State: Missouri – MO

Published on August 20th, 2015 | by Brandon Ramsey in Uncategorized


The Missouri time zone is Central Standard Time or CST, which is six hours behind Coordinated Universal Time or five hours behind depending on whether or not the state is in Daylight Saving Time. Being one of the 50 U.S. States, this place has a specific type of geography, and unique state symbols that it calls its own.

Before we go into more detail on those subjects, here are some key facts about this place:

  • State Abbreviation: MO
  • Capital: Jefferson City
  • Largest City: Kansas City
  • Nickname: The Show Me State
  • Admitted to the Union: August 10th, 1821 (24th)
  • Time Zone: Central UTC -6/-5
  • Official Website
  • State Flag 
  • State Bird: Eastern bluebird
  • Motto: Salus populi suprema lex esto (Latin)

map of Missouri in the United States

MO Overview and Etymology

Missouri is located in the Midwestern United States, and is ranked the 18th most populated and 21st most extensive of the total 50 states. There are 114 counties in total and the independent city of St. Louis. In the 2010 US census, the four largest urban location were as follows:

  • St. Louis
  • Kansas City
  • Springfield
  • Columbia

The land where this place is located was first acquired by the United States as a result of the Louisiana Purchase. Part of the territory was admitted on August 10, 1821 as the 24th state. The starting points for the Pony Express, Santa Fe Trail, and the Oregon Trail were all within this state as well.

The state’s name comes from the river of the same name, which was in turn named by the Siouan-language tribe of Native Americans who also had the same name. They were known as the “ouemessourite” in their own language, which means “those who have dugout canoes.”

There are actually two ways to pronounce the state’s name as well, which is interesting. The easiest way to write them out is “Missour-ee” and the alternate method: “Missour-uh.” 

There is no official nickname for this place, but the unofficial nickname is “The Show Me State” which is present on the license plates. There are multiple claims to the origin of the phrase. A popular claim comes from the the saying “I’m from Missouri” which is means that someone is skeptical and requires proof.

In keeping with this, Congressman Willard Vandiver in 1899, during a speech declared: “I come from a state that raises corn and cotton, cockleburs and Democrats, and frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. I’m from Missouri, and you have got to show me.”

Of course, research showed that the phrase “show me” was being used prior to the 1890s. There are other nicknames used as well:

  • The Lead State
  • The Bullion State
  • The Ozark State
  • The Mother of the West
  • The Iron Mountain State
  • Pennsylvania of the West
  • The Cave State (because of the 6,000 recorded caves in the state)

The official motto “Salus Populi Suprema Lex Esto” is Latin for “Let the welfare of the people be the supreme law.”

map of Missouri

Missouri’s Geography and Climate

There are eight other states bordering MO, the same goes for its neighbor, Tennessee. In the north is Illinois,  and Kentucky. To the east, across the Mississippi River is Tennessee. In the south is Arkansas, and to the west is Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska.

The overall geography of the state is widely varied across the terrain. The northern portion is is composed of dissected till plains. The southern region is in the Ozark Mountains. The iconic river that has the same name as the state divides these two regions.

The climate is classified as a humid continental climate which has cold and snowy winters combined with hot, humid, and wet summers. Since this place is in the interior of the United States, there are plenty of temperature extremes to be found in the climate.

The lack of mountains and oceans nearby to moderate the temperature is the reasoning behind this phenomenon. The climate is instead moderated by the cold air from the Arctic and the hot humid air coming from the Gulf of Mexico. The highest temperature ever recorded in the state was 118 degrees Fahrenheit, which was taken at the cities of Warsaw and Union on July 14, 1954.

The lowest temperature recorded in the state was -40 degrees Fahrenheit which also occurred at Warsaw on February 13, 1905. Missouri is also located in Tornado Alley, which results in both severe weather and of course, tornadoes. A recent tornado in 2011 known as the Joplin tornado, destroyed almost a third of Joplin city. There were a total of $3 billion in damages when it was finished.

159 people were killed, and another 1,000 were injured. It was the first EF5 tornado to hit the state since 1957. It was the seventh deadliest tornado in American history, and the 27th deadliest in the world.

Another major tornado struck back in 1896 in the city of St. Louis. That year was incredibly deadly during the tornado season. That year saw over 40 deadly tornadoes between April and November.

MO State Symbols

Let’s start with a look at some of the state symbols here before we examine ones like the state flag and seal:

  • State amphibian: American Bullfrog
  • Animal: Missouri Mule
  • Dance: Square Dance
  • Fish: Channel Catfish
  • Flower: Hawthorn
  • Insect: Honeybee
  • Reptile: Three-toed box turtle
  • Tree: Flowering dogwood

The state flag is composed of red, white, and blue stripes. In the center is the Missourian state seal. It was designed by Mary Elizabeth Oliver. In keeping with tradition, the red and white represent valor and purity respectively.

The three colors are also supposed to represent the time when the state was influenced by the French. It was chosen as the official flag on March 22, 1913. The state seal shows two bears on either sides of the circle which represent strength and bravery.

In the center of the seal is the motto “United we stand, divided we fall.” The belt buckle on the seal represents the state’s ability to secede from the union if it deems necessary (they can undo the belt is the symbolism).

Final Thoughts

You may think you know everything there is to know about this place, but until you check out our Missouri state facts, you can’t be sure. Before you head over there though, be sure to leave a comment below and tell us what you know about this amazing place.

printable map of Missouri



About the Author
Brandon Ramsey

Brandon Ramsey is the head author and editor of The Time Now Blog. Be sure to follow us via social media!


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