“Highlights with Hegeman” for the Week of Aug. 23: Celebrating 200 Years of the Show-Me State

Missouri recently celebrated its 200th birthday. America is still a young country, especially when compared to some nations. Younger still is the state we are blessed to live in, and we have the opportunity to enjoy our state’s history as we celebrate our 200th year of statehood.

The Show-Me State’s story really begins in 1673, when the first Europeans set foot on the soil that would eventually gain the name Missouri. Just nine years later, French explorers would take possession of this portion of the country and name it the Louisiana Territory. Spain would later take control of the area in 1762.

By 1803, the U.S. bought what became known as the Louisiana Purchase, with Lewis and Clark starting their expedition the next year. In 1812, the Territory of Missouri was created, with the first territorial Legislature meeting in October. The first request for statehood happened in 1818.

The remaining steps toward statehood would follow in 1820, which included passing the first state constitution and establishing a state capital. On Aug. 10, 1821, Missouri was admitted into the Union as the 24th state.

There were celebrations all across our state this past Aug. 10, including at the Capitol. This gave people the chance to learn more about Missouri and see the progress we have made in 200 years. There are more celebrations to come, including the governor’s inaugural ball, which was postponed from its usual January date, because of concerns over COVID-19. This year’s inaugural festivities will be a tribute to 200 years of statehood.

As we look back on two centuries, and ahead to the future, I hope you and your family will take time to reflect. This gives us a chance to see the progress we have made as a state, and what steps we can take to continue to make Missouri a great place to live, work and raise a family.

As always, please feel free to call, email or write with your ideas or concerns. My Capitol office number is (573) 751-1415, my email is dan.hegeman@senate.mo.gov and my mailing address is Room 332, State Capitol Building, Jefferson City, MO 65101.