The Missouri Bicentennial Commission has planned various events surrounding our state's 200th anniversary. This Tuesday marks a particularly important date in our history - Statehood Day.
The day marks 200 years since the Missouri Territory became the 24th state to enter the Union as part of the Missouri Compromise. Missouri was a critical transportation and commerce hub as our state expanded westward early on. The St. Louis Gateway Arch was built to memorialize our state's role as the "Gateway to the West."
The commission has planned other events in other cities, but this is the main bicentennial event in Jefferson City. If you're able to attend, we urge you to do so, virtually or in person.
A ceremony on the Capitol's South Lawn will begin at 9 a.m., with Gov. Mike Parson, past governors and other dignitaries.
As we recently reported, the event will include a proclamation in recognition of the bicentennial. Also, the U.S. Postal Service will unveil the Missouri Statehood Stamp. Remarks will be made by U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt; Gary Kremer, executive director of the State Historical Society of Missouri; Missouri Supreme Court Chief Justice Paul C. Wilson; and Jefferson City Mayor Carrie Tergin.
Missouri's Poet Laureate Maryfrances Wagner will read a poem for the bicentennial, and music will be performed by Missouri Choral Directors Association All-State Festival Choir and the Missouri National Guard 135th Army Band.
After the ceremony, the public is invited to a naturalization ceremony at 11 a.m. in the first floor Rotunda of the Capitol. Bicentennial-themed exhibits will be on display inside the Capitol, including the Missouri Bicentennial Quilt, Missouri Bicentennial Mural, My Missouri 2021 Photo exhibit and a Missouri Timeline display.
The Missouri Bicentennial Commission also is inviting communities to celebrate Missouri's birthday with an ice cream social Tuesday at 150 events in 87 counties. Central Dairy will host ours here in Jefferson City from 2-5 p.m. Tuesday.
As we recently reported, the ceremony will be open to the public but also will be live-streamed on Missouri2021.org for those who wish to attend virtually or view it later.
We hope you can make it in person, or at least virtually, to this historic event.