Nuzzled in the heart of the U.S. lies the majestic marvel that is Missouri state.
Despite not being the most popular or globally sought-after state, Missouri truly is a treasure trove of captivating mysteries, bizarre laws, and hidden gems that most people don’t know about!
Beyond the legendary Gateway Arch lies a land of captivating enigmas waiting to be revealed.
So, prepare yourself to embark on a journey across terrain and time as we delve into 37 fun, crazy, and, most importantly, interesting facts about Missouri that are bound to leave you speechless.
37 Fun Facts About Missouri You Probably Didn’t Know About
Beneath its breathtaking landscapes and vibrant cities, Missouri has many hidden stories that pirouette (or dance) between history and modern innovation.
From the state’s integral role in shaping the nation we know and love today to being home to the first-ever botanical garden in the United States, the Midwestern miracle that is Missouri invites you to explore the rich tapestry of curiosities.
Now, get those seatbelts fastened as we navigate through some of the weirdest and most wonderful facts about the Show Me State that you (probably) didn’t know about!
37 Facts About Missouri List
1. Let’s take you back to November 30, 1835, when one of the most influential writers in American literature was born, Mark Twain. Many people do not know this, but Twain was born in the small village of Florida, Missouri. One of his most famous and iconic books was “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.”
2. The name “Missouri” originates from a tribe of Sioux Indians (Native American Tribe) and means “People with Wooden Canoes.”
3. It is important to note that Missouri was the 24th state officially, entering the union on August 10, 1821.
4. Missouri, along with 11 other states, make up the “Midwest” region of the United States. The region includes Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.
5. Sticking to geography, Missouri shares a border with an astonishing 8 other states; Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Tennessee.
6. Something you probably didn’t know is that Missouri was the home of a young Walt Disney. Sure, he wasn’t born in Missouri. However, he moved to the state with his family at the tender age of 4 years old.
7. The estimated population of Missouri in 2023 is 6.2 million people, ranking as the 18th most populated state in the U.S.
8. Funnily enough, Kansas City and St. Louis are home to over half of the state’s population!
9. For all the beer lovers out there – Missouri might be the state for you. Anheuser-Busch (Budweiser) is the largest beer production company globally, with many factories scattered around the world. But it is Missouri which is home to the largest brewery and has been since the 1850s. Today, they offer tours and tastings – but please, drink responsibly.
10. If you enjoy your fishing, look no further than Table Rock Lake – a man-made lake created back in the 1950s that boasts over 800 miles of shoreline. It has been considered by many as the best fishing lake in the state and a true hotspot for catching a wide variety of different fish.
Now that we have passed through the first few Missouri facts, below is a graphical summary of them that we have created for you.
Feel free to download the image and use it as a reference:
11. You might be surprised to know that the most powerful earthquake to hit the United States took place in 1811 in the city of New Madrid. Over a million square miles were affected by the earth-shaking results of this natural disaster, with people feeling the vibrations from over a thousand miles away!
12. Sticking on the topic of natural disasters – Missouri has also experienced the most destructive tornado in the history of the U.S. The Tri-State Tornado ripped through the state in 1925, destroying 90% of Missouri.
13. Missouri is home to the only cave restaurant in the United States, located in Richland and aptly named “The Cave.”
14. The 33rd president of the United States was born in Lamar, Missouri, on May 8, 1884 – Harry S. Truman.
15. Captain Albert Berry was the first to make a successful parachute jump from an airplane. The jump took place in St Louis on March 1, 1912.
16. St. Louis was the birthplace of the Olympic Games in North America. In 1904, the city hosted the third-ever Olympiad, the first to take place in the Western Hemisphere.
17. The state’s oldest community, Saint Genevieve, was founded in the old Missouri territory as early as 1735.
18. 1808 was the year of the first-ever newspaper in Missouri, named the “Missouri Gazette,” created by Joseph Charles.
19. If you are familiar with our website, then you may have an understanding of “state symbols” adopted by all states to represent certain aspects of their region, both past and present. Well, many Missouri state symbols have been adopted over time, such as birds, animals, flowers, and even a state grass!
20. Missouri is home to the famous Baseball team, the Kansas City Royals, who have won 2 World Series titles, one in 1985 and another, more recently in 2015.
Take a look at and feel free to download the Missouri Facts graphic we have created below:
21. The nation’s first daytime bank robbery occurred in Liberty, Missouri, during peacetime on February 13, 1866. It was Jesse and Frank James’ gang that was responsible for the crime.
22. Around 16 years after the infamous bank robbery, in 1882, Jesse James was shot dead by Bob Ford in St. Joseph, Missouri.
23. The U.S. postal abbreviation for Missouri is MO. It may seem like common sense, but when you consider all the other states that contain similar letters to Missouri, it is certainly worth clarifying. For more in-depth information on Missouri’s postal abbreviation and other abbreviations associated with the state, check out our Missouri abbreviation guide.
24. We mentioned there were some weird laws at the beginning of this page. Well, here is one of the weirdest you will likely come across – in Excelsior Springs, Missouri, it is totally illegal to “worry” squirrels. Yes, that’s right – if you honk your horn at a squirrel or simply shoo one out of your front drive, you could face serious repercussions!
25. Missouri is home to one of the largest springs in the United States, “Big Springs.” The spring has an average water flow of 470 cubic feet per second!
26. Another funky law is that you need a permit if you wish to shave whilst driving. I think this one leaves far more questions than it does answers!
27. Don’t even think about hanging your clothes on a clothing line if you are in Columbia, Missouri, as it is forbidden.
28. The first automatically sliced loaves of bread sold for commercial purposes were made on July 6, 1928, in Chillicothe, Missouri. It took place in Missouri, but the creator of the machine, Otto Frederick Rohwedder, was originally from Iowa.
29. When people think about the longest river in the United States, typically, the Mississippi River springs to mind. However, it is actually the Missouri River that takes the crown. The river starts in Montana and travels across the nation before joining the Mississippi River in St. Louis, with an impressive length of 2,341 miles.
30. Missouri is unique in the sense that it was claimed by both the Union and the Confederacy, with two rival state governments that sent representatives to both the United States Congress and the Confederate Congress.
31. Waffle ice cream cones were invented at the famous St. Louis Worlds Fair in 1904 when an ice cream vendor ran out of regular cups. The ice cream vendor subsequently asked a waffle vendor to roll up waffles in order to continue supplying ice cream!
32. Missouri is the top mined lead producing state in the U.S.
33. The famous nickname of Missouri is the “Show-Me State,” adopted in 1899, approximately 78 years after the state’s inception. Learn why this famous nickname was created for Missouri with our nickname guide.
34. Agriculture plays a significant role in the state’s overall economy. The Show Me State is home to almost 10,000 farms, covering approximately 66% of Missouri’s total land area.
35. Missouri has one of the highest minimum wage rates in the United States, boasting a minimum wage rate of $12.00 per hour in 2023. The minimum wage works a bit differently in Missouri if you are a restaurant server or other tipped employee.
36. Many iconic movies have been filmed in Missouri, such as “Gone Girl” and “Winter’s Bone”.
37. Perhaps one of the things Missouri is best known for is the iconic Gateway Arch, located in St. Louis. The city is also known as the “Gateway to the West”, paying homage to the 630-foot tall arch!