Welcome to Fun Facts About the 50 States, where – week by week – I’ll be taking you on a tour around this great nation of ours, providing you with interesting, yet completely useless and probably untrue, information about each of the 50 states.
This week, it’s time throw empty Bud cans at those pathetic Royals, because we’re headed to Missouri, so let’s get started…
* Missouri became the 24th state on August 10th, 1821. It was originally admitted to the Union as a “slave” state, but eventually exchanged slavery for the slightly-less-evil institution of Country music.
* The state bird of Missouri is the Bluebird, which – unlike its cousin, the Swallow – CAN fly while grasping a coconut by the husk.
* Missouri has the second best educational system in the U.S. It WOULD be first, but for the fact that they fail to teach their kids that there’s no “r” in “wash”.
* Missouri was named after the Missouri Indian tribe, whose name means “seriously, there’s no ‘ah’ at the end… idiots…”
* Missouri’s nickname is “The Pronouncing Invisible Letters State”.
* Missouri’s license plates contain the motto “Show Me”. They should not be confused with Louisiana’s license plates, which say “Show Me Your Boobs”.
* Baseball coach Yogi Berra was born in St. Louis, Missouri, and is famous for his quaint, mixed-metaphor sayings, like “It ain’t over till the clip’s empty”.
* The state insect of Missouri is the honeybee, which is usually served deep-fried and sprinkled on waffles.
* The crinoid became Missouri’s state fossil after a group of students at Lee’s Summit high school conducted an experiment to see how much is costs to bribe a state legislature.
* Ten thousand dollars, a case of whiskey, and a dozen hookers, if you’re curious.
* The capitol building in Jefferson City, Missouri burned to the ground in 1911 after being struck by lightning during an attempt to make a DeLorean travel through time.
* Kansas City, Missouri, has more miles of boulevards than Paris, but fewer German armies have marched down them.
* The Gateway Arch is located in St. Louis, Missouri, and was originally the symbol for the now-defunct NcDonald’s restaurant chain.
* Aunt Jemima Pancake Flour was invented in St. Joseph, Missouri, and was the first commercially successful self-rising flour. It was later followed by the less-well-received “Uncle Tom Cake Mix”.
* Springfield, Missouri, was founded by a group of tourists who got lost on the way to Branson.
* Carthage, Missouri, is home to the Precious Moments Chapel, a museum filled with adorable porcelain bisque figurines of big-eyed children, featuring such titles as “Mommy’s Been Drinking Again” and “Please, Daddy, Not The Belt!”
* Weldon Springs, Missouri, is the site of the Nuclear Waste Adventure Trail and Museum. While there, be sure to try the Paint Chip Nachos.
* The “Elvis is Alive Museum” can be found in Wright City, Missouri. It’s conveniently located between the “Al Gore Won” and “Michael Moore Would Recognize Truth If It Jumped Up And Bit Him In the Ass” Museums.
* Black inventor George Washington Carver was born in Diamond Grove, Missouri, and is proof that black people used to be able to become famous for something other than sports and political activism.
* President Harry S Truman was born in Lamar, Missouri. The “S” stands for “so let’s nuke the Japs”.
* Rush Limbaugh was born in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, where he got his start in radio by beating up liberal talk show hosts and stealing their lunch money.
* Author Mark Twain was born in Florida, Missouri, where the rumors of his death are no longer greatly exaggerated.
* Outlaw Jesse James was born in Centerville, Missouri, and was known as “the most dangerous man in America”. At least until Rush Limbaugh got his first radio job.
* Iced tea was invented at the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904 as a method of frightening away the stuffy and annoying British tourists.
* Seriously… what’s the point of hot tea, anyway? It’s like drinking boiled Kool-Aid.
* The ice cream cone was also invented at the 1904 World’s Fair, after an ice cream vendor discovered that all of his paper cups had been destroyed by a mysterious fire.
* Probably of British origin.
* Anheuser-Busch of St. Louis, Missouri, is the world’s largest brewery. In 1872, they patented their secret formula for “Alco-swill”, which was later re-named “Budweiser” for marketing reasons.
* Robert Wadlow – who was the world’s tallest man at 8 feet 11 inches – was born in St. Louis, Missouri. His “Where’s Wadlow” line of children’s books was a dismal failure.
* “Wild Kingdom” host Marlin Perkins was born in Carthage, Missouri. He gained fame documenting his travels around the world as he searched for new and exotic toppings for Imo’s Pizza.
That wraps up the Missouri edition of Fun Facts About the 50 States. Next week we’ll be redlining down 7,000 miles of copless interstates as we tour Montana.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna go grab me a can of Alco-swill.
Hey… it’s after 5pm somewhere…
[The complete e-book version of “Fun Facts About the 50 States” is now available at Amazon.com. If you don’t have a Kindle, you can download free Kindle apps for your web browser, smartphone, computer, or tablet from Amazon.com]