On this day in 1821, Missouri became the 24th state of the United States.
Missouri is famous for several things:
- Gateway Arch – At 630 feet wide at the base and 630 feet tall, this is the tallest monument in the U.S. It was built between 1963 and 1965. This monument stands for the westward expansion of the U.S. During pioneer times, St. Louis was considered the “gateway” to the west because it was the starting point of many covered-wagon trips westward to California and Oregon.
The arch is created out of equilateral-triangle-shaped supports with carbon steel walls sandwiching reinforced concrete. It is covered with stainless steel and contains an egg-shaped “elevator” that is called a tram. The tram takes visitors up to the observation deck at the top of the arch.
- Boyhood home of Mark Twain and Mark Twain Cave – Hannibal, Missouri, has agreat museum complex honoring one of America's greatest authors, Samuel Clemons. His more familiar pseudonym (or pen name) was Mark Twain.
The Mark Twain Cave is the site where fictional characters Tom Sawyer and Becky Thatcher got lost. Take a virtual tour of the cave!
Here is the kids' portion of the Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum website. It includes homework help plus some inspiration for kids who want to become writers.
Here is a rather simple Samuel Clemons (Mark Twain) biography – plus a slide show, puzzles, and other activities.
Don't miss the Mark Twain jigsaw puzzle!
Here is a much longer, but interesting and attractive, biography of Samuel Clemons.
- Branson and Silver Dollar City is a popular tourist site. Silver Dollar City is a reconstructed mining town where Conestoga wagons are built and old-fashioned candles are dipped—plus a lot of other crafts and attractions. Nowadays the mining town has grown into a theme park with live shows, roller coasters and other thrill rides. Branson also offers a water-park, river boart, and other attractions.