For Immediate Release:
May 1, 2014

Contact: Chris Dunn
(573) 751-2183

Pershing Elementary Students Help
Make Jumping Jacks the
Official State Exercise of Missouri

JEFFERSON CITY — Today (5-1), by a vote of 25-5, House Bill 1063, sponsored by Rep. Pat Conway, D-St Joseph, and led in the Senate by Sen. Rob Schaaf, R-St. Joseph, was voted truly agreed and finally passed by the Senate. House Bill 1603 is similar to Senate Bill 669, sponsored by Sen. Schaaf, both name the jumping jack as the official state exercise.

“I am so pleased that this legislation has passed,” Sen. Schaaf said. “The first group of fourth grade students, who really pushed for this legislation, are still following it as ninth graders, and I am sure hearing the jumping jack was named the official state exercise made their day.”  The current fourth grade class from Pershing Elementary School watched from the upper gallery of the Senate chamber today as the legislation received the votes needed to move the bill to the governor’s desk for his approval.

The creation of the jumping jack is credited to Missouri-born Gen. John J. “Black Jack” Pershing as a drill exercise for West Point cadets. General Pershing went on to lead the American Expeditionary Force during World War I. This summer will mark the 100th Anniversary of the start of World War I. The National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial in Kansas City helped provide support for House Bill 1063 and Senate Bill 669.

To read more about Sen. Schaaf’s legislation, visit