations of the World Dictionary, Fourth Edition. © 2010 by Omnigraphics, Inc.


    1. a state of the central US: consists of rolling prairies in the north, the Ozark Mountains in the south, and part of the Mississippi flood plain in the southeast, with the Mississippi forming the E border; chief US producer of lead and barytes. Capital: Jefferson City. Pop.: 5 704 484 (2003 est.). Area: 178 699 sq. km (68 995 sq. miles)
    2. a river in the W and central US, rising in SW Montana: flows north, east, and southeast to join the Mississippi above St Louis; the longest river in North America; chief tributary of the Mississippi. Length: 3970 km (2466 miles)
    Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
    References in periodicals archive ?
    The main data source for our study was a comprehensive, ongoing collection of data about environmental hazards, exposures, and health effects for the state of Missouri: Missouri's Environmental Public Health Tracking System (EPHT).
    The Service recently recognized the Corps staff in the Yankton Office as a "Recovery Champion" for its ongoing efforts to advance recovery of the Missouri River listed species.
    413TH/523RD ARMY ORDINANCE--September 8-10, 2006, Branson, Missouri, Contact Ralph Pickering, Phone (419) 629-3997.
    When considering the average cost of doing business, Missouri has been recognized as being 13 percent below the national average.
    Pless traces the history of Loehe and the Missouri Synod and attempts to define his legacy in that church body.
    For the past 12 seasons, Tjeerdsma has guided Northwest Missouri State from a winless program to one of the nation's elite in Division II.
    Instead the city has worked with the recycler to increase the attractiveness of the site and to protect the nearby Missouri River.
    Columbia, M0:Curators of the University of Missouri. Available: http://endocrinedisruptors.missouri.edu/vomsaal/vomsaal.html [accessed 30 November 2005].
    The many bands of the Teton were the terrors of the northern Plains and held the tribes who lived along the Missouri, such as the Arikara, at their mercy.
    Virginia sneezeweed, which is federally listed as threatened, grows on the moist borders of seasonally wet sinkhole ponds and meadows in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and in the Ozark Highlands of Missouri. It is found in natural wetlands associated with dolomite and limestone geology that is subject to fluctuating water levels varying both seasonally and annually.

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