Missouri is all the richer for being both Southern and Midwestern. We can thank the state for ragtime music and two of its famous native sons: Mark Twain and President Harry Truman. Jefferson City is the state capital.
The 630-foot-tall Gateway Arch in St. Louis is Missouri’s most recognizable landmark and America’s tallest man-made monument. A viewing area at the top of the Arch offers a fantastic view of the city and the Mississippi River. The Arch was built from 1963 to 1965 at a cost of $13 million.
The Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum in Hannibal is one of the state’s most popular destinations. Hannibal is the setting for Twain’s classic novels “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” and “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.” The museum features 15 original Norman Rockwell paintings and Twain artifacts. He was born Samuel Clemens in Florida, Missouri, on Nov. 30, 1835. He grew up in Hannibal.
Ragtime was born in St. Louis in the mid-1890s. Pianists who traveled the South and Midwest congregated in Missouri where ragtime thrived. Pioneers include Scott Joplin, Charles Hunter, Thomas Turpin, Louis Chauvin, and Charles L. Johnson. Missouri is the proud home state of President Truman, born in Lamar, in 1884. He grew up in Independence. He was a farmer before becoming a U.S. senator. He became vice president in 1945. After President Franklin Roosevelt's death, Truman was sworn in as the 33rd president. He’s best remembered for the decision to drop the atomic bomb on Japan to end World War II. The Harry S. Truman Library and Museum is located in Independence.
Missourians are avid sports fans for a good reason. The St. Louis Cardinals (MLB) have amassed 11 World Series titles, second only to the New York Yankees. In the NHL, the St. Louis Blues won the Stanley Cup in 2019.
Missouri is located in Tornado Alley and experiences more than 30 tornadoes a year. On May 22, 2011, an EF 5 tornado struck Joplin in southwestern Missouri, causing 161 fatalities and more than 1,000 injuries. Damage was estimated at about $3 billion. It was one of the deadliest and costliest tornadoes to hit the state.
Missouri (population: 6.137 million) is one of the cheapest places to live in the U.S. The state charges 0% to 5.40% in income tax and 4.225% in sales tax. Counties and cities levy additional sales taxes of up to 6.125%.