Online Atlas > Missouri > Museums • Photographs
Missouri facts and history plus travel and tourism information.
Capital: Jefferson City
Located just west of the Mississippi River and in the center of the nation, Missouri served as an important historical jump-off point for westward travelers in the 19th century.
French settlers established St Louis along the Mississippi in 1764, a major city which was acquired by the United States within the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. Lewis and Clark began their journeys near St Louis, and the Pony Express was also begun in Missouri. Missouri became the 24th state on August 10, 1821.
On the west side of the state, Kansas City grew due to cattle drives and cattle trading. Eventually, Route 66 paved the way west through Missouri where many pioneers had passed through on wagon trains long before. Today, you can visit museums and historical sites to remember Missouri's unique history, ride a tram up the inside of the famous Gateway Arch, or enjoy outdoor recreation at the state's many forests and lakes.
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Missouri History and Geography