Next Tuesday, Aug. 10, marks the day that Missouri joined the United States 200 years ago.
Congress and U.S. Pres. James Monroe approved statehood and entry into the Union for the Missouri Territory on Aug. 10, 1821, making Missouri the nation’s 24th state and the “Gateway to the West.”
Last week, Missouri’s U.S. Senators Roy Blunt and Josh Hawley, along with Missouri’s U.S. Representatives Jason Smith, Sam Graves, Vicky Hartzler, Billy Long, Ann Wagner, and Blaine Luetkemeyer, announced that they have introduced a resolution celebrating Aug. 10 as Missouri’s bicentennial.
The resolution celebrates notable Missourians and recognizes Missouri’s significant contributions to science, entertainment, technology, sports, and agriculture.
“You can’t talk about American history without talking about Missouri history,” said Blunt. “From literary giants like Mark Twain and Maya Angelou to political leaders like Harry S Truman, sports greats like Buck O’Neil and Satchel Paige, and innovators like George Washington Carver and Walt Disney, Missourians have shaped who we are and where we are today.
“It’s a place where you can live history in places like Ste. Genevieve or the Gateway Arch, or explore national treasures like the Ozarks and Mark Twain National Forest, Blunt continued. “I’m incredibly proud to represent Missouri in the United States Senate and to join my colleagues in recognizing the state’s bicentennial.”
“200 years ago, Missouri entered the Union as the 24th state. Since then, Missourians have contributed to every aspect of American life; fully embodying the American spirit and making our nation a better place,” said Hawley. “I’m proud to call Missouri home and I’m even more proud to represent hard-working Missourians every day. I invite everyone to join me in celebrating Missouri’s upcoming bicentennial.”
“As we celebrate our 200th year as a state, I’m proud of the Missourians who have left their mark on our state and am looking forward to the remarkable accomplishments from the next generation of trailblazers from the ‘Show-Me’ State,” said Smith. “Hard work and sense of community are why some of the greatest Americans this world has ever known came from Missouri.”
We have a chance to celebrate the bicentennial locally with an old fashioned ice cream social. Uptown Jackson Revitalization Organization, in collaboration with City of Jackson, Cape Girardeau County, and Jackson Area Chamber of Commerce, will host the ice cream social on the historic Cape County Courthouse lawn from 5 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 10.
There will be guest speakers, giveaways, live music, food and lots of ice cream. JHS senior Mia Foote will display her winning poster design interpreting the theme “Sharing Missouri’s Stories: Past, Present and Future.”
There will be some chairs available on the lawn, but community members may wish to bring their own lawn chairs as well.
The Jackson event will be one of more than 80 different ice cream socials being held on Tuesday across the state. This will be a once-in-a- lifetime opportunity to celebrate 200 years of statehood.
Anne McGregor, who serves on the Board of the Trustees for the State Historical Society, came up with the idea for a statewide ice cream social with a vision that it can happen at parks, porches, backyards, ball fields, and any location to celebrate the state’s birthday with a scoop of the frozen treat.
“An ice cream social is a way to take a moment to pause as family, friends and community, and to reflect on our state’s history,” said McGregor. “It’s not all rainbows and butterflies but between the challenges and triumphs, we make Missouri ours to own. The ice cream is a sweet, very sweet way to make that happen.”
Missouri 2021 will be sharing submitted photos of the ice cream social using the hashtag #ScoopsAcrossMis-souri.
With our state dessert being ice cream and the ice cream cone having been first served at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis, there is no better way to celebrate the actual date of our state’s bicentennial.
Other bicentennial activities have been planned all year throughout the state. Missourians can get a free “Bicentennial Passport” and visit these events. If they attend 21 or more of these events and get their passports stamped, they can enter into a contest to win prizes. There are barely enough events remaining if anyone wants to start now and enter the contest. (Details are in the passport.)
Communities in Missouri were invited to submit one activity to be included in the bicentennial passport. Jack-son’s passport event will be Oktoberfest on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 1-2. Cape Girardeau will have an Old town Cape Weekend Bicentennial Bash on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 13-14.
Passports are available at several places around town, including the UJRO office, the Cape Girardeau County History Center and the Iron Mountain Railway Depot.